Warwick offers the chance to study a BA in Theatre and Performance Studies in a stimulating and creative environment. We currently have ten full-time members of staff, employ a range of subject specialists and have an average undergraduate intake of 40 students a year. Our staff student-ratio is outstanding. Our studio facilities at Millburn House offer the best possible environment to support creative practice. Our research in theatre and performance is classed as internationally significant and we are consistently ranked in national newspapers as one of the very top departments in the UK.
Our options and core courses are taught by acknowledged experts in their fields, with particular areas of interest in theatre and performance history and historiography; national and intercultural theatres and performance evolving from the city, public events, and experiments with new technologies. We benefit from a wealth of theatrical activity within easy reach of the campus. In particular, the University is home to the Warwick Arts Centre, which includes two theatres and offers an exciting programme of theatre, dance, music, comedy, literature, films and visual art.
Why study Theatre and Performance Studies?
Theatre is one of the oldest forms of cultural expression, which has continually evolved in response to changing social, political and cultural landscapes. As we progress through the 21st century, theatre and performance continues to find new forms, new sites, new audiences and new subject matter as it offers a provocative response to the burning issues of our times: the status of the body, globalisation, cultural diasporas and the environment, to name but a few. Our aim at warwick is to promote a wide-ranging understanding of theatre and performance and to enable students to make critical, interpretative and creative judgements about the work they encounter. We base our teaching on rigorous engagement with historical developments, key innovators, and theoretical reflections and on a belief that theatre and performance occurs not just in traditional theatre buildings, but also in cities, on the streets, in rituals and in daily life, in spaces real, virtual and imagined.
The department is one of the most wide-ranging and international in terms of its areas of expertise and has particular teaching strengths in the following:
- National theatres (particularly American, African, British, Irish, Polish and South African)
- Theatre and exile, trauma and memory
- Theatre in the community
- Popular and political theatres (pantomime, street theatre, protest performance, festivals)
- British theatre history and historiography (particualrly Renaissance theatre and festivals, Victorian theatre and post-war British theatre)
- Shakespeare in international contexts
- Performance and the city
- Theatre and new media technologies
- Practice as research
Our teaching is delivered via lectures, small group seminars and studio-based explorations supplemented by theatre visits, field trips, guest lectures and workshops with practitioners. Students are assessed through practical projects, creative logbooks, essays, individual and group presentations, and exams, and receive regular feedback on their work as an ingtegral part of teaching and learning.
Theatre and Performance Studies have fully-equipped practical spaces on the Warwick central campus. There are two black-box studios, two adaptable rehearsal spaces with sprung floors and an edit suite, including digital video-making facilities. These are ideal for enabling students to create and explore a variety of experimental methods in the context of the undergraduate curriculum.
Theatre and Performances Studies students benefit from innovative practice-based learning approaches which combine critical theory and practical methodologies. In the first year at Warwick students are introduced to diverse performance-making possibilities, while also being provided with a comprehensive hands-on induction to the use of the available technical facilities. They learn to become fully conversant with the operation of lighting, sound and video equipment, leading to the capacity for independent use in subsequent years. After a common, broad-based first year, students are required to make choices for their second year from a rich variety of options. By the time students reach their third year they are equipped to pursue an independent approach to practical exploration. Usually working in small groups, they have the option to develop specialist practice-based research projects under supervision.
The approach to practice at Warwick is laboratorial, tending to emphasise self-contained practical interrogation rather than public show. However, the latter also plays a significant part where appropriate and the students frequently develop work for audiences, sometimes in site-specific locations as diverse as prisons, swimming pools and woods. Often, professional artists inform the work directly, leading workshops or, indeed, devising exciting performance work with students. In recent times students have benefited, for example, from working with Motionhouse Dance Theatre, Adrian Howells, Jos Houben, Complicite, Forced Entertainment, Stan’s Café and Rideout.
The University of Warwick is one of the UK's leading universities with an acknowledged reputation for excellence in research and teaching, for innovation, and for links with business and industry. Founded in 1965 with an initial intake of 450 undergraduates, Warwick now has in excess of 22,000 students and is ranked comfortably in the top 10 of all UK university league tables. Warwick is one of the top ten universities targeted by the Times Top 100 Graduate Employers. Warwick is renowned for excellence and innovation within research, and in the 2014 REF (Research Excellence Framework) 87% of the University's research rated as 3* (internationally excellent) or 4* (world leading).
Applying to study
- Find out more about Undegraduate study at Warwick
- BA in Theatre and Performance Studies
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- BA in French with Theatre Studies
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