Student Documentary: Drama and Theatre BA

I’m Stuart George Scott, I am 19 years old
and I do the Drama and Theatre studies single honours. Hi everyone, my name is Sophie Lovelace, I am 19 and I moved in yesterday. When I first arrived, it seemed at first that it was huge. It looked very campus-ey to start off with. You could see that you had people walking around and moving in. and all of those second year, third years with their tops and what not and helping. I was lost when I first arrived but then there was people helping you, loads of people, everybody was dressed up and so friendly and welcoming. I had a great first impression. Extremely useful information. They told us a little bit about some of the essays and assessments that we were going to be doing throughout the year. What they were expecting of us, how to use Moodle and some of the other University things that you wouldn’t have actually used if you weren’t at University. Lot of information on how to actually pursue my course and who to talk to if I had any problems Really, they are very supportive. Hi my name’s Dr Rosie Klich, I am the Head of Drama and Theatre at the University of Kent. For Single Honours students this year we have 4 compulsory modules We have Modern Theatre and Empty Space which take place across the year so through autumn and into spring term. And then in the autumn term we also have Texts for Theatre and in the spring term we have Stagecraft. So it’s week 4 and I’ve just come from my Empty Space module. First week we has space and second week body and voice. We learned how to work with each other, to listen to each other which is much more complicated than it sounds like. We seem to do some sort of warm up followed by the main exercises that have been influenced by the other modules as well. But inherently we’re learning more physical stuff than we are sitting down and learning from a book. It is my favourite module, it is a lot of fun. The Modern Theatre module is learning about different approaches to theatre in itself. You do centre around a lot of the development of theatre and are talking about the economical, social and cultural significance of modern theatre And then you talk about the practitioners that have helped develop that. Which is really really interesting. You have a lecture and then a screening about the subject you studied in the lecture which puts what you learn into practice. You get seminar preparation during your lecture and then you actually go into your seminars with that information and put it to good use. In Texts for Theatre you look at a play not as literature or text but how it is constructed. One week we could be doing a presentation, next week it’s just an in-house discussion and it generally varies from week to week Recently we were talking about commedia dell’arte but
specifically some of the masks that you might actually use. We’ve even got a really excentric lecturer who helps us understand. A lot of readings, don’t underestimate the readings, trust me. The library at the moment, well first off its massive like your subject specifically will be on one floor but if you really really need to study there are some of these, they look like desks You can’t see anyone else except your work and if you really need to buckle down and you’ve got an essay due in two hours Don’t leave an essay due in two hours though, definitely don’t do that. So now we are in week 9, just handed in my first essay which was about Meyerhold and I loved the fact that we could have another point of view from the version of theatre. So for my essay, this was my first essay, I got it back, she was saying this is how you get a better mark and she told me where I was going wrong Strengths, what you did well, your research and understanding followed by your argument analysis and structure. I had a one-to-one with one of my seminar leaders, some very in-depth advice We’re now in week 12, this is the Empty Space module, I have just performed in here, I’ve just finished and essentially it was a 5-10 minute piece showcasing everything we’ve done throughout this term I did get anxious before I started but luckily over the first three months we had some time to get to know everyone in the class and we all pretty cohesive now. I just did my practical assessment It was really nice with senses, with visual effects and everything. It was really fun to do. Now we just need to wait for the feedback and the marks really. How would I sum up my first term? Challenging of course As a university student now this is different from 6th form, completely different Incredibly fun, I would pretty much recommend it to anyone. I’ve been quite homesick, I’m looking forward to seeing my family, my grandma and cooking. Very fulfilling I would say because I learned a lot of things about myself. I’m going home, I’m meeting my dog But I know that I will miss terribly Kent and that I will be dying to come back really. So Stagecraft looks at the materiality of theatre. It looks at the different elements and tools of making theatre and how they work together in terms of the big picture but also has students developing skills in one particular area as well. We’re in week 17 now and Stagecraft is essentially You choose a specialism and the specialism I have taken is scenic arts which is essentially set design. Things like creating props and stuff There are other things as well, there’s sound, lighting, stage management and costume as well. For scenic arts we were taught different tools and notions of set building that you have to learn. My teacher was someone who has been in the industry for about 25 years So I have learned from someone who has a lot of experience in that field . You are given the task of working with some fourth years for their actual final productions. We were implicated in all the production meetings and we had to build a set from scratch from the vision or ideas or whatever the director gives you. Then afterwards you do a self-reflective analysis of your work in the performance. Modern Theatre has gotten more complex of course you’re building on what you’ve
already previously learned. We have people coming from the actual industry describing how you actually get
a job and how they actually go about, for instance, finding actors, actually directing. During the year you get the chance to make your own theatrical manifesto. Alongside learning about other people, you learn about what you believe in and
what you just agree with, disagree with We finished off with the Empty Space performance which is like an assessment on week 27 There was a lot of work involved into getting it all done. We had to do our own sound and lighting and mise en scene. It was really engaging and really really fun to do Academically I think I’ve become a lot
more intellectual. I have made incredible friends not just in my degree but my roommates and people like that. How are the lecturers and seminar leaders? Essentially they are your saints. To put it simply, they are there for everything you will ever need throughout your time at university. In a way they challenge you because they expect some work from you.

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