The MA focuses on the dramaturgy of the musical as a key factor in the future development of the genre. Expert professionals are regularly employed as visiting tutors, to maintain direct links with the industry.
It will help you to sharpen your practical skills as a creative artist. On a practical level, it will assist you in working as a freelance writer, composer or producer of musical theatre.
The MA focuses on the dramaturgy of the musical as a key factor in the future development of the genre.
Expert professionals are regularly employed as visiting tutors, to maintain direct links with the industry.
In the Department of Theatre and Performance we reflect and question our contemporary world. Our ethos is interdisciplinary and intercultural, which means that we extend our study both within and beyond European traditions.
We approach ideas in exciting and challenging ways and as a student you’ll have the freedom to cultivate your own intellectual and creative interests.
Practice is the context for theory: both our lecture/seminar and studio-based teaching draw on rich staff research specialisms as well as an array of professional Visiting and Associate Tutors. We cover diverse subjects from classical texts and new writing to contemporary Black British writing and performance; from physical and applied theatres to multimedia/Live Art. We encourage you to develop your critical, historical and cultural knowledge, with the time and space to experiment and learn collaborative and technical skills.You are offered options from the Second Year onwards, and in all your Theatre Making you work in companies with professional guidance, benefiting from the department's brand new technical facilities and support staff.
We want you to graduate with the essential skills and confidence for a portfolio career: an intellectual grasp of the field together with the experience of how to ‘make it happen’. You will work in many aspects of the industry - from performing to directing, designing and technical work, from administration to production- so we make sure you gain experience across the discipline, acquiring both research and practical skills with which to contribute to the transforming cultural landscape. In short, we educate the articulate practitioner.
What you study
You follow one of the two pathways as either
You undertake an analytic case study of a musical or production, a placement project and dissertation (producers), and a creative project involving either book and lyrics or music for a short original musical (writers and composers).
Modules and Structure
You elect to follow one of two pathways on the programme – Writers and Composers, or Producers. In each case, the programme involves five separate modules:
1. Genre study – autumn and spring terms, both pathways.
This module runs for 20 weeks. It begins in autumn with an historical survey of the development of the American musical, from ‘Showboat’ (1927) to ‘Sweeney Todd’ (1979). It continues in the spring term with a look at new forms of musical theatre that have resulted from the fragmentation of the classic tradition of ‘book’ musicals, with the innovation of the ‘concept’ musical, the impact of rock musicals, the ‘invasion’ of Broadway by the British ‘megamusical’ and the subsequent globalisation of the market by Cameron Macintosh and Disney.
2. Case study – autumn and spring terms, both pathways.
This module involves a 15-week introduction to the different structural components (book, music, lyrics, choreography, scenography) and industrial factors (producers, marketing, technology, conomics)
determining the production of musicals today. The module is taught by a range of professional and academic experts with a variety of different perspectives on the subject.
3. Shared complementary/contextual module 1 – autumn term.
Students choose one of these modules.
4. Shared complementary/contextual module 2, - ‘Musical Theatre and Society’
5. Creative project/dissertation – spring and summer terms, both pathways.
Assessment Genre study is assessed by two 3,000-word essays; the case study is assessed by means of a 4,000-word essay. The nature and form of creative projects, dissertations and research/placement projects are agreed with the Module Convenor during the programme.
No work experience is required.
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Together with the ISIC Association and British Council IELTS we offer you the chance to receive up to £10000 to expand your horizon and study abroad. We want to ultimately encourage you to study abroad in order to experience and explore new countries, cultures and languages.
We began life in 1891 with one ideal: to be a dynamic force for change. Today as part of the prestigious University of London, we carry out world-leading research on a regular basis and we continue to build upon that early vision, maintaining a rich academic heritage that combines our status as one of the UK's top creative and political universities (Which? University 2014). And we're in the UK's top 25 universities for the quality of our research, and top 5 in the UK in QS World Rankings by subject area (Research Excellence Framework, THE research intensity ranking, QS world rankings).
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