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MA Musical Theatre (Performance), (Musical Directing) or (Choreography)

Introduction

Performance

  • The performance pathway is an intensive blend of high-level vocational education and creative opportunities for students who already have a related degree and/or performing experience.
  • As well as practical performance learning, we’ll equip you with skills, knowledge and contacts for your professional career. The programme is closely linked with the industry, and has been developed with professional input, ensuring you acquire the practical skills that employers are looking for. You will have a high degree of one-to-one contact time, including individual voice and singing tutorials with some of the finest singing teachers in the UK, as well as conservatoire level training in acting, dance and music.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on a new musical development and a public performance of a solo cabaret or devised performance. You will also spend a full season performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; including a fully produced main stage musical theatre production (previous productions include Jerry Springer the Opera, Spring Awakening, The Addams Family and Avenue Q) and the performance of a new work.

Musical Directing

  • The musical directing pathway is designed to support the development of skill base and the exploration of creative thought for the musician with a passion for theatre. Through specialised conservatoire training, specific attention will be paid to grounding your keyboard and conducting skills, to exploring scoring and arranging, keyboard programming and vocal technique, all with a view to building the depth of process needed in the varying environments relevant to musical theatre. As well as practical performance training, we’ll support you in the development of skills, knowledge, and contacts for your professional career as an imaginative and versatile artist.
  • You will collaborate with your peers on the BA and MA Musical Theatre (Performance) programmes, gaining valuable production and performance experience in a range of contexts and environments including Big Band, Cabaret, New Musical Development and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You will have a project mentor who will support and feedback on each project in consultation with your industry mentor who will also guide you through your Industry placement.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on the development of new work in conjunction with writers and a creative team. You will be Assistant Musical Director on some fully-produced BA Musical Theatre shows including a book musical, a contemporary musical and an actor-musician project. You will also have the opportunity to be Musical Director of a public concert series with the RCS Big Band and take on a variety of creative roles on a season of work produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

A full fee waiver applies for the Musical Directing pathway.

Choreography

  • Musical theatre choreography is an ever-evolving creative role within theatre and film. Industry practitioners have backgrounds in ballet, contemporary, jazz, physical theatre and other movement-based techniques.
  • This degree is the only one of its kind taught within a conservatoire environment and you’ll benefit from learning alongside students studying programmes across dance, drama, music, production and screen.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on skills-based modules to help you develop and refine your skills. You will study a full stylistic range to ensure you are a technical and versatile choreographer as well as take part in project work and an industry placement. You will work as part of a creative team to synthesise all technical, creative and professional skills through the rehearsal and production of musical theatre work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

 

Introduction

Performance

  • The performance pathway is an intensive blend of high-level vocational education and creative opportunities for students who already have a related degree and/or performing experience.
  • As well as practical performance learning, we’ll equip you with skills, knowledge and contacts for your professional career. The programme is closely linked with the industry, and has been developed with professional input, ensuring you acquire the practical skills that employers are looking for. You will have a high degree of one-to-one contact time, including individual voice and singing tutorials with some of the finest singing teachers in the UK, as well as conservatoire level training in acting, dance and music.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on a new musical development and a public performance of a solo cabaret or devised performance. You will also spend a full season performing at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; including a fully produced main stage musical theatre production (previous productions include Jerry Springer the Opera, Spring Awakening, The Addams Family and Avenue Q) and the performance of a new work.

Musical Directing

  • The musical directing pathway is designed to support the development of skill base and the exploration of creative thought for the musician with a passion for theatre. Through specialised conservatoire training, specific attention will be paid to grounding your keyboard and conducting skills, to exploring scoring and arranging, keyboard programming and vocal technique, all with a view to building the depth of process needed in the varying environments relevant to musical theatre. As well as practical performance training, we’ll support you in the development of skills, knowledge, and contacts for your professional career as an imaginative and versatile artist.
  • You will collaborate with your peers on the BA and MA Musical Theatre (Performance) programmes, gaining valuable production and performance experience in a range of contexts and environments including Big Band, Cabaret, New Musical Development and the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. You will have a project mentor who will support and feedback on each project in consultation with your industry mentor who will also guide you through your Industry placement.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on the development of new work in conjunction with writers and a creative team. You will be Assistant Musical Director on some fully-produced BA Musical Theatre shows including a book musical, a contemporary musical and an actor-musician project. You will also have the opportunity to be Musical Director of a public concert series with the RCS Big Band and take on a variety of creative roles on a season of work produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

A full fee waiver applies for the Musical Directing pathway.

Choreography

  • Musical theatre choreography is an ever-evolving creative role within theatre and film. Industry practitioners have backgrounds in ballet, contemporary, jazz, physical theatre and other movement-based techniques.
  • This degree is the only one of its kind taught within a conservatoire environment and you’ll benefit from learning alongside students studying programmes across dance, drama, music, production and screen.
  • During the MA Musical Theatre programme you will work on skills-based modules to help you develop and refine your skills. You will study a full stylistic range to ensure you are a technical and versatile choreographer as well as take part in project work and an industry placement. You will work as part of a creative team to synthesise all technical, creative and professional skills through the rehearsal and production of musical theatre work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe.

 

Programme Outline

Performance

  • New musical development
  • Skills classes in dance, voice, acting and performance
  • Intimate scene study
  • Fully produced performance of a public Big Band concert in conjunction with the RCS Big Band
  • Musical Theatre scene study and performance
  • Public performance of solo cabaret or devised performance
  • Full season of work produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; including a fully produced main stage musical theatre production (previous productions include Jerry Springer the Opera, Spring Awakening, Company and Avenue Q) and the performances of a brand new work (previous productions include the award-winning Wasted Love, Freak Show, Forest Boy and Rocket Science)

Musical Directing

  • Skills classes in keyboard skills, conducting and rehearsal techniques, scoring and arranging, keyboard programming and vocal technique
  • Students will be mentored through a series of projects
  • New musical development
  • Assistant Musical Director and mentorship through three fully produced BA Musical Theatre shows including a book musical, a contemporary musical and an actor-musician project
  • Fully produced public Big Band concert in conjunction with the RCS Big Band
  • Musical Theatre scene study and performance
  • Public performance of solo cabaret
  • Full season of work produced at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe; including a fully produced main stage musical theatre production and performances of a brand new work developed through the course of the year

Choreography

  • Skills-based modules to help you develop and refine your skills
  • Diversity of stylistic range to ensure you are a technical and versatile choreographer
  • Project work and industry-based placement
  • Supported by an industry mentor
  • Work as part of a creative team to synthesise all technical, creative and professional skills through the rehearsal and production of musical theatre work at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe

Staff and masterclasses

Teaching Staff

Andrew Panton – Artistic Director of Musical Theatre

Erin Carter – Lecturer Musical Theatre

David Higham – Lecturer Musical Theatre / Music

Michael Howell – Lecturer Musical Theatre

Eve Jamieson – Lecturer Musical Theatre / Acting

Singing staff

  • Gordon Adams
  • Susie Dumbreck
  • Scott Harrison
  • Michael Howell
  • Caroline Hurst
  • Marjory Watson

Dance staff

  • Lynne Bustard
  • Preston Clare
  • Freya Jeffs
  • Rowan Macgregor
  • Steinvor Palsson

Voice staff

Music staff

Visiting Staff, Professionals and Practitioners

  • Ken Alexander
  • Gordon Barr
  • John Barrowman
  • Simon Beck
  • James Brining
  • Andy Charles
  • Ali Craig
  • Joe Douglas
  • Barbara Dickson
  • David Grindrod
  • Dominic Hill
  • Philip Howard
  • Dougie Irvine
  • Jemima Levick
  • Matthew Malthouse
  • David Marsden
  • Pete Woollard

How to apply

Applications for the MA Musical Theatre (Performance) or (Musical Directing) or (Choreography) programme should be made through the UCAS Conservatoires website. There is a UCAS application fee of £24 (which is in addition to the audition fee) which allows you up to six choices of programme of study.

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

Student Showcase

Why choose us?

  • 96% of graduates are in employment or further study (HESA, 2014/15)
  • Industry showcases in Glasgow, London with a New York showcase for North American students
  • Excellent industry connections
  • Excellent staff-student ratio
  • Staff members are active, multi-disciplinary artists
  • Regular masterclasses and workshops with industry professionals including producers, directors, casting directors, agents and performers (recent visitors include John Barrowman, James Brining, David Grindrod, Jemima Levick, Barbara Dickson and Dominic Hill)
  • Past students have had opportunity to take on roles as musical directors and directors for external corporate work; assisted guest creatives on Edinburgh Fringe productions; presented their own song or composition material; and produced their own work at the Edinburgh Fringe

 

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

All of our training is geared towards preparing you for a sustainable and long lasting professional career. Graduates of the programme are working around the world; in London’s West End, on Broadway, on international tours, and for renowned companies including the National Theatre of Scotland.

Some recent graduates include:

Performers

Rebecca Faulkenberry
Rock of Ages, Spiderman and High School Musical (Broadway)

Scott Garnham
Les Misérables and I Can’t Sing (West End)

Aaron Lee Lambert
Sister Act, Shrek and Urinetown (West End)

Keisha Fraser
Colour Purple and Book of Mormon (West End)

John McLarnon
We Will Rock You and The Commitments (West End)

Robbie Towns
Legally Blonde and Transatlantic (West End)

Musical Directors

Alan Bukowiecki
Book of Mormon, Chicago and Hair (US national tour)

Amy Shackcloth
Wicked, Phantom of the Opera, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang (UK national tour)

Sarah De Tute
Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (UK national tour)

Claire McKenzie
Award-winning composer and founder of Noisemaker music theatre company

Andrea Grody
Venice and Love Labour Lost (New York)

Lindsey Miller
Fame (UK National Tour)

Testimonials

Facilities

Classes take place across the two Royal Conservatoire of Scotland buildings. During the programme students can expect to work in all of our performance spaces including; the New Athenaeum Theatre, the Stevenson Concert Hall, the Chandler Studio and the Alexander Gibson Opera Studio. Core classes take place in our purpose built dance studios and drama/voice rooms at either Renfrew Street or the award-winning Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks. Research, reflective practice and professional practice subjects are taught in a fully equipped student IT suite and supported by one of the world’s most comprehensive collections of performance materials for dance, drama, music, production and screen in the Whittaker Library.

The Wallace Studios at Speirs Locks has been developed to include eight purpose built multi-functional dance and drama rehearsal spaces which will be utilized for all major productions – allowing a fully integrated professional rehearsal process with onsite production and technical team involvement.

External venues used by the programme have included Oran Mor, Cottiers Theatre, Tron Theatre and Scottish Youth Theatre.

Students have successfully auditioned for and worked with Dundee Theatre, MacRobert Arts Centre and The Citizens Theatre as part of their student placement programmes.

Images and videos

9 to 5

RCS - 9 to 5

Urinetown

 

Under The Ground

 

Willy’s Bitches

 

Swingin’ into Christmas

 

The Addams Family