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.
Theatre Production is an Approved Graduate Course of the Stage Management Association.
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
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 2015 - 2016 academic year are:
- Monday 14th December 2015
- Monday 15th February 2016
- Tuesday 16th February 2016
Details of an April 2016 recruitment day to follow.
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. The foundation knowledge that you will have acquired in all areas will make you a stronger specialist, and a stronger production collaborator. When you do specialise later in the programme, you will be making an informed decision as to what you wish to specialise in, rather than a best guess. In Year 2, you will work on productions in a variety of exciting roles, Alongside your Year 2 production engagement, you build your production skills in two areas of your choice. In Year 3 you assume Head of Department responsibility, allowing you to provide leadership on a variety of productions. This can be in a single skills area, or a number of areas. The choice is yours.
Emphasis is on project and production work, with students undertaking practical workshops, seminars and directed study. There are no exams!
We are proud of our magnificent facilities, but they would be of limited value without the very best staff to help you make the most of them. We have an unrivalled team of leading specialists in each area of Theatre Production.
Michael Budmani, Subject Leader of Theatre Production - Mike is a Stage and Production Manager with extensive multi-discipline experience. Mike's stage management experience includes a season as Technical Stage Manager at Jersey Opera House, and working through the ranks at Greenwich Theatre from Assistant Stage Manager to Stage Manager. He then joined Birmingham Royal Ballet as a Deputy Stage Manager for 3 years, prior to joining the Royal Shakespeare Company in 1996. Mike was Stage Manager for productions in all of the RSC's five home theatres in Stratford-Upon-Avon and the Barbican in London. In 2001, Mike joined Scottish Opera as Stage Manager (later Head of Stage Management) where he was Stage Manager for over 40 operas, prior to being promoted to Head of Technical. Mike has been Subject Leader for the BA Theatre Production programme since 2008, and still works regularly in the profession. Mike is Chair and a Director of the Stage Management Association, and acts as an advisor to educational institutions across the theatre production/technical theatre sector. He is currently External Examiner for two programmes at Backstage Academy, Mike is currently writing a book on inter-disciplinary stage management in the UK.
Rob Sayer, Senior Lecturer in Theatre Production - Rob is a highly experienced and respected stage and event lighting designer and practitioner. As well as in the area of event lighting, Rob has progressed into the world of rigging and temporary structures with companies such as Unusual Rigging and Stage Electrics. Rob's extensive career as a freelance production professional includes work on shows throughout Europe and encompassing all genres from Shakespeare to international political summits, ballet to car launches and rock concerts both indoors and out. Rob built a strong reputation as a Lighting Designer and Moving Light Programmer, serving hundreds of shows a year in a wide range of venues. Rob also worked as a Production Manager for a range of events, from outdoor music festivals to FA cup finals.
Chris Britton, Senior Lecturer in Scenography - Chris is a specialist in the areas of theatre design prop making and theatre construction. His many credits include work for Bristol Old Vic, Cosgrove Hall Films, Richmond Theatre, and being Head Carpenter for all the floats that made up the Queen's Golden Jubilee Parade!
William Talbot, Senior Lecturer in Scenography - Bill has extensive experience as a specialist maker of props, puppets, scenery and models for Opera companies, Theatre and Television. After founding his own company Talismen (Cardiff) he completed over 300 commissions for clients such as the BBC, Welsh National Opera, 20th Century Fox and Iron Maiden, working on the pioneering children‘s virtual reality series Knightmare recently voted the best children’s series ever (Radio Times) and working on all of the Maid Marion series with Tony Robinson. Bill went into teaching at Central School of Speech and Drama before becoming Head of Props at Bristol Old Vic. Having continued to work at a number of colleges across the UK, he gained a further teaching qualification at Central School of Speech and Drama. He has continued to professionally design for theatre including several successful national tours of Michael Morpurgo’s Private Peaceful with Scamp Theatre, and in the summer of 2015 Bill designed and produced a tour of a new adaptation of The Reluctant Dragon, which toured to over thirty castles in Wales and the South West of England.
Katherine Montagu - Lecturer in Stage Management - Katherine is a highly experienced Stage Manager, who joined the Theatre Production team in 2015. Her extensive work that spans across disciplines includes being Stage Manager for Northern Ballet, Rambert Dance Company, Phoenix Dance Company, English Touring Theatre and Theatre Royal Bath. Katherine has toured extensively in the UK and internationally. She continues to work extensively in the profession, including as Production Manager for Theatre Royal, Bath. Katherine was co-author of the FdA Theatre Production programme at Bath Spa University in 2007.
Jon Grant - Lecturer in Theatre Sound, Lighting and AV - Jon joined the Theatre Production team in the summer of 2015 from South Bank University in London. Jon has extensive experience in the West End. His many credits include Chief Electrician at the Dominon Theatre in London.
Dr. Helena Enright, Senior Lecturer in Drama - Helena leads on the academic element of the Theatre Production programme. In addition to her work at Bath Spa University, she has also taught and facilitated a wide variety of outreach, community and school projects in Ireland and more recently the United Kingdom. Helena is Co-Artistic Director of Viva Voce, a company which aims to create artistic experiences through the words and memories of real people. She is also a founder member of Irish-based theatre company Amalgamotion. She is the author of five plays, Less Than a Year (2006) and Walking Away (2007) - winner of Best Production, Belltable Unfringed Festival, 2007 and Best Play, Midwest Arts Media & Culture Awards, 2008 - Under Pressure (2008), Aquéro (2010) and The River (2014). She co-wrote and directed The Exeter Blitz Project (2012) with Dr Jessica Beck.
Amanda Hambleton, Visiting Costume Supervisor - Amanda is a freelance costumier with vast experience in Cutting, Making, Theatrical Tailoring & Costume Supervision in Theatre, Opera, TV & Film. Recent BBC television credits include Merlin and Atlantis.
Jacqui Jones, Visiting Costume Supervisor - Jacqui is a Costume Designer and maker. Like Amanda, she has an extensive theatre and television profile. Theatre credits include work for Bristol Old Vic, Theatre Royal Bath and Tobacco Factory. Her work for film and television includes projects for BBC, Granada Television and Pinewood Studios.
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)
- Intermediate Production Practice
- Intermediate Production Skills
- Research Project
You will undertake a variety of production-based roles in a variety of backstage departments. These will either be in an area of your interest, or in an area that the staff team feel that you would benefit from engaging in. Alongside this production activity, you build your skills and knowledge by choosing two skills pathways to increase your subject knowledge. The choice of pathways is Stage Management, Scenography, Lighting, Sound and AV, Costume. You will also complete a research project in an area of your interest to be determined by you.
Year 3 (Industry Integration and Specialisation)
- Advanced Production Practice
- Research and Industry
- Meeting Industry
Year 3 is your apprentice year. You become a member of OnSet Productions, a professional company that produces three seasons of work across a range of live and recorded media. This company presents work supported by Bath Spa Live, the University’s promotion arm that presents all outward facing student work.
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.
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 2014 – 2015:
"Employability and industry engagement is fully embedded within the curriculum and the students fully understand the professional practice that they are fulfilling.
Our campus facilities include our brand new Costume Room, and a brand new 30 station mac suite.
Our state of the art Theatre Production Centre is a sizeable, busy and fully equipped production hub where all the scenographic elements of the programme are based - theatre design, scenic painting, scenic construction and prop making.
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,
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.
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.”
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.
For further information about the programme or other enquiries, please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
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.
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
- Production Management
Employers such as National Theatre, 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, Stage Electrics, 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 professional careers, with graduates to be found working as Scenic Designers, Wardrobe Technicians, Theatre Technicians, Stage Managers, Theatre Electricians and Event Managers.
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."