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Postgraduate Programmes

Honours

  • Theatre
  • Dance
  • Performance

Masters

  • Theatre (Research only)
  • Dance (Research only)
  • Theatre and Performance
  • Applied Theatre and Dance Studies

PhD

  • Theatre
  • Dance

HONOURS

The curriculum comprises 3 taught courses (96 NQF credits) and a research essay/project (30 credits).

All Honours students are required to complete two semester academic courses (Readings in Performance A and B) and a research essay course. In addition to these, students then have a whole year practical studio work course, in one of the following streams:

  1. DANCE

This course is an introduction into becoming a Dance researcher in the performing arts, cultural and educational contexts. It explores some of the key discourses in Dance in the late 20th and 21st centuries including Dance and Cultural formation, History and Aesthetics. Coursework is by seminars, practical workshops, engagement with on and off campus dance groups, conferences and symposia. The course also involves extensive reading, writing and deepening of observation and analytical skills. Students are expected to have prepared prior to the learning and teaching activity each week. Such preparation will include critique of audiovisual materials and research essay writing. The course objectives are:

To extend understandings of the field that is Dance archival research.

To investigate digital archives (mostly located in the global south) that are examining dance especially dance on film.

To strengthen an ability to conduct comparative analyses and build synthesis in Dance research.

To refine and deepen an ability to undertake focused enquiry of the dance object in a specific place and time.

  1. THEATRE (students are required to apply for ONE of the following streams)
  • Directing-This course explores directing theory in depth, and offers the students opportunity to develop their directing practice for the stage. Coursework is by extensive reading of directing theory, regular studio workshops, and observation of an experienced director at work, practical directing tasks and written assignments. Assessment will consist of formative directing tasks, analytic written assignments, a directing examination piece and the Director’s Book.
  • Technical Theatre Management-This course explores the challenges of technical theatre management through fortnightly class tutorials in theoretical and practical aspects of technical work in the theatre. The theory and practice is applied through the work completed in at least two (major) assignments, in the fields of stage management, lighting, costume, properties and sound or audio/visual design. These assignments are accompanied by a fully theorised and written explication of this work, including visual support materials as appropriate (such as design sketches, photographs, lighting plans, ground plans, prompt copy, lighting or sound cue sheets, a CD/DVD of lighting or sound material utilised).
  • Applied Theatre and Dance Studies-This course is an introduction to students to becoming a facilitator or teaching artist using applied theatre and/or dance in arts projects, educational and/or social justice contexts. The course will offer the student opportunities to engage practically with schools and communities in the development of their facilitation skills. Coursework is by theoretical seminars on key practices, practical workshops in applied theatre/dance, and regular facilitation engagements with off campus groups in formal or non-formal educational or social justice settings. Assessment will consist of two externally examined facilitation sessions, a critically-reflexive journal and written assignments.
  • Playwriting-This course introduces students to the skills related to writing for the theatre. Coursework will include practical writing tasks that focus on adaptation for the stage, dramaturgy, script development, writing dialogue, and conceiving of spoken text in time and space. Assessment will be by formative practical writing tasks, a reflective essay, the script development and staged reading of an original play as complete text. Candidates will attend classes, rehearsals, tutor meetings and undertake preparatory work as appropriate to the needs of the course.
  1. PERFORMANCE (students are required to apply for ONE of the following streams)
  • Live Art-This course investigates through practice and theory, notions of ‘live art’ or ‘performance art’. Live art as a term is used here, to encompass performance practice that cannot be defined as dance, drama, visual art or music. The field draws from these disciplines as well as others such as writing, architecture and film to such disciplines as anthropology, ecology, sociology and political science. Theoretical perspectives consider the history of such interdisciplinary practices in the West with the development of performance art at the turn of the twentieth century as well as the roots of elements of live art in classical African tradition. The course focuses on the practice of live art in contemporary South Africa and the conceptualization and production of a Live Art work.
  • Public Art-This course explores in depth the rationale and processes for the engagement of performance and performance theory in public spheres. The course considers a range of theoretical perspectives around public spheres and public art in South Africa as well as internationally. Coursework is through lectures as well as by extensive reading around urban theory, formal and informal processes in the production of public art projects and the use of art making practices in public spheres for a range of outcomes.

MASTERS

Masters in Theatre (Research)

Areas of specialized research in the Centre include: Theatre Making, Directing for the Theatre, Performance Studies, Theatre and Media studies, Educational and Applied Drama, Theatre Voice Practice

MA in Dance (Research)

Areas of specialized research in the Centre include: Contemporary Dance, Dance Pedagogy and Applied Dance, South African Dance, Choreography, Classical Ballet.

The Centre welcomes all enquiries as the possibility of joint supervision with other departments allows for a much broader range of theoretical enquiries than the areas of specialisation suggested above.

MA in Theatre and Performance (Theatre Making)

This Masters programme focuses on the activity of creating theatre pieces in a South African tradition of collective theatre making. Many of the practical explorations and the final thesis production that map the student’s enquiry are therefore original, new South African works.  The programme offers theatre practitioners – directors, actors, playwrights – the opportunity to explore and develop their individual impulses within the practice of making theatre.  The aim of this course is to produce mature, highly skilled, independent and creative theatre practitioners capable of creating, producing and managing their own work.  The course extends over two years of full time study, with the November to January period in the middle being a research period

MA in Theatre and Performance (Voice Practice)

This Masters programme focuses on the activities of directing and theatre voice practice. The programme offers theatre practitioners – directors, theatre voice practitioners – the opportunity to explore and develop their individual impulses and enquiries within the general practice of theatre. The aim of this course is to produce mature, highly skilled, independent and creative directors and theatre voice practitioners capable of producing and managing their own work. The course extends over two years of full time study, with the November to January period in the middle being a research period.

MA in Applied Theatre and Drama Studies

The MA programme in Applied Theatre is a coursework degree over two years, consisting of 4 courses and a dissertation. The programme is designed to be flexible in developing core skills of applied performance, namely facilitation, pedagogical practices, contextual aesthetics and ethics of practice, and project design and implementation in dance or theatre or an interdisciplinary context. The programme also offers the individual student an opportunity to develop their own interests within the applied performance field, provided that staff are suitably qualified to supervise the studies. The programme comprises of a Studio Practice course, a Seminar series, and a Fieldwork course.

The fourth course (Topics) is either an elective from another discipline or an independent topic of special interest to the individual student (supervised). The dissertation is expected to be based on Fieldwork, 25 000 words.

The Applied Theatre programme is convened by Associate Professor Veronica Baxter (theatre), with Ms Lisa Wilson (Dance), Dr Gerard Samuel (Dance) and Ms Terri Elliott (theatre) as core lecturers.

We invite applications from students wishing to work in applied performance contexts including education, social justice, disability/inclusive and social health.

PhD

Theatre

Areas of specialised research in the Centre include:

  • Theatre Making
  • Directing for the Theatre
  • Performance Studies
  • Theatre and Media studies
  • Educational and Applied Drama
  • Theatre Voice Practice

Dance

Contemporary Dance, 

Dance Pedagogy and Applied Dance, 

South African Dance, 

Choreography, 

Classical Ballet.

The Centre welcomes all enquiries as the possibility of joint supervision with other departments allows for a much broader range of theoretical enquiries than the areas of specialisation suggested above.

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