Why study Theatre at Westminster? The Course Leader’s view

The two exiting new degrees courses we’re offering here in the English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies Department at Westminster University – BA Theatre Studies & English Literature and BA Theatre Studies & Creative Writing – offer students the chance to study theatre right in the heart of London, only short distances from some of the capital’s most exciting venues and companies.

These two new courses draw on already existing expertise in English and in Creative Writing and add in to the mix a range of modules designed to help you explore the lively, stimulating and though–provoking world of theatre.

Study

These two new courses draw on already existing expertise in English and in Creative Writing and add in to the mix a range of modules designed to help you explore the lively, stimulating and though–provoking world of theatre. The three main threads of Theatre Studies, as an academic discipline, underpin the new modules we’re offering. Those being:

  • the study of history of theatre;
  • the theorisation of theatre and performance; and
  • the analysis of performance.

We’ll visit the Globe Theatre and think about what it would have been like to go and see a Shakespeare play in the late 1500s.

 

So this means that:

  • you’ll learn about the fascinating and extraordinary history of theatre, principally (but not exclusively) in the UK. We’ll visit the Globe Theatre and think about what it would have been like to go and see a Shakespeare play in the late 1500s. We’ll think about the Victorian musical; the politics of the Brechtian theatrical revolution; the absurdist world of post-war European theatre; and the violence and anger of 1990s in-yer-face theatre, to name just a few.
  • you’ll explore the idea that theory offers us a way of thinking beyond our assumptions and of critically exploring the things we think we know. Embedded in the very word “theatre” is the idea of showing and looking, and in this thread of study we’ll confront what our assumptions about showing and looking might be. This theoretical investigation will allow us to interrogate what performance is and what it does.
  • you’ll watch, discuss and debate performances! You’ll learn how we analyse performance, and we’ll consider how we come to understand the ways in which productions might generate both meaning and affect.

you’ll watch, discuss and debate performances!

As well as working in these three areas, our new degree courses will offer you the chance to study Shakespeare and the performance of Early Modern Drama; the ways in which theatre and performance have interrogated the politics of race; some of the specific theatres and companies that operate in the UK; the performance of Early Modern plays in the present; site-specific performance and theories of adaptation; London’s fringe theatres; and many more topics.

Tutorials

Central to our degree courses here in the Department of English, Linguistics and Cultural Studies are our tutorials. These run throughout your degree, offering you the chance to build and reinforce your subject specific skills, whilst also receiving support with your assessed work. Taught in small groups of no more than five people, these tutorials mean you’ll get all the support you need, that you can dictate the skills you need to work on, and that you won’t get lost in the crowd.

visiting the theatre will be central to your learning

Theatre in London

London has some pretty incredible theatres and if you choose to take one of these courses you’ll get to experience the wonderful range of productions, venues and companies on offer, because visiting the theatre will be central to your learning. Within easy reach of our Regent Street campus is the Arcola Theatre; Almeida Theatre; National Theatre; Young Vic; Theatre 503; Southwark Playhouse; Union Theatre; The Finborough; Barbican; Battersea Arts Centre; Bush Theatre; Donmar Warehouse; Hampstead Theatre; King’s Head Theatre; Lyric Hammersmith; Old Red Lion Theatre; Rosemary Branch; Royal Court Theatre; Soho Theatre; Hackney Empire; Theatre Royal Stratford East; and Tricycle Theatre, to name a few!

Finally

This isn’t a course were you’ll learn to act or perform, but if you love watching, reading, designing, imagining or thinking about theatre and if you want a course which will equip you to go out into the cultural industries ready to think critically and create intelligently, then these courses are for you!

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