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The curriculum has three main strands:
1) Residencies with Guest Artists
2) Creative Projects
3) History, Theory and Research Methods
The first three terms consist of a wide variety of Residencies with Guest Artists, creative projects and contextual studies. The fourth term culminates with your Dissertation Project, during which you will create your own piece of work, defining your own artistic manifesto, and present it to an audience with the expectation that you go on to produce it professionally.
Strand One: Residencies with Guest ArtistsThe vast majority of your studies will be spent in the studio: training, creating, devising, and rehearsing with internationally renowned practitioners. You will be working intensively for 1-2 weeks with one guest, which will allow you to immerse yourself in their creative process and each ending with an informal presentation. The course accepts that there is no singular ‘best’ approach, which is why you will be working with artists from different backgrounds and areas of expertise: Text-based and Post-dramatic Theatre, Site-specific and Immersive Performance, Multimedia, Installation and Performance Art, Verbatim and Political Theatre, Physical Theatre and Tanztheater.
What makes this course unique is the way it negotiates the teacher-student relationship. Guest Artists don’t come to teach you as students, but to work with you as professionals. For 1-2 weeks, the cohort will become their company and will work as these artists normally do in their rehearsal room. This means that the same level of commitment and professionalism is expected from you as is expected from their company members, with all of the benefits that come with working in such a way.
This strand is also supported by skills development in which you will be introduced to various disciplines to improve your physical and vocal skills. These include, but are not limited to: Alexander technique, Vocal Performance, Singing, Vocal Improvisation, Capoeira, Yoga, Qi-Gong, Contact Improvisation, and Contemporary Dance. This strand has the flexibility to suit the needs of students who are accepted on the course.
Strand Two: Creative ProjectsYour creativity and creative stamina will be challenged at every step during your studies. Each residency with a Guest Artists ends with an informal presentation, allowing you to engage with every stage of the creative process that these Guest Artists propose. Each term culminates with a public performance produced professionally in collaboration with various theatre companies in Estonia. In addition, there will be continuous composition, dramaturgy, adaptation and playwriting workshops to further develop your advanced creative and devising skills.
During term one, which is dedicated to solo performance, you will be creating and performing in several solo performances: an autobiographical piece, a drag show and adapting Greek tragedy into a solo performance. Term two is focussed on devising as an ensemble and, at the end of the term, you will be working with one of our guest directors over a six-week period to produce a devised ensemble piece. Term three will centre on the possibilities of applied theatre, where you will adapt existing work to create a fusion of old and new work. Term four is entirely dedicated to your dissertation project: the piece of work that you will create as a manifestation of your own unique artistic vision.
This course does not isolate you from your existing professional creative practice but creates a safe, inspiring, yet challenging environment in which you can focus and refine your unique artistic vision. You will leave the course with at least four professional productions that can be developed and performed after you have finished your studies. In order to support this, you will be taught strategies for managing your career and the practical side of being an artist, including applying for festival submission, grants and funding, as well as organising tours, conferences and workshops. This course is not an endpoint, but a springboard from which establish your artistic career.
Strand Three: History, Theory and Research MethodsYou will also support your growth as an artist with contextual, theoretical and historical studies. Your practical immersion in making performance will be supported by attending lectures about the history of performing arts, theories and strategies for learning and creativity, and mapping the field of contemporary performance. In addition to theatre and performance research methods, you will acquire advanced skills in Practice as Research so that you are able to design, document and present your artistic research to the wider artistic and academic community.
You will reflect critically on your own growth and place your artistic work in the wider theoretical and historical context of performance through blogs, reflective journals, portfolios and essays. In this way, you can observe and guide your own development during this very demanding two-year training course.