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MA Classical and Contemporary Text (Acting) or (Directing)

Introduction

The Classical and Contemporary Text programme from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is an intensive year-long course. It is for actors and directors with some experience who want to take their skills to the next level and who want to become more reflective, aspirational practitioners.

There are two strands to the Classical and Contemporary Text Masters – acting or directing – with students working together as an ensemble throughout the year. You will focus on two strands of theatre: classical (Shakespeare and Renaissance) and contemporary (new writing). There will be numerous opportunities to learn, experiment, and collaborate in projects, performances, and rehearsals.

As part of your studies, you will complete a one-month residency at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, developing your knowledge and skills of working with classical text.

You will spend time working on new plays with some of Scotland’s most talented writers in our collaboration with Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland. These new plays are performed in Glasgow to a public and professional audience.

You’ll end your studies here with industry showcases in Glasgow and London. Through this programme, you will benefit from professional connections allowing you to develop invaluable industry contacts. When you graduate, you will have gained practical, high-level experience of working in the profession, as well as all-important contacts and the skills to underpin your future career, including business, entrepreneurship and industry etiquette.

Introduction

The Classical and Contemporary Text programme from the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is an intensive year-long course. It is for actors and directors with some experience who want to take their skills to the next level and who want to become more reflective, aspirational practitioners.

There are two strands to the Classical and Contemporary Text Masters – acting or directing – with students working together as an ensemble throughout the year. You will focus on two strands of theatre: classical (Shakespeare and Renaissance) and contemporary (new writing). There will be numerous opportunities to learn, experiment, and collaborate in projects, performances, and rehearsals.

As part of your studies, you will complete a one-month residency at Shakespeare’s Globe in London, developing your knowledge and skills of working with classical text.

You will spend time working on new plays with some of Scotland’s most talented writers in our collaboration with Playwrights’ Studio, Scotland. These new plays are performed in Glasgow to a public and professional audience.

You’ll end your studies here with industry showcases in Glasgow and London. Through this programme, you will benefit from professional connections allowing you to develop invaluable industry contacts. When you graduate, you will have gained practical, high-level experience of working in the profession, as well as all-important contacts and the skills to underpin your future career, including business, entrepreneurship and industry etiquette.

Programme Outline

This programme offers two strands to the Classical and Contemporary Text Masters – acting or directing – with students working together as an ensemble throughout the year.

Term one

You will start with exploring, creating and developing performance texts. If you’re a director, you will work with the actors, participating in practical classes to gain experience in methodologies of voice, movement and acting. You will learn about the processes of new writing and ensemble creation, as well as learning how to get the most out of working collaboratively with playwrights and professional practitioners. Both actors and directors will begin their journey into contemporary text, starting with exploring scenes from existing plays by commissioned playwrights. In the final month of this term, you will spend an intensive month at Shakespeare’s Globe Theatre, London, being taught by Globe Education faculty. This month culminates with a performance on the iconic Globe stage.

Term two

You will rehearse Shakespearean and/or Renaissance texts with professional directors. Directing students will work as assistants and acting students will explore the rehearsal process within the structure of a professional production, to which the industry is invited. There will be sessions on entrepreneurialism, small company start-up and networking, with professional practitioners being invited here to share their knowledge and experience. You will also complete your own practice-led research project, and have the opportunity to undertake a professional placement of your choice. Additionally, there will be the opportunity for North American students to participate in a New York showcase.

Term three

In the final term, the new plays, developed during the year, go into final rehearsal, and performance, led by the directing students. You will participate in workshops and discussions, as well as watch productions, at the Edinburgh International Festival and Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Your year with us will finish with industry showcases in Glasgow and London.

Staff and masterclasses

The programme is delivered in combination with Royal Conservatoire of Scotland staff and practicing theatre professionals, directors, and educators. This combination means you’ll be working with experienced staff members and making contacts with the national and international theatre community in a professional working environment.

Teaching Staff

Mark Saunders – Head of Classical and Contemporary Text

Marc Silberschatz – Programme Coordinator

Eve Jamieson – Lecturer in Acting and Directing

 

Visiting Staff and Practitioners

  • Michael Grandage
  • Ben HarrisonGrid Iron
  • Matthew LentonVanishing Point
  • Nadine GeorgeVoice Studio International
  • Anna-Helena Mclean – Moonfool
  • Candice Edmunds – VoxMotus
  • Dougie Irvine – Visible Fictions
  • Ewan Downie – Company of Wolves
  • Kate Sagovsky
  • John Kazek
  • Vanessa Coffey
  • Mark Thomson
  • Nick Bone – Magnetic North
  • Jemima Levick Dundee Rep
  • Gordon BarrBard in the Botanics
  • Adrian Osmond
  • Lu Kemp
  • Graham McClarenNational theatre of Scotland
  • Graham Eatough
  • Cora Bisset
  • Tim Licata – Plutot La Vie
  • Peter Collins
  • Liz Carruthers
  • Nicolas Lormeau – Comedie Francaise
  • Rick Kemp
  • Alexandra Silber
  • Rick Kemp
  • Debbie Hannan – Royal Court

Commissioned playwrights

  • Douglas Maxwell
  • Linda McLean
  • David Harrower
  • Nicola McCartney
  • Chris Hannan
  • Peter Arnott
  • Anne Marie di Mambro
  • Davey Anderson
  • Ian Finlay Macleod
  • Pamela Carter
  • Oliver Emmanuel
  • Rona Munro
  • Lewis Hetherington
  • David Ireland
  • Alan McKendrick
  • Mike Cullen
  • Jules Horne
  • Gary McNair
  • Steph Smith

How to apply

Applications for the MA Classical and Contemporary Text (Acting) or (Directing) programme should be made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. There is a UCAS application fee of £25 (which is in addition to the audition fee) which allows you up to six choices of programme of study. For more information on how to apply, please visit the Apply section.

Before applying we recommend that you read the Guide for Applicants which provides information regarding entry requirements, and the full application and audition process.

Begin your Applicant Journey here.

Student Showcase

Class of 2017

Annelise Bianchini

Ivy Charles

Charlie Clee

Lily Cooper

Kate Dylan

Rebecca Robin

Honey Durruthy

Jordan Edgington

Joseph Emms

Thea Glindorf

Leo Graham

Mathew Miles

Emma Beth Jones

Courtney Keir

Caitilin McCoy

Madison McLean

Verity Mullan Wilkinson

Danielle Nelson

Rose Oke Millett

Isabel Palmstierna

Veronika Smit

Megan Montgomery

Will Underwood

Ryan Wilson

David Wood

Shilpa T-Hyland

Richard Cerato

Why choose us?

The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland is third in the world for performing arts education.

  • Month-long residency at Shakespeare’s Globe, London
  • 96% of graduates are in employment or further study (HESA 2014/15)
  • Industry showcases in Glasgow, London and a New York showcase for North American students
  • Work on new plays with commissioned playwrights
  • Public performances of classical and contemporary plays
  • Small class sizes ensuring individual attention
  • Close links with professional partners including the National Theatre of Scotland, the Citizens Theatre and Bard in the Botanics Festival
  • Masterclasses and workshops with visiting artists
  • Opportunities to create and perform original, interdisciplinary, practice-led research

Entry requirements

  • Normally a good undergraduate degree, or its overseas equivalent, in a subject area relevant to the demands of the programme.

Entrance to the Conservatoire is based on talent, potential and ability, therefore consideration will be given to relevant experience which is deemed to compensate for any traditional education. We accept a wide range of qualification, including international qualifications. If you wish to check the suitability of your qualification/experience, please contact us ( admissions@rcs.ac.uk ).

English Language

The language of study is English. Applicants whose first language is not English will be required to provide evidence of proficiency in English. We accept the International English Language Testing System (IELTS).

Other equivalent English Language qualifications may be considered, please contact us (admissions@rcs.ac.uk ) for more information.

  • IELTS – 7.5 with a minimum score of 7.5 in speaking

Audition Requirements

Audition requirements can be found in the MA Drama Guide for Applicants on the following website

Fees and scholarships

Tuition fees for academic year 2017-18

  • UK/EU Students – £12,141
  • International (non-EU) – £18,648

Scottish/EU students

New Scottish and EU domiciled students may be eligible for a Postgraduate Tuition Fee Loan. All eligible students will be able to apply directly to Student Awards Agency for Scotland (SAAS) for a non-means tested loan of up to £3,400. See the following website for further details of the PSAS scheme:

http://www.saas.gov.uk/full_time/pg/index.htm

Scottish domiciled postgraduate students on eligible courses can also apply for a Postgraduate Living Cost Loan up to £4,500 towards living expenses. This is in addition to the existing loan available towards the cost of their tuition fees.

Scholarships

Any potential student who auditions for a place at the Royal Conservatoire will automatically be considered for a scholarship. They are awarded on a combination of talent, potential and financial need. More information about Scholarships is available here

Sources of external funding

For more information about alternative funding sources, including external scholarships and bursaries, please visit here.

The Conservatoire’s International and Student Experience team are available to advise and assist applicants and current students in respect of queries about funding your studies at the Conservatoire. Please email or telephone +44 (0)141 270 8281/ +44 (0)141 270 8223 for further information.

Graduate destinations

Throughout the year professional opportunities will arise with visiting professionals, and involvement in productions at Òran Mór and at the Bard in the Botanics festival, Glasgow. On The Verge is another exciting performance opportunity; a festival of new work in which students question and push the boundaries of the theatrical form.

Throughout the year, further professional opportunities may arise. You will be encouraged to find work placements that relate to your particular interests and aspirations. The list of companies that students have undertaken placements with is impressive: Steppenwolf (Chicago), Red-Handed Theatre (Canada), Circle in the Square (New York), The RSC (Stratford), The Factory (London), Shared Experience, BBC Scotland, Dundee Rep, the Citizens Theatre, the Royal Lyceum Theatre (Edinburgh), Gridiron, Communicado, Vox Motus, Frantic Assembly and the National Theatre of Scotland.

Our graduates work as performers, directors, dramaturgs, producers, writers, and teachers. Graduates have started theatre companies; written, directed, produced and performed shows across the world; and performed and directed stage, film and television productions. Some of our recent graduates include:

Vickie Beesley
Actor/director, Terra Incognita Theatre Company

 

Ayana Bey
Actress

Paul Brotherston
Director, Blood of the Young Theatre Company

Gwendolen Chatfield
Actor, the Globe

Amanda Gaughan
Director, NTS/Lyceum Theatre/ Dundee Rep

Stacy Gould
Actor and producer

Debbie Hannan
Assistant Director, the Royal Court

Lauren Hurwood
Actor, Northern Stage

Amy Ludwigsen
Director, Shakespeare in Door County

Riley Madincea
Film and theatre actor

Ishbel McPharlane
Actor and writer

Matte O’Brien
Director and playwright

Michael-Alan Reid and Angie Kay
Actors/directors, Cardboard Fox Theatre Company

 

This programme creates reflective creative practitioners. Our graduates leave with a sharper sense of potential and aspiration, and are able to adapt in the ever-changing dynamic of the profession.

Facilities

MACCT students have full access to the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s award-winning facilities, including the Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks and the practice rooms and performance spaces in the Renfrew Street Building. Including five professional performing arts venues, a student IT Suite and drama rehearsal rooms.

The Whittaker Library has one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of performance materials for dance, drama, music, production and screen. You will also have access to thousands of electronic resources, as well as extensive audio and film collections. There’s a dedicated silent study area, student IT labs and Wifi throughout the building to make sure you can get the most from your learning experience. We also have experienced subject specialists, a learning technologist, an IT trainer, support analysts and an archivist to ensure that whatever your learning style, you have all of the physical and virtual resources you need.

Images and videos

MACCT at the Globe

Students at The Globe Theatre, London

Behind the scenes during our intensive month-long residency at the Globe.

Hamlet

Much Ado About Nothing


New Works

An insight into new works written by professional playwrights for our MACCT programme.

1914 Machine

The Caddie

Paper Cuts

 

Auditions