The BA (Hons) Theatre and Performance course trains you to be a performance maker, introducing you to contemporary styles of theatre such as devising, comedy, and multimedia. This is not an actor training programme, but a course designed for a new generation of performers. It is designed to give you the tools to create and perform your own work, as opposed to acting in somebody else’s; it uses performance techniques and methods to make more experimental and convention-breaking theatre and performance.
Whilst studying on the programme you will be introduced to a number of performance disciplines ranging from devising, acting, and clowning to international performance, filmmaking, and prison theatre. You will watch numerous multidisciplinary performances, be visited by professional companies, and benefit from the established industry-experienced team of lecturers. Throughout your studies you will engage with techniques and methods that will ultimately result in the development and creation of your very own unique performance festival, unTaPped, which attracts audiences of industry professionals.
The fees for this BA (Hons) degree in Theatre and Performance are currently £8,900 per year.
The first year is your skills year, where you will develop a portfolio of performance techniques through the completion of the following modules:
You will explore the role of the audience, the performer, and their relationship, alongside the conventions of theatre for your first public performance.
This unit introduces you to a range of interdisciplinary techniques and strategies in the development and devising of performance including movement, physical comedy, stand-up comedy, voice, and singing.
You will explore the methodology of Stanislavsky and develop a conventional actor’s toolkit for the creation of character.
Contextualising Contemporary Performance:
Your practical learning will be put into context with reference to contemporary theatre performers and practitioners.
You will investigate your own personal narratives and memories in order to differentiate between the performance of character and the performance of self.
The first year culminates in a large ensemble performance which is performed as part of the annual mini-festival ‘unTaPped’.
The second year is your making year, where you will extend the skills developed in the first year to propel your individual artistic position through the completion of the following modules:
You will create an ensemble performance and take it on a week-long tour before developing it into a 45-minute performance for a public audience.
Advanced Performance Skills:
You will develop your exploration of interdisciplinary techniques through the exploration of clowning, mask, contact improvisation, voice, and singing.
You will engage with cinematic techniques and experiment with convention in the production and presentation of your own short film to be premiered at the annual mini-festival ‘unTaPped’.
Researching Contemporary Performance:
The theoretical contextualising will continue, but this unit is more focused on the practical application of contemporary practitioners to your own work.
Site Specific Performance:
You will be introduced to conceptual practices that will result in a piece of work being presented in a unique and alternative space.
The year culminates in a project that utilises different strategies and techniques in the creation of a performance piece suitable for prison theatre.
The third year is your professional year, where you will take ownership of your individual artistic practice through the completion of the following modules:
You will begin the year by creating an ensemble performance under the direction of a visiting professional director or theatre company.
This unit gives you the experience of creating and performing work for a non-British audience.
Negotiated Research Project:
You will utilise all of your academic skills and critical thinking in the development of either a written or performed dissertation.
Professional Performance Skills:
This unit completes the skill-set for the contemporary performance maker through the exploration of street theatre, physical theatre, and aerial arts, as well as developing a professional portfolio.
This unit will give you the opportunity to select a discipline most suited to your development as a professional practitioner from the professional specialism of your lecturers, including options such as live art, intermedial performance, and bouffant comedy.
Your degree culminates in the management, presentation, and performance of our annual mini-festival ‘unTaPped’. You will oversee all of the first and second years’ performance work as well as having the opportunity to create your own final pieces for an audience of industry professionals.
Upon completion of you BA (Hons) degree in Theatre and Performance you will have the skillset and ability to form a professional theatre company or create work as a solo artist. Alternatively, the course can lead to employment in the industry, particularly in theatre administration, organisation, and programming. Training in Theatre and Performance is also ideal for you if you are interested in teaching drama or theatre as it introduces you to a wide range of performance styles and techniques. Graduates of Theatre and Performance are equipped with a set of unique skills, which make them extremely attractive to many industries and professional platforms.
Jake Bowen (2013)
Since graduating from Theatre and Performance Jake has been involved in a number of creative ventures which have given him the opportunity to continue his passion as a theatre and performance maker. He has a wide-ranging portfolio of professional work that includes solo projects as well as collaborations with well-established practitioners. In 2015 Jake workshopped with Willem Dafoe and Fred Mursec for Speaking the Soul, developing autobiographical performance for a series at Museum of Modern Art (MoMA), New York. In 2016 he began working with the amazing Bryony Kimmings on The Boys Project, a long term art and activism project exploring media stereotypes and the political marginalisation of the young. Jake performed at Manchester International Festival in 2013 with DO IT and again in 2015 with Scum and, after directing several music videos with Unity Productions, he is now currently developing his own show, Plea Bargain and Vent, a series of workshops that creatively explore issues surrounding depression.
Jordan Barber (2011)
Whilst on the programme Jordan benefitted from an advanced toolkit of skills which gave him the experience of theatre-making and led to professional employment in the industry. In 2011 he became Performing Arts Manager for Parklife Festival in Manchester and used this as a platform to develop his own work. He has performed on the London South Bank, in Stockholm, Sweden, and has worked alongside Bab Israel, the ex-Artistic Director of Contact, Manchester. Jordan is now Director of MF Agency, his own bespoke entertainment agency where he supports, curates, and books acts for events across the United Kingdom and Europe. This year he has been involved in Kendal Calling, Unknown Croatia, as well as brand activation for Virgin Trains.
‘The course gave me the confidence to explore old interests differently and new interests without fear’ (Claire Andrew – Graduate 2011).
‘I can’t express in words how much The Arden has done for me, not only in my academic capabilities, but my personal confidence and artistic limits’ (Jessica Owen – Graduate 2013).
‘Do this course and make your own work. You are in charge of what happens on stage. I only discovered how creative I could be whilst at The Arden’ (Sharon Klizscz – Graduate 2014).