Students preparing for their graduation ceremony at Canterbury Cathedral

Creative Producing - MA

2018

This degree is heavily embedded into the Theatre making industry and is useful for those wanting to develop careers as producers, directors, venue managers, writers, agents, company and production management, marketing, event management, casting agents, among many others. 

2018

Overview

The programme is based in Theatre, but is also relevant in many other areas such as Film and TV, as well as general business and commerce. The content is focused on the professional skills of the producer, giving a broad but in depth understanding of the commercial, creative and contemporary issues needed to succeed in the business we call Showbusiness.

This MA in Creative Producing is the first programme ever offered in Theatre producing in a UK university. Created in 2002 as Producing, Promoting & Managing Theatre it then changed into the shorter present title in 2006. It has built strong links and recognition within the industry and many companies actively seek to work with our students and graduates.

As a participant you will experience an intense taught period over the first term where you will learn the business and personal skills needed to develop, negotiate and create business and artistic plans, through a mix of workshops, seminars and lectures. You are stimulated to develop further your own individual creative approaches to Theatre, exploring ideas and critical awareness. We do this through looking at the current state of play within the world of Theatre; we invite key people to give talks and workshops, starting you on the road to building effective future networks. This is assessed through a mix of presentations, written case studies, and group research projects.

In term 2 you then work more independently on the application of your skills   you can choose to have a work placement or in depth company analysis, this is assessed by regular blogs and a reflective or analytical written report. You then develop your own creative idea as a business plan, assessed through a full written submission and a presentation pitch to a panel of experts. Instead of the Business Plan you can choose an optional module from the School of Arts that you can demonstrate will support the focus of your studies and dissertation. Over the summer you will then work on your agreed dissertation.

About the Department of Drama and Theatre

Postgraduate Drama and Theatre studies at Kent has a very strong reputation for research and supervision in contemporary theatre and performance. We are the home of two renowned international research centres, the European Theatre Research Network (ETRN) and the Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance (CKP).

The wide-ranging interests of our international team of leading and emerging researchers (from the UK, Australia, Italy, Greece, Germany, France and other countries) include research strengths in contemporary performance, applied theatre, Shakespeare, 18th-century theatre, multimedia performance, popular performance, directing and dramaturgy, and physical performer training.

Our distinctive focus at Kent is on theatre as practice, whatever the topic, area, mode and methodology of research, and we encourage postgraduate students to make use of our close links and contacts with local, national and international (especially European) theatre companies, venues, schools and artists, both for research and to encourage professional postgraduate development.

National ratings

In the Research Excellence Framework (REF) 2014, Arts at Kent was ranked 1st for research power and in the top 20 in the UK for research quality.

An impressive 98% of our research was judged to be of international quality. The School’s environment was judged to be conducive to supporting the development of world-leading research.

Course structure

The programme consists of four modules and a dissertation project.

Modules

The following modules are indicative of those offered on this programme. This list is based on the current curriculum and may change year to year in response to new curriculum developments and innovation.  Most programmes will require you to study a combination of compulsory and optional modules. You may also have the option to take modules from other programmes so that you may customise your programme and explore other subject areas that interest you.

Modules may include Credits

The creation of theatre is often seen from the perspective of the end product. However, to have an effect, Theatre needs to be attractive and robust enough to stand up to all the other offerings available in the “leisure pound” market. It requires a portfolio of components to be effective, such as: effective and stimulating content, an interesting interpretation, competent and suitable cast, evocative design, a suitable venue, pragmatic logistics to get the set, equipment, and cast into the venue and to and from it, an effective business plan and cashflow to enable it all to happen, and most importantly, an audience to play to. It is these components that make or break a professional Theatre company. This module will look at the initial aspects needed to make theatre happen and give form to the creativity.

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Making artistic and logistic ends meet is the key skill to create successful theatre. All too often, performances are mere spectacular commodities, while other projects of artistic merit fail to survive in today’s leisure pound market. This M-Level module will look at basic aspects needed to make theatrical events of professional artistic quality happen successfully, such as a stimulating and interesting content, a competent and suitable artistic team, evocative design, a suitable venue, pragmatic logistics, an effective business plan, and, most importantly, an audience to play to.

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As part of the Creative Producing taught Masters-programmes in Theatre Studies, this module introduces and expands students’ knowledge and familiarity with the preparation, research and understanding of general approaches, fields, and methodologies of academic research at postgraduate level, including techniques of bibliography and documentation, and with current subject-specific discourses in the field; these may include current aspects such as theatre historiography, performance studies, theatricality, liveness, mise-en-scène and postdramatic theatre. They will gain skills in writing and describing projects in a cohesive and persuasive manner. Students can also be thoroughly introduced and integrated within the departmental networks and research groups, encountering and discussing ongoing research projects by departmental staff and fellow postgraduate students, as well as following and debating current work and thinking.

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Throughout their studies on a taught Masters-course, students will develop and pursue an in-depth research into a specific topic, thus their potential as appropriate for a postgraduate degree. Students will start shaping and preparing their research early in the year, supported by mandatory seminars in academic writing, research skills and resources, and practice as research (PaR). Students will meet with their Programme Convenor and the Director of Taught MA Programmes in the Autumn term before deciding late in the Autumn Term whether they will pursue Options 1 or 2 as detailed below. Students will present either their practice-based research or an academic conference paper in Summer Term at a Postgraduate Conference organised by the Department, and they will submit their final dissertation by 1st September.

While building on research undertaken previously on their course, and the opportunity to extend any further aspects previously discussed, the topics and submission cannot duplicate material previously submitted for examination as part of the MA-programme.

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Teaching and Assessment

Assessment is through a variety of written work and verbal presentations. This includes academic essays, in-class presentations, contributions to workshops etc.

The final dissertation requires you to research an individual project in depth, and to present its findings in writing and in a conference-style presentation. 

Careers

Our graduates now work as producers in the West End and Broadway, they have opened new theatres in Cape Town, become performer’s agents in New York and Los Angeles, run theatres across the UK, they work as casting agents, theatre managers, umbrella organization administration, large scale opera company managers, theatre marketing, TV and Film development among many other specialisms. Visit a West End producer and it is likely they have working for them, or know of, someone who has graduated from this programme.

Study support

Postgraduate resources

The School of Arts’ award-winning Jarman Building offers professional standard drama facilities, along with social spaces and a dedicated centre for postgraduate students.

Additional facilities across the Canterbury campus include two theatres: the 113-seat Aphra Theatre (a courtyard-type gallery theatre space); and the Lumley Theatre, which is a flexible and adaptable white room space. Drama students also benefit from an additional rehearsal studio, a sound studio, a theatre design suite and an extensively equipped construction workshop.

The University’s Templeman Library is well resourced in our subject area and houses special collections of 19th-century manuscripts – playbills, programmes, prints and other theatre ephemera – theatrical biography and the history of the stage in the 19th and 20th centuries. It also has particular strengths as a research resource in English Renaissance drama, Russian and French theatre, and British theatre since 1900. We also house the Jacques Copeau Archive and the British Grotowski collection.

Conferences and seminars

We have strong links with organisations such as the International Federation for Theatre Research (IFTR) and the Theatre and Performance Research Association (TaPRA), and encourage postgraduates to present work within national and international conferences. Also, we run regular research seminars, workshops, and performance-related events led by members of staff, students, and invited experts and practitioners.

Dynamic publishing culture

Staff publish regularly and widely in journals, conference proceedings and books. Among others, they have recently contributed to: New Theatre Quarterly; Contemporary Theatre Review; TDR: The Drama Review; Performance Research; Shakespeare Survey.

Global Skills Award

All students registered for a taught Master's programme are eligible to apply for a place on our Global Skills Award Programme. The programme is designed to broaden your understanding of global issues and current affairs as well as to develop personal skills which will enhance your employability.  

Entry requirements

An upper second-class honours degree or better, usually in a relevant humanities subject. In certain circumstances, the School will consider candidates who have not followed a conventional education path or who may have relevant experience in the industry. These cases are assessed individually by the Director of Graduate Studies.

Your application should include a sample of your academic writing. Ideally this will be an essay, on a similar or related topic, that you have recently written as part of your undergraduate degree programme. Please upload this to your application portal.

All applicants are considered on an individual basis and additional qualifications, and professional qualifications and experience will also be taken into account when considering applications. 

International students

Please see our International Student website for entry requirements by country and other relevant information for your country. 

English language entry requirements

The University requires all non-native speakers of English to reach a minimum standard of proficiency in written and spoken English before beginning a postgraduate degree. Certain subjects require a higher level.

For detailed information see our English language requirements web pages. 

Need help with English?

Please note that if you are required to meet an English language condition, we offer a number of pre-sessional courses in English for Academic Purposes through Kent International Pathways.

Research areas

European Theatre

At Kent, the UK’s European university, we have set up the European Theatre Research Network to facilitate and foster the exchange of theatre traditions, contemporary practices and academic discussion on the near European continent and also in the new European states. We invite postgraduate research students to contribute to and play a part in this expanding network. For further information, please see www.europeantheatre.org.uk

Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance

The Centre for Cognition, Kinesthetics and Performance brings together Drama staff and staff in Engineering and Digital Arts; Psychology; Anthropology; and the Tizard Centre to explore the possibilities of interdisciplinary dialogue and collaboration between researchers and practitioners in the fields of cognitive neuroscience, interactive performance, digital media, disability studies, and applied performance. For further information, please see www.kent.ac.uk/ckp

Popular and Comic Performance

The Popular and Comic Performance research centre brings together academics from a range of disciplines (e.g. Drama, Film, Social Anthropology, Philosophy). Their research investigates a real variety of related areas including: stand-up comedy; music hall and variety; 18th century popular theatre; melodrama; Greek Old and Middle comedy; community performance work; puppetry; TV and film production; and punk performance.

 

Other Research Centres within the School:

Centre for Film and Media Research

The Centre draws together scholars from across the University who use film and the moving image as an integral part of their research. We are open to ideas that extend the reach of the Centre and seek to support projects that promote collaboration between individuals and other research centres. Our aim is to produce a more proactive engagement with other disciplines, to open new lines of communication and to produce innovative knowledge formations through the activity of pioneering research projects.

Aesthetics Research Centre

The Aesthetics Research Centre coordinates, enables and promotes research in philosophy of art and aesthetics at the University of Kent.

Art History and Visual Cultures

This Research Centre promotes and co-ordinates research amongst the growing community of staff and PG students active at Kent in the field of Art History. 

Staff research interests

Full details of staff research interests can be found on the School's website.

Professor Paul Allain: Dean of the Graduate School - Professor of Theatre and Performance

Movement and physical performance approaches to actor training, especially the Suzuki Method; contemporary East European and Polish theatre, Grotowski and the Gardzienice Theatre Association; intercultural theory and practice and performance anthropology.

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Professor Peter M Boenisch: Professor of European Theatre

Theatre directing; dramaturgy; dance theatre; theatre aesthetics; political theory and critical thought; theatre and philosophy.

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Dr Helen Brooks: Senior Lecturer

Researching the theatre of, and about, the First World War. Restoration and long 18th-century theatre and performance, with a special emphasis on women’s theatre of the period

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Dr Oliver Double: Reader

Stand-up comedy; punk performance; variety theatre; Karl Valentin.

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Dr Rosemary Klich: Lecturer

Multimedia theatre; new media performance; contemporary live art and performance; history of performance art; the 20th-century avant-garde; theatre reviewing. 

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Dr Margherita Laera: Lecturer

Contemporary theatre in Europe; adaptation and translation for the stage; ‘classical’ Greek tragedy and its modern appropriations; intercultural and transnational performance.

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Dr Shaun May: Lecturer

Intersection of theatre and philosophy; comedy; popular performance; puppetry and object theatre; cognitive approaches to understanding performance; site-specific performance.

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Professor Patrice Pavis: Professor of Drama

European theatre; mise-en-scène; theories of acting; contemporary performance and playwriting. 

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Dr Duska Radosavljevic: Lecturer

Dramaturgy, theatre translation and adaptation, the ‘ensemble way of working’, and contemporary theatre practices in the UK and in Europe.

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Professor Nicola Shaughnessy: Professor

Contemporary performance, live and participatory art, cognition, creativity, auto/biography, autism, gender, neurodiversity, well-being.

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Professor Robert Shaughnessy: Professor of Theatre

Shakespeare and early modern drama in performance; post-war and contemporary British and Irish drama; theatre and national cultures.

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Dr Melissa Trimingham: Senior Lecturer

The modernist period, Bauhaus and Oskar Schlemmer; puppet and object theatre; communication on the autistic spectrum using puppetry; the relationship between robotics and puppetry.

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Dr Angeliki Varakis-Martin: Lecturer

Greek theatre; commedia dell’arte; masks and theatre.

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Dr Freya Vass-Rhee: Lecturer

Cognitive dance and theatre studies; visuo-sonority of dance; dramaturgy; performativity; arts/sciences interdisciplinarity; psychology of the arts; critical dance and performance studies; dance history; world dance cultures.

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Dr Roanna Mitchell: Lecturer

Research focuses on the way in which body image discourse operates in the field of contemporary performance. This encompasses training contexts, industry practice, and the engagement of audiences with body image as dramaturgical currency.

Strands of inquiry include: Politics of the body in the interface between art, business and self; Body activism and its impact on contemporary performance practice; Body shame and the healing potential of psychophysical performance practices; Bodies beyond the visual: Dialogue between memory, imagination and movement in devising processes working from the senses of taste, smell and touch; In search of the holistic: application of Michael Chekhov training in the 21st century in theatre and beyond; Cognition and the embodied language of performance

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Dr Clare Finburgh: Senior Lecturer

Modern and contemporary theatre and performance, French and Francophone theatre, modern British theatre, representations of war and conflict, theatre and human rights, Jean Genet and theatre translation.

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Fees

The 2018/19 annual tuition fees for this programme are:

Creative Producing - MA at Canterbury:
UK/EU Overseas
Full-time £7300 £15200

For students continuing on this programme fees will increase year on year by no more than RPI + 3% in each academic year of study except where regulated.* If you are uncertain about your fee status please contact information@kent.ac.uk

General additional costs

Find out more about accommodation and living costs, plus general additional costs that you may pay when studying at Kent.

Funding

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