The Department of Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of Birmingham is very pleased to announce a new MRes Directing programme, starting this Autumn. The course seeks to prepare students practically and intellectually for a career in theatre directing and is delivered in partnership with local and regional theatre companies, representing the thriving and diverse theatre scene in and around the West Midlands.
We also have BURSARIES AVAILABLE. Please seehttp://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/funding/College-of-Arts-and-Law-Masters-Scholarships.aspx
This one year programme (Sept-Sept) comprises three taught modules and a final portfolio:
Dramatic Structure – shared with our long standing MRes Playwriting course (Autumn term)
Directors Workshop (Autumn term)
and Professional Preparation (Spring term) – which involves a substantial placement with one of our theatre industry partners (including the Birmingham REP, New Vic Theatre, Stans Cafe, Talking Birds, Theatre Absolute and the BE Festival)
At the end of the course, students direct their own projects in our theatre, the George Cadbury Hall, supported by our excellent team of production and academic staff with diverse interests and longstanding involvement in professional theatre. A linked thesis is also produced.
For an outline of the programme and details of how to apply, please see http://www.birmingham.ac.uk/postgraduate/courses/combined/drama/directing.aspx
We welcome enquiries and queries form prospective applicants: please contact Adam Ledger – firstname.lastname@example.org
In yesterday’s workshop we started doing a piece of work that came to reminded me of Tango, an Oscar winning short by Polish animator Zbigniew Rybczynski. Unfortunately yesterday I couldn’t recall it was called Tango, or that it was by Rybczynski, or he was Polish or that it won an Oscar. I did however remember that it was ripped off by / inspired an advertisement for a washing machine. This eventually delivered the search engine code words and here it is (above). The workshop participants seemed to like it a lot – who wouldn’t, it’s wonderful. One of the things I love about it is that for a time it appears to obey enough of the laws of space and time to allow you to imagine recreating it live then, beyond a certain point, it breaks those rules and becomes something that could clearly never be performed live. The exciting this is that I have never managed to define where that point is. Maybe you should watch it and see what you think. It is also worth reading this tragi-comic story of Rybczynski’s Oscar night; true or not it is a good story. The larger story ends happily as he went on to make loads of music videos, including this one for The Art of Noise and used that as a springboard to bigger things.
In our first four weeks of rehearsal we have roughly got to grips with what we imagine to be half the show but only a third of the book. My challenge before we reconvene is to prepare a draft script condensing the remaining two thirds of book into half a show.
I am determined that this project should not too rigorously test my theory that shows are never ‘too long’ only ‘not good enough’ (basic Philosophy of Aesthetics – duration is not an aesthetic quality). The challenge is substantial but a week in Tokyo running a five day workshop should provide enough long haul flight time and jet-lagged insomnia for my to make significant inroads.
Today the game teachers of Billesley Primary School submitted themselves to one of our City Adventure training days. We were out on our mettle as, rather than planning orienteering activities around the City Centre we were out by the school. Pupils had colluded with us, tipping Craig off about local sites of interest and with Graeme’s help the plans were laid and the ridiculous layering of envelopes within envelopes choreographed. Anatomy of Melancholy rehearsals were cancelled for the day and we ventured out, into the fog to see who we could find.
It was cold but no rain fell, which was a blessing and as usual some teams zoomed through the tasks as if the day were an obstacle race and others savored the day and trailed back after the final task had packed up, but in between everything ran smoothly.
On this occasion it was my turn to write the summarizing poem that attempts to tell the story of the day whilst including elements of writing generated by the participants in the morning. I had forgotten how much fun they are to do. Here is today’s – it currently has no title. The rhythms are tricky, it needs to be read slowly and aloud.
It’s Thursday, when they close the schools and vote for the police.
It’s Thursday, when fog’s the colour of Land Rover mist
and landscape’s turned geometry.
It’s Ourday, when they close the schools and everyone must choose,
exposure / sensation,
And in the charity shops they murmur:
“gorgeous! Absolutely gorgeous”.
It’s Thisday when in Churches miracles are re-enacted,
And blindfold pedestrians play faith games,
They’ve remade tennis,
Now Butchery’s a spectator sport
And trains run their nostalgia timetable.
It’s Mumbleday when
Bushes the colour of telephone dreams
Conceal plastic war relics from dog walker prose
And the blind sentinels decipher:
Chatter from squeak, wingflap from quack,
Van from lorry, bus from crow,
And it’s all written down,
The wind picks up and the rubbish rises in a concert hall clatter suspended.
And the mute florist waits to confess,
Leaves fall from trees to make art on the grass.
Surrounded by knowledge
A desultory librarian hoards cava, booze on the shelves
And from the chapel doors float paper carnations.
It’s Twosday when,
In the cafes, the builders and the bankers gather,
With the crack addicts and the wanna-be showgirls,
The stinking golfer and the Sir Oliver,
A gangster places his order
heart of flasher mac black.
It’s code, it’s all code for tomorrow.
It’s Today, when all of this happened
And the world was wonderful and strange, as it sometimes always is.
If anyone knows anyone in Tokyo who fancies attending a week long devising workshop with a ‘respected’ British theatre director send them here. I am intrigued as to who / if anyone, will sign up, but I’ve got some good stuff planned if they do.
caravan is a three-day showcase of site specific, interactive and incidental performance presented as part of Brighton Festival. The curated programme features England’s most exciting artists from established international names to the brightest new talent.
To compliment the three-day showcase in Brighton, caravan runs a series of training symposiums and mentoring sessions. These one day events are open to all England based theatre companies and include seminars, break-out groups and one-to-one sessions on specific aspects of international touring, residencies and funding. The days include contributions from British Council, Arts Council England, ITC, PANDA and Theatre Bristol.
Tuesday 17 January 2012
10.00 – 17.30
Friday 20 January 2012
10.00 – 17.30
Bristol Old Vic
Friday 27 January 2012
10.00 – 17.30
Attendance is on a first come first served basis, please note that up to two representatives per company may attend.
For further information please contact Harriet Anscombe. email@example.com / 01252 745447
caravan is delivered by Farnham Maltings in association with Brighton Festival with the ambition of increasing the national and international profile of England’s artists.