Guildhall School of Music and Drama Technical Theatre

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Guildhall School of Music and Drama Technical Theatre

Guildhall School of Music and Drama Technical Theatre

BA Honours in Technical Theatre Arts

Introduction to the programme

  • 4 pathways: Stage Management, Costume Supervision, Theatre Technology, Design Realisation
  • 3 years (full-time)
  • 133 applicants / 42 places

*approximate figures taken from 2015/16

Useful links

The syllabus has been designed to involve you completely in the complex art of theatre; bringing together writers, designers, actors, musicians, composers, choreographers, technicians and administrators to create plays, operas and events with fully professional production values. Your training will provide you with a firm practical knowledge of theatre crafts and managerial skills and prepare you for a professional life in the theatre. This programme has delivered an excellent record of graduate success in theatre, film, television and related industries.

Closing date for applications (2017 entry)

London interviews

Please note that places are offered throughout the year, so early applications are advised.

  • Stage Management Pathway – 24 January 2017
  • Theatre Technology Pathway 24 January 2017
  • Costume Supervision Pathway – 7 March 2017
  • Design Realisation Pathway – 7 March 2017

New York interviews

If you wish to attend an interview in New York, the application deadline for all pathways is 13 December 2016.

Open days

Find out more about our Open Days

How to apply

Find out how to apply, or if you have any questions, contact us.

Programme description

The Technical Theatre Arts programme equips you with the skills you need to enter the theatre industry. We strongly believe that your training should be tailored to your individual career aims. For this reason, you will select one of four pathways, each with a different emphasis:

Within each pathway it is possible to study elements of the other three. For example, if you want to learn about props and scenery construction, but retain an interest in lighting, you can choose accordingly. Similarly you can gain experience in sound while focusing primarily on stage management. The course is flexible enough to allow for a wide range of interests or a more specialised approach.

These pathways are each supported by a first year of broad-based study covering the theory and practice of theatre production. As well as working on public productions you will get the opportunity to learn about the contemporary theatre scene and the history behind it, Health and Safety legislation, specialist software applications, stage craft, period style and much more. You will also work in small groups on project work designed to enhance your learning.

Your second year is spent almost entirely on productions, developing your skills within your chosen pathway with a programme of study designed to suit your personal aims.

The third year gives you the opportunity to lead and run the School productions working alongside the professional creative team. This provides you with true exposure to professional theatre and the opportunity to make contacts that will be useful to your future career. In this year you also undertake a work placement with a professional company or practitioner.

Year 1

The first year of the programme brings all students to the same threshold of knowledge. In addition to your chosen pathway classes, you will study a broad range of core subjects including:

  • Theatre History
  • Period Style
  • Contemporary Theatre
  • Health & Safety
  • Stagecraft & Production Process
  • Associated Studies

Classes are usually project based and students are encouraged to enhance and inform their own work by engaging with the profession externally. For example, when studying trends in contemporary theatre you will see a wide range of shows, including leading international productions at the Barbican Centre. Similarly when studying period styles you will visit galleries and museums to look at examples and gather ideas.

In this first year you will also take a core module called Associated Studies, which allows you to take three short courses in areas of technical theatre from one of the other three pathways.

Year 2

From the second year onwards students are immersed in Guildhall School’s extraordinary productions, working alongside professional directors, designers and lighting designers on a full-time basis.

Year 3

The final year provides you with true exposure to professional theatre and the opportunity to make essential future contacts. All students undertake leading roles in their chosen fields and some go on to lead a whole team in a Production Management role. You will also complete a Graduation Project presented either as a creative project, portfolio or a written paper, plus work experience with a professional company or practitioner.

Throughout the programme you are encouraged to engage with actors, singers and musicians from other programmes to generate your own projects. Key development areas which are essential for employment include:

  • Learning to be part of the team of technicians, actors, singers and musicians working alongside professional directors, designers and conductors, participating in the creation and public performance of acclaimed dramas, musicals and operas
  • Using Information Technology in planning, managing and achieving productions. You will develop transferable skills in the latest office software as well as using specialist packages in many departments
  • Detailed knowledge of current developments in the theatre industry.

Your tutors

A particularly high staff-student ratio is one of the strengths of the programme. As you progress, staff shift from formal teaching roles to empowering and supporting your production work. This allows you freedom to demonstrate and develop your professional standards and skills.

A member of the teaching staff will also be your personal tutor and will follow your progress and act as a mentor for your personal and professional development.

Regardless of their year, all students work together on all productions. In fact peer learning is an essential element of the programme; senior students often fulfil organisational roles while more junior students observe how skills and knowledge are acquired and used.