Theatre Production

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Do you want a career in the exciting and diverse world of theatre production? This is professional theatre training for a wide variety of backstage artistic, technical and management career opportunities. This exciting and vibrant programme is delivered in partnership with industry, and specifically with both Theatre Royal Bath and Salisbury Playhouse. All lecturers are highly experienced current professionals with extensive industry profiles. Current industry practice is therefore at the very heart of your learning experience.  

Subject Leader Michael Budmani is a Stage and Production Manager with extensive experience at the RSC, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Opera. Senior Lecturer Rob Sayer is a highly experienced and respected stage and event lighting practitioner, and author and editor of On Stage Lighting – the leading article website which details the reality of professional stage lighting in the 21st century.

Theatre Production is an Approved Graduate Course of the Stage Management Association.

SMA Logo

Working on many public productions in a range of professional theatres, including the Theatre Royal Bath, guarantees you will graduate with all the skills and contacts that you need to become a theatre production professional. 

         

Why study Theatre Production?

Any discipline that you find backstage is taught to the highest standards on this programme. Subject areas include:

  • Stage lighting
  • Sound design and operation
  • Costume making
  • Stage management
  • Film/TV floor management
  • Production management
  • Scenic design
  • Costume design
  • Scenic construction
  • Scenic art
  • Prop making

“We have noted that Bath Spa University Theatre Production students' approach to industry contacts is professional, well presented and shows emotional intelligence, as well as excellent up-to-date knowledge of industry practice.”
Theatre Royal, Bath

 

Visit Us
Come and see a Theatre Production subject presentation and view the facilities at one of our Open Days.  

We invite successful applicants to a Theatre Production Applicant Interview Day. During this busy day you will meet the full staff team, some current Theatre Production students, have the opportunity to tour our magnificent facilities, take part in a choice of Theatre Production micro-teaching sessions, and attend a formal interview. Applicants should bring any evidence of their interest (portfolios etc.) and be ready to talk to staff about their work at the interview.

Theatre Production interview days during the 2014 - 2015 academic year are:

  • Monday 15th December
  • Monday 16th February
  • Tuesday 17th February

Details of an April 2015 recruitment day to follow.

 

Course structure

Unlike many programmes, we don’t ask you to specialise in a particular area before you start. We believe that this is highly important. You will gain foundation knowledge of each discipline in Year 1, work on productions in a variety of exciting roles in Year 2, and then when you do specialise in Year 3, you are making an informed decision as to what you wish to specialise in, rather than a best guess. In Year 3 you assume Head of Department responsibility, allowing you to provide leadership on a variety of productions in your chosen specialist area. The foundation knowledge that you will have acquired in all areas will make you a stronger specialist, and a stronger production collaborator. 

Sitcom filming

Emphasis is on project and production work, with students undertaking practical workshops, seminars and directed study. There are no exams!

All Theatre Production lecturers are specialist practitioners with a wealth of relevant experience, ensuring that they deliver the course to the highest current industry standards.  

  • Course Leader Michael Budmani is a Stage and Production Manager with extensive experience at the RSC, Birmingham Royal Ballet and Scottish Opera.
  • Senior Lecturer Rob Sayer is a highly experienced and respected stage and event lighting practitioner, and author and editor of On Stage Lighting – the leading article website bringing the reality of professional stage lighting in the 21st century.
  • Lecturer in Scenography Chris Britton is a scenic design and construction specialist, whose credits include work for Bristol Old Vic, Cosgrove Hall Films and Richmond Theatre.
  • Our Costume specialists, Caroline Francis and Amanda Hambleton, bring with them a wealth of theatre, film and tv costume experience. 

Modules

Year 1 (Skill Acquisition)

  • Stage Management & Production Process
  • An Introduction to Stage Lighting, Sound and AV
  • Stagecraft (Construction Methods & Practice)
  • An Introduction to Scenic & Costume Design
Year 1 will give you the necessary foundation knowledge of all technical theatre, production arts and stage management disciplines. Some people know what career path they wish to follow upon graduation when they start Theatre Production. Many begin this journey of exploration in Year 1 as they discover new skills and areas of interest. Theatre Production is a collection of disciplines and departments that collaborate to create live performance. There is no "I" in Theatre Production, only "we", so an understanding of what each and every department is trying to achieve is crucial to success.
 

Year 2 (Working on Productions)

  • Stage Management (Working On Productions)
  • Lighting, Sound and AV (Working On Productions)
  • Construction -Scenic Construction / Costume Construction / Prop Construction - (Working On Productions)
Alongside a busy lecture programme, you will undertake a variety of production-based roles. These can include Scenic Designer (small-scale), Stage Manager (small-scale), Deputy Stage Manager, Lighting Designer (small-scale), Chief Electrician, Sound Technician, Prop Maker, Costume Technician and Head of Scenic Construction.

Year 3 (Industry Integration and Specialisation)

  • Advanced Production Practice
  • Research and Industry
  • Meeting Industry

Year 3 allows you the facility to focus your study, and to specialise in areas that you have discovered are your particular strengths and interests. You will assume "Head of Department" responsibility in production areas of your choosing. Production role opportunities include those of Costume Designer, Scenic Designer, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Stage Manager, Deputy Stage Manager, Head of Construction (Scenic or Costume), Scenic Artist and Production Manager. The 3-year interaction with industry culminates in a professional industry work placement of at least four weeks duration. Many Placement opportunities are available with our partners - Salisbury Playhouse and Theatre Royal Bath, alongside many others nationally.

As important as all of this, you will learn about the world of work you are about to enter - how to find work, how to get work, how to keep work, how to create an industry standard CV and job application, and how to conduct yourself in a job interview. We believe these are vital skills. After all, you may be the worlds greatest stage technician, but if you can't prove that in a job interview scenario, nobody will ever find that out!

The Research & Industry module allows you to focus your research on an area of your particular enthusiasm. 

Course assessment

Assessment is by coursework including practical work, presentations, evaluations, group projects, individual reports and written assignments. There are no written exams on this programme.

 

External Examiners Report 2013 – 2014:

"The placement procedure is working well and is a vital element towards employability of the students. It is good to see a number of the students getting work from their placements. Also, professionalism is clearly demonstrated in the students’ work from engaging with the industry."

 Theatre Production Centre

Our state of the art Theatre Production Centre is a sizeable, busy and fully equipped production hub. Facilities include a scenic workshop, costume workshop and prop-making facilities, plus a mac-based CAD suite and production office. 

Our productions are mounted across a variety of venues, including Theatre Royal, Bath (TRB) - one of the most important theatres in the UK outside London. There are opportunities to support production work across the three TRB venues - Main House, the Ustinov Studio and the egg,

Our in-house productions are mounted in either our award-winning, modern and highly technically equipped University Theatre, or our city centre arts venue Burdall's Yard.

 

BATH SPA LIVE

To manage the transition between study and work as an emerging professional, the Department of Performing Arts has created an innovative project: all Theatre Production students become members of a production company managed by the university's promotional arm, Bath Spa Live. Acting students appear in three different productions, including a range of devised pieces, plays, TV sit-coms, radio dramas and films. Theatre Production students provide professional production values throughout. Larger ensemble cast pieces tour to venues like Cornwall’s Minack Theatre; smaller cast pieces showcase individual students, and the year culminates in the Summer Festival Project. Emerging designers produce their work on stage, while managers and technicians 'run' productions. Guest professional practitioners lead many of the productions. The Festival provides opportunities for students to create their own companies and stage work at venues across the city as part of Bath’s Fringe Festival. As members of this graduate company, students will not only be fully equipped for a professional freelance career, but they will also have a product ready for the market upon graduation.

Teaching methods

Emphasis is on project and production work, with students undertaking practical workshops, seminars and directed study.

You will learn through lectures and practical workshops, and by working on professional productions, both internal and external.

 

External Examiners Report 2012 - 2013:

"The students continue to perform to high standard and are very enthusiastic about their course. The knowledge and understanding of the students learning is also of a high standard."

“I have managed to examine the relationship between the Theatre Royal Bath and the course. This relationship clearly allows industry engagement to be embedded within the programme and offers the students a variety of opportunities.”

“The pastoral care of the student is of a high standard.”

“This is a very busy course with a hard working staff team….they achieve a great deal.”

 

 

 

 

Application method

All applications are through UCAS.

 

International students should visit our international pages for more information about our entry requirements, fees and scholarships, and student support.

Course enquiries

For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at admissions@bathspa.ac.uk.

Typical offer range for UK / EU applicants

Applicants must have 280-300 UCAS points and be able to show a demonstrable interest in an area of Theatre Production.

Career opportunities

Production and/or technical careers, either in theatre or the wider entertainment industry, include:

  • Lighting Design
  • Lighting Technician
  • Sound Design
  • Sound Technician
  • Stage Management
  • Events Management
  • Scenic Design
  • Costume Design
  • Scenic Construction
  • Prop Maker
  • Rigger
  • Production Management

Since 2011, employers such as Birmingham Royal Ballet, Cardiff Theatrical Services, Manchester International Festival, The Savoy Theatre ('Legally Blonde'), Aldwych Theatre ('Top Hat'), Wall to Wall Productions ('The Voice'/'Who Do You Think You Are'), Salisbury Playhouse, Royal Caribbean Cruises, Watermill Theatre Newbury, Queens Theatre Hornchurch, Birmingham Hippodrome and Theatre Royal Bath have all recruited graduates from this course. Many graduates undertake freelance careers, with graduates to be found working as Scenic Designers, Wardrobe Technicians, Theatre Technicians, Stage Managers, Theatre Electricians and Event Managers.

Sitcom Project

What students say...

 


"I just wanted to thank all of you for helping me through the last couple of years because without all of your help, I wouldn't be in the position I am today. The hard work you have all put into the TP course has set me up to take on a future in the theatre industry and I can't thank all of you enough. I hope that my good fortune with this job shows that the work you all do makes a massive difference in peoples lives and that the students still in TP are as fortunate as I am in the following years."

"Just a quick email saying thanks for the last three years. Without your passion for the industry it would never have inspired me and given me the drive and determination to succeed! I'm extremely grateful for everything you have done. That belief you have in every student is really uplifting and aided us as a year group to believe in ourselves a bit more, enabling us to push more boundaries and therefore create some awesome pieces of work. What a three years! Have enjoyed every last minute of it."

"Your dedication and commitment to Theatre Production is forever there to see in the eyes of students and I can't thank you enough for giving me the opportunity that I have so thoroughly enjoyed since joining..."

"I just wanted to say thank you to you both for the last 3 years. They have really changed my life for the better and I am so looking forward to the next chapter of my life. I really appreciate all the hard work you have put in for us all this year and I am so happy with my mark!"

"I have really enjoyed the past three years, and I know I will miss Theatre Production and everyone associated with the course terribly. The course has given me so much confidence and encouragement to get the job I want, and to do it really well! Thank you for all your support."