BA Physical Theatre
UCAS code: W494 BA/PTh
About BA Physical Theatre
This course has been introduced in response to the steady resurgence, throughout the twentieth-century, in the expansion of international theatre which has become more physical, expressionistic and focussed on re-defining theatrical traditions and text-based performances.
BA Physical Theatre provides students with the opportunities to acquire a wide skills base in acrobatics, mask, puppetry, clowning, aerial work and mixed media, in addition to traditional acting skills. Students also develop an understanding of the anatomy and physiology of voice and movement, and are introduced to the process of physical and vocal preparations, and warm-up exercises
BA Physical Theatre would be particularly suited to those who are interested in movement and using their bodies, who have the potential to use these skills in a creative context throughout the performing arts and cultural industries. Applicants must be able to face the rigours of a degree which will include strenuous physical effort.
Mime is explored through the work of modern practitioners such as Jacques Copeau, Etienne DeCroux and Jacques Lecoq. Further modules introduce students to appropriate techniques for creating narrative through play and improvisation, and foundations are formed for exploration of regular training. Students explore processes for devising stories through physical and vocal techniques.
Further articulation of specific skills becomes one of the focuses in the second year with studies in Meyerhold’s Biomechanics, masked play of Commedia dell’Arte, circus and acrobatics. Students are required to apply these skills in a dramatic context in collaboration with each other and guest directors.
In addition to the continuation of acting skill development, the third year explores Acting for the camera, including the altered perspectives of the camera, the manipulation of the image through the creative process of making video, and the creative application of video to live performance. A variety of applications for recorded performances within live theatre will be considered and students will develop their own proposal, script and basic storyboard.
Students will also be introduced to self-management as an artist and as a member of a small company. In addition, issues relating to preparation of a CV, establishing and maintaining contacts, and creating and managing companies are addressed.
After East 15
BA Physical Theatre draws its inspiration from popular forms and culture (circus, street theatre and Commedia dell’Arte), dance and mixed media, as well as practitioners such as Grotowski, Meyerhold and Lecoq. It equips students with the necessary skills and vision to work as creators and performers in this exciting new genre. Many of the newest and boldest theatre companies today, such as Cirque de Soleil, Complicite and DV8, constantly seek performers who have such advanced, specialist physical skills.