Guildhall School of Music and Drama B.A Acting

By | 8th June 2017

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama B.A Acting

Guildhall School of Music and Drama B.A Acting

 

 

 

 

 

 

BA (Hons) in Acting

Years 1 and 2

The first two years are training years. During this period you will concentrate on acquiring the skills they need as professional actors. The time is divided between classwork and rehearsal projects. During the first two terms you will spend most of your time in classes, with more time on projects as the course progresses. Both classwork and rehearsal projects focus on developing and integrating four main areas of study: acting, voice, movement and playtexts.

The training is based on working both individually and as an ensemble. For much of the work, the year group is divided into half or quarter groups, allowing each student the maximum individual attention. There are also some individual tutorials and many opportunities for one-to-one consultation and feedback. The groups are rearranged, usually each term, so that by the end of the second year you have worked closely with every other member of the year. From time to time, elements of the curriculum change as the teaching staff continuously assess the content of the course to judge whether it remains appropriate to those who are training.

‘Cirque’ is a collaborative project where second-year actors and postgraduate musicians work together to devise circus-inspired pieces of theatre under the direction of Professor Ken Rea. The musicians learn acting and acrobatic skills as part of the process.

Classes

Acting studies include stagecraft, improvisation, games and storytelling, mime, circus and physical theatre. Classes in radio and television work are added later in the training, using the School’s own equipment and radio studio.

Voice studies cover voice and speech classes, poetry and prose, singing, phonetics, dialects and a great deal of work on language, including Shakespeare.

Movement studies cover pure movement, movement improvisation, including animal studies and mask work, period dance and 20th-Century dance, showdance, acrobatics and stage combat.

Acting Research investigates plays and theatre forms representative of the major periods of Western theatre, as well as examples from world drama. These are explored within their cultural context and support students in their investigation of an actor’s preparation and creative process.

Rehearsal projects

Rehearsal projects give you the opportunity to apply the skills learnt in classes to a wide variety of plays. These usually include: early English drama, Shakespeare, Restoration or 18th-century comedy, Chekhov and other 19th-century drama, 20th-century political plays, devised work, musical theatre and other modern drama. You take part in an in-house radio production directed by a well-known producer and record a play, as well as a great deal of camera work.

Methods of rehearsal and preparation include research into the world and characters of the play, analysis of the text and different approaches to it, building on, and developing from, many of the principles formulated by major practitioners such as Stanislavski. The programme also embraces other cultural traditions and more innovative approaches.

Year 3

By the third year, you will be technically proficient vocally and physically. You will have developed your own working processes. Most of your time will be spent rehearsing and performing to the public and to potential employers. You will work on around five productions, playing a wide variety of roles in plays of varying styles, working with several different directors. You will also be offered the opportunity to write and perform a Solo Performance.

There are also sessions to prepare you for the acting profession, as well as audition showcases regularly attended by agents, theatre and casting directors.

Productions and casting

In the final year the entire year group forms a company which performs in about eight public productions in the School’s theatres and in other professional theatres, in a TV project and in audition showcases, regularly attended by agents, theatre and casting directors.

Sometimes you all take part in the same production; sometimes the company is split, so as to rehearse more than one production simultaneously. You usually work with five directors, some of whom will be staff directors, others visitors.

You play a wide variety of roles in plays of varying styles. The particular qualities of the group help to determine the choice of plays, but the repertoire usually includes: a major classical play, usually one by Shakespeare; a musical; a contemporary play, often recently written and where possible with the involvement of the author; translations; adaptations.

You play as cast in public performances. Where your progress justifies it in the view of the senior staff, you may be given a role central to the development of a play, but the School does not guarantee major protagonist casting to any student.

A selected team of students enters a variety of competitions and occasional outside events, such as the Wanamaker Festival at Shakespeare’s Globe.

MA in Acting

This is a three-year full-time programme designed for students who hold a university degree and wish to have a full professional training in acting. The MA students work in the same classes, rehearsals and performances as the students on the three-year BA in Acting with additional tutorials in support of achieving the Masters level outcomes.

Entrance is by audition. At the point of audition, no distinction is made between applicants to the BA and the MA.

MA students have the same practical training as the BA students. If you study on this programme, you will take additional modules to develop your critical and reflective skills. You will also be required to achieve more demanding learning outcomes and a higher standard overall.

Summary of MA Programme

Year 1

Acting Studies, Voice and Speech Studies, Movement Studies, Rehearsal Projects

These modules form the core of the craft training and are taken at undergraduate level, working alongside the BA students, with a higher pass mark than for undergraduates. Please see the summary of the BA Programme for indicative details.

Acting Research

This module, looking at the actor’s approach to play texts and historical background, is taken at Master’s level, working alongside the BA students but with more demanding learning outcomes. Please see the summary of the BA Programme for indicative details.

Personal Development Plan

This module, where the student evaluates their own journey and goals, is taken at Master’s level.

Critical Evaluation

This module, where the student reflects critically on aspects of the training and the wider context of theatre practice, is taken at Master’s level.

Year 2

Acting Studies; Voice and Speech Studies; Movement Studies

These modules extend the craft training and are taken at undergraduate level, working alongside the BA students, with a higher pass mark than for undergraduates. Please see the summary of the BA Programme for indicative details.

Rehearsal Projects

This module is taken at Master’s level, working alongside the BA students, with more demanding learning outcomes. Please see the summary of the BA Programme for indicative details.

Workshop

In this module, taken at Master’s level, graduate students create a presentation which draws on workshops attended at the end of Year 2.

Year 3

Productions and casting

This module, consisting of rehearsal and performance of public productions, forms the bulk of the work in Year 3. It is taken at Master’s level, working alongside undergraduates, with more demanding learning outcomes. Please see the summary of the BA Programme for indicative details.

Personal Development Plan

This module, where the student creates their career plan, including research into the acting profession, is taken at Master’s level.

Further information from: drama@gsmd.ac.uk