BA Theatre & Performance
Our BA Theatre & Performance course will equip you with the tools to express your creativity in performance and develop your understanding of theatre’s relationship with wider social, political, cultural and ecological contexts and practices.
During your studies you’ll encounter a range of contemporary performance practices, including:
- verbatim performance
- immersive performance
- applied theatre
- site-specific work
- digital practices
- live art
- new writing.
The Department of Film, Theatre & Television’s long running Work in Progress project means you will have opportunities to work with a range of professional theatre-makers as they think through the development of their own performance work. Theatre trips, in both London and Reading, will also underpin your learning.
Across your degree, you’ll explore how directors, designers, writers, technicians and other theatre-makers respond to and shape our rapidly changing world, and develop your ability to make politically engaged and creatively ambitious performance.
In the National Student Survey 2023, 90% of our students said that teaching staff were good or very good at explaining things (89.92% of respondents studying in the School of Arts and Communication Design).
This degree is based in the purpose-built, industry-standard Minghella Studios. Our studios are situated on the University of Reading’s green campus, a leader in sustainable practice across the higher education sector.
Our department proudly subscribes to the industry-leading BAFTA Albert scheme, which supports film-and-television makers in their efforts to work sustainably and to limit their environmental impact.
Your first year will introduce you to the histories, practices and critical frameworks that inform contemporary performance, and help you develop a range of creative, academic and technical skills that will prove invaluable throughout the degree and beyond. Through hands-on experience, you’ll be introduced to a variety of contemporary theatre-making, playwriting, design and production practices, staging your own performance experiments using a range of forms.
The second year is your chance to specialise based on your own interests and gain experience working in the industry. You will explore work within and beyond classical and conventional narrative traditions and learn about practitioners and movements that have challenged those traditions in various global contexts.
Central to your second year is the opportunity to apply your skills in a real-world context by collaborating with industry professionals to design and deliver performance projects in community settings.
Optional modules allow you to investigate various areas in detail, such as:
- performing, directing and dramaturgy
- identities in performance
- reworking Shakespeare
- the employment landscape in the arts sector
- film and television.
In your final year, you’ll enrich your expertise as a skilful and knowledgeable theatre-maker, culminating in a collaborative performance, a written dissertation, or an independent creative research project. You will complement this core project with optional modules that will deepen your understanding of theatre and performance; these are based around our academics’ current world-leading research and practice. The course will give you the tools and independence to select your path with confidence by the third year of your degree.
Across your studies, you will also have the chance to undertake industry placements, professional collaborations and study abroad opportunities, to develop your practice in a range of contexts.