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BA Performance in British Sign Language and English

Introduction

The BA Performance undergraduate degree teaches students to be both actors and makers of work, exploring the most innovative ways of creating performance through British Sign Language and English. During your three years here you will benefit from the distinctive environment of RCS and study a rich blend of performance modules.

This course is designed around the learning and teaching needs of deaf performers and is the only course of its kind in Europe. The programme has been developed in association with Solar Bear Theatre Company with input from a range of theatre, education and deaf professionals. We aim to enrich the talent pool within the UK, whilst making training available to deaf artists.

The working languages of the programme are British Sign Language (BSL) and spoken English. You will have fully-qualified BSL interpreters in class, on stage and in rehearsal.

The small class size ensures you will have the opportunity to work closely with our teaching staff and visiting professionals. You will also benefit from our many collaborative and professional partnerships including Solar Bear, National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Opera. You will develop skills in acting, movement, dance, signing on stage, improvisation and puppetry as well as explore highly visual and physical performance styles. We will teach you the skills you need to prepare you for a career in film, television, theatre and more.

We are looking for students who are enthusiastic, dedicated and who display potential and commitment to a career in the performance industry.

 

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Introduction

The BA Performance undergraduate degree teaches students to be both actors and makers of work, exploring the most innovative ways of creating performance through British Sign Language and English. During your three years here you will benefit from the distinctive environment of RCS and study a rich blend of performance modules.

This course is designed around the learning and teaching needs of deaf performers and is the only course of its kind in Europe. The programme has been developed in association with Solar Bear Theatre Company with input from a range of theatre, education and deaf professionals. We aim to enrich the talent pool within the UK, whilst making training available to deaf artists.

The working languages of the programme are British Sign Language (BSL) and spoken English. You will have fully-qualified BSL interpreters in class, on stage and in rehearsal.

The small class size ensures you will have the opportunity to work closely with our teaching staff and visiting professionals. You will also benefit from our many collaborative and professional partnerships including Solar Bear, National Theatre of Scotland and Scottish Opera. You will develop skills in acting, movement, dance, signing on stage, improvisation and puppetry as well as explore highly visual and physical performance styles. We will teach you the skills you need to prepare you for a career in film, television, theatre and more.

We are looking for students who are enthusiastic, dedicated and who display potential and commitment to a career in the performance industry.

 

In association with:

Print

Programme structure

The course will be delivered by deaf and hearing tutors and will be fully supported by a dedicated team of BSL/English interpreters.

Year one

This year is about laying the foundations in a wide variety of different areas. Learning will be class-based with opportunities at various points to show work to your peers.

As an actor, you will develop a foundation in the process and craft of acting. This work is supported and developed through the Register and Text module which aims to develop the practical skills involved in applying register to BSL in performance. You will take part in Script to Screen classes which will focus on acting for camera and movement classes which aim to develop an understanding of how the performer uses their body in an expressive and creative manner.

As a performance-maker, you will develop your skills in creating performances based on your own experiences and interests. You will create short original performances and work collaboratively and creatively, taking risks to explore the unique skills you have to offer the contemporary landscape. You will also take part in weekly visual theatre classes that explore a range of visual performance ideas from a deaf perspective including commedia dell’arte, bouffant, clowning and puppetry.

Year two

You will build on and develop the acting and performance-making skills you learned in first year. There will be a scripted performance in RCS followed by an intensive period of workshop delivery in schools and a performance of original devised work at the On the Verge festival. The weekly Movement, Visual Theatre and Register and Text classes continue to support and develop your practice as performers. In the Script to Screen module you will begin to look at script generation and how to pitch your ideas to the professional industry.

Year three

In your final year you will put these two strands of acting and performance-making together and use the skills garnered thus far to create innovative performances across our two working languages. The curriculum will include two public performances, one of which will be a touring co-production with an industry partner, a professional showcase and the creation of a short film. We also allow and encourage students to work professionally where invited to do so. You will continue to develop your professional practice, employability and entrepreneurial skills ensuring that, on graduation, you are well equipped to manage your career as a professional performer.

 

Staff and masterclasses

Teaching Staff

Claire Lamont – Head of BA Performance in British Sign Language and English

Mark Stevenson – Lecturer (Acting)

Ramesh Meyyappan – Lecturer (Visual Theatre)

Melanie Drake – Lecturer (Register and Text)

Rita McDade – Lecturer (Register and Text)

Tim Licata – Lecturer (Movement)

Why choose us?

 

  • The only degree of its kind in Europe
  • Jenny Sealey MBE is programme patron
  • Excellent staff-student ratio
  • Opportunities for artistic collaboration across RCS
  • Industry showcases
  • Unrivalled professional connections including Solar Bear, the BBC and the National Theatre of Scotland
  • Develop invaluable industry contacts via professional placement opportunities

How to apply

The first cohort of students on the BA Performance with BSL course began in September 2015. This degree course is due to run every three years and therefore our next intake of students for this programme will be in September 2018. We will be accepting applications for this course from summer 2017.

If you are interested in applying for the course to commence in 2018 and would like to find out more about it please contact admissions@rcs.ac.uk. We will be happy to speak to you about what the application procedure is like and take your details so we can contact you when applications open.

 

 

Direct entry to second year

Funded place available for deaf acting student to study in Scotland

We are looking for an exceptionally talented student to gain direct entry to second year of the BA Performance with British Sign Language and English degree programme at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. This opportunity is fully-funded for a Scottish or European student and offers the chance for you to gain a BA degree in an accelerated two years.

The BA Performance with BSL degree is the only undergraduate programme of its kind currently on offer in Europe. The first year of the programme started in September 2015 with a mix of Scottish, Northern Irish and European deaf students beginning their learning journey with RCS.

We have one place for a new student to join the programme directly into second year. We are looking for a candidate who has some professional performing experience and who is competent in BSL. This individual will be able to demonstrate outstanding talent and potential as a performer and performance maker.

Perhaps you are a professional performer seeking conservatoire training or you have little professional experience but can display exceptional talent and knowledge of the performance industry. Get in touch with us at admissions@rcs.ac.uk to find out more about this opportunity.

The deadline for applications for this funded place is 30 April 2016.

Entry requirements

There are no academic entry requirements. All applicants will be asked to state if their first language is BSL or English as part of the application form. This will be evaluated further by the audition/interview panel. Applicants will be sent tasks before their audition/interview, with at least 3 weeks to prepare.

 

Graduate destinations

The goal of BA Performance in BSL/English, is to prepare you to be a working professional. We expect the first graduates of the programme to work in theatre, television, film and education and most community contexts.

 

Facilities

Our Renfrew Street building is iconic in Glasgow city centre. Here you’ll find five professional performing arts venues, recording studios, a Student IT Suite, the Digital Training Unit, the Whittaker Library and a host of drama rehearsal rooms.

The Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks is a purpose-built facility where dance, drama and production students rehearse, create and perform. Following a £6.2 million extension in 2014, the Wallace Studios offer state-of-the-art teaching and rehearsing facilities fit for a 21st century conservatoire. First opened in 2014, the new rehearsal spaces at the Wallace Studios are large, ensemble drama rooms where students can complete fully-staged rehearsals before transferring to the main stage.

Performance students benefit from having access to rehearsal spaces across both RCS buildings.