Editorial Team
Where Innovation Meets Tradition in the Art of Performance

Rose Bruford College stands committed to its mission: fostering a vibrant community of scholars, artists, and innovators devoted to excellence, inclusivity, and societal impact. Through rigorous academic programs, pioneering research endeavors, and immersive artistic experiences, the college empowers its students to emerge as leaders in their respective fields, armed with both the skills and the fervor to enact meaningful change in society.

Speaking about the postgraduate programs, Professor Stephen Farrier, Director of Research and Academic Innovation at Rose Bruford College, highlights their diverse specializations, stating, “Our postgraduate programs range from intense Actor Performer training to innovative explorations shaping the future of performance.” These programs are designed to cultivate practitioner artists who operate at an advanced level across a spectrum of theater and performance settings.

Professor Farrier emphasizes the emphasis on high-quality work within the suite of programs offered at the college, noting that each program is characterized by rich exploration and developmental opportunities for students’ practices. Furthermore, the intimate scale of the college and small class sizes foster close-knit networks and friendships among students, bolstering their aspirations as performers and creators. Moreover, students benefit greatly from close collaboration with industry professionals and renowned figures in the theater and performance realm.

Diverse Postgraduate Programs

Rose Bruford College boasts a robust selection of eight postgraduate programs at its Sidcup campus, complemented by three additional programs in Berlin. Moreover, the college collaborates with the University of East London to offer an MPhil/PhD program.

Discussing the Actor and Performer Training MA/MFA program, Professor Farrier emphasizes its dual focus on intensive advanced training and rigorous academic study. He remarks, “This practice-based program equips students with the skills they need to excel as actors and performers while engaging in meaningful performance research.”

The Actor Musicianship MA/MFA program extends the college’s groundbreaking work in the field, leveraging its strong connections to theater-makers, directors, and performers. Professor Farrier notes, “Through vocational training and practice research, this program fosters interdisciplinary approaches to theater-making, emphasizing innovation and responsiveness to audience, place, and space.”

The Collaborative Theatre Making MA/MFA program emphasizes ensemble-building, performer training, and the development of original work. Professor Farrier highlights the program’s unique feature, stating, “Students engage in critical reflection and practice research, moving creatively between different roles to cultivate skills in performance and independent making practice.”

In the Contemporary Directing Practice MA/MFA program, students embark on an experiential journey to find their voice and vision as directors. Professor Farrier describes it as “an advanced and rigorous program that equips students with a diverse array of skills, techniques, and devices essential for contemporary directing.”

The Light in Performance MA/MFA program offers a hands-on exploration of light as a performance material. Professor Farrier explains, “Through experimental workshops and specialist training, students delve into the current uses and applications of light, facilitated by industry partners.”

The Linklater Teaching Practice (Voice and Theatre Arts) MFA program stands out as the sole postgraduate program worldwide to confer Designated Linklater Teacher status alongside the MFA degree. Professor Farrier notes, “In close collaboration with Ms. Linklater, this program delves into the Linklater Voice method, providing candidates with a deep understanding of voice and theatre arts.”

The Queer Performance MA program breaks new ground as the first of its kind, focusing exclusively on queer performance. Professor Farrier underscores its significance, stating, “This course offers comprehensive training in queer performance practices, led by renowned artists, academics, and researchers, fostering social engagement, experimentation, and interdisciplinary exploration.”

Finally, the Theatre for Young Audiences MA/MFA program offers practical training for performers and makers, emphasizing co-creative processes with children and young people. Professor Farrier highlights its innovative approach, saying, “This program redefines Theatre for Young Audiences as a cutting-edge arts practice, encouraging collaboration that balances adult sensibilities with the creative voices of children and young people.”

Academic and Research Components

Rose Bruford College’s diverse postgraduate programs revolve around theater and performance in its broadest sense, each designed to enrich academic learning and research endeavors. Professor Farrier underscores the academic and research focus of these programs, stating, “Each program embeds academic and research elements, with varying approaches depending on students’ areas of focus.”

Professor Farrier explains that the research approach differs across programs, with some placing greater emphasis on traditional academic research at certain stages while prioritizing practice-based research at others. He notes, “The balance and subject matter of academic work evolve throughout the program, guided by the students’ interests and progression.”

Students engage in a multitude of learning experiences across the postgraduate programs, including workshops, masterclasses, productions, presentations, research projects, and reflective exercises. Professor Farrier highlights the practical nature of much of the work, stating, “The postgraduate activity is predominantly practical-based, fostering hands-on learning and skill development.”

While opportunities for cross-program and interdisciplinary collaboration exist within some programs, Professor Farrier clarifies that due to the overarching focus on drama, theater, and performance, cross-disciplinary opportunities outside these fields are limited. He explains, “Although there are opportunities for collaboration within programs, the College’s emphasis on drama, theater, and performance means that cross-disciplinary opportunities with programs outside these domains are not available.”

Bridging Industry and Academia

Rose Bruford College maintains strong ties with industry, a cornerstone of its postgraduate programs. Professor Farrier underscores this connection, stating, “All postgraduate programs leverage working artists from industry for teaching and mentorship, providing students with invaluable networking opportunities.”

Moreover, Professor Farrier emphasizes that each program actively engages with industry, facilitating networking and mentorship opportunities for students to develop their career paths. He notes, “Program Directors and the College maintain ongoing contact with graduates, offering support and guidance to sustain their careers beyond graduation.”

Given the college’s specialization in drama, theater, and performance, its infrastructure revolves around cutting-edge performance spaces equipped with industry-standard technical facilities. Professor Farrier highlights, “Rose Bruford College boasts well-equipped spaces and industry-level performance venues, including collaborations with external venues in London and beyond.”

The college’s commitment to academic excellence is reflected in its extensive library resources and access to staff with advanced expertise in performance making. Professor Farrier explains, “The college’s library, accessible to all students, is responsive to their needs, while research trips constitute a vital component of the programs’ research elements.”

Recently, all UK-based postgraduate programs have been centralized at the Sidcup campus, offering opportunities for cross-delivery of classes and projects. Professor Farrier underscores the significance of this move, stating, “The college fosters an environment where postgraduate students can interact, fostering collaboration and cross-disciplinary learning opportunities.”

Pioneering Innovation

The most recent milestone for Rose Bruford College’s postgraduate programs is the introduction of the MA in Queer Performance. Professor Farrier highlights its significance, stating, “As the first of its kind globally, this program is set to graduate its inaugural cohort in late 2024, marking a groundbreaking initiative where student input plays a pivotal role in shaping the curriculum.”

The program’s innovative approach involves co-designing learning experiences with students through practical seminars and project intensives, positioning it at the forefront of academic exploration in the field of queer performance.

Professor Farrier underscores the college’s proactive stance in keeping abreast of developments within the performance industries, noting, “Due to its close alignment with the performance industries, Rose Bruford College remains agile and responsive to external shifts.” He emphasizes the agency of students as artist practitioners, enabling them to navigate a rapidly evolving landscape.

Moreover, the college’s commitment to adaptability extends beyond curriculum reviews and student feedback mechanisms. Rose Bruford College trains graduates who are poised to drive change within the performance industries, ensuring that its programs remain relevant and forward-thinking,” concludes Professor Farrier.

For More Info: https://www.bruford.ac.uk/

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