Drama Writing MA Study and develop your writing craft, within a practical setting.

Acting

Drama Writing MA

Key Information
  • Award

    MA Drama Writing

  • Duration

    3 Terms – 38 weeks (full-time)

  • Dates

    28th September 2020 – 16th July 2021

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Course Overview

The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School MA in Drama Writing is led by renowned playwrights Stephanie Dale with David Edgar. This pioneering course aims to nurture students to find their distinctive voices as writers for stage, screen and radio.  The programme is delivered through masterclasses, workshops and seminars delivered by top industry professionals and experienced practitioners.

 

David Edgar’s plays have been presented by the National Theatre (including The Shape of the TableAlbert Speer and Playing with Fire), the Royal Shakespeare Company (including DestinyNicholas Nickleby, Pentecost, The Prisoner’s DilemmaWritten on the Heart and A Christmas Carol) and The Birmingham Repertory Theatre (including Mary Barnes and Arthur & George). He is the RSC’s most produced living playwright.

In addition to her many playwriting credits, Stephanie Dale led the playwriting course Birmingham Conservatoire for seven years.  She has written some of the UK’s largest community plays involving hundreds of social actors. Her special interest is in promenade theatre, with a particular focus on the engagement between actors, audience and the use of space in-between. She has written large-scale plays for Dorchester Community Play Association including Spinning the Moon and A Time To Keep (with David Edgar). Among her stage credits are: The Lost Boy (mixing fiction with real life testimony from refugees), A World Beyond Man and adaptations of Persuasion, Moonfleet and The Chester Mystery Plays.   

This highly practical course is innovative in its approach by immersing future playwrights within the whole theatre and screen portfolio. By building professional assurance through artistic practice, students will develop a systematic understanding of dramatic writing as an art, craft and business.

 

Please note: the named teaching team is correct at the time of writing but may be subject to change.

 

A copy of the rules and regulations governing the course is available consult the BOVTS policies and procedures page.

Course summary document can be found here – MA Drama Writing Course Key Facts 2018 19

 

An Opportunity to See Your Work Explored Practically by Actors, Directors and Other Theatre Makers

Students will have their work bought to life by working with other students studying acting, directing, production arts and stage management from across the school.

The programme is delivered through masterclasses, workshops and seminars delivered by top industry professionals and experienced practitioners.

This is a full-time course, but contact hours will normally be concentrated into two days a week (Thursday and Friday), with four ‘intensive weeks’ spread through the year. The Writers’ Hub is a dedicated space for teaching & learning, individual writing and for the group to programme activities.

Students will gain an understanding of how directors and actors unpack text. They will also have their scripts examined in practice as actors bring their scripts to life at various points through the course. Students will have access to industry standard facilities including a dedicated writers room, a radio drama studio and film department.

This course is delivered from a practitioners’ perspective and the hands-on experience will ensure an excellent start to graduates’ careers and prepare them for employment by providing a practical and critical understanding of commissioning and other industry processes.

The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has a renowned literary pedigree, and enjoys relationships with theatres across the city, south west and nationally. For instance, the School mounts productions in partnership with the Bristol Old Vic, Redgrave Theatre and Tobacco Factory, amongst others, on a regular basis, ensuring that students experience practical application of their craft in professional settings.

 

 

 

 

An Opportunity to See Your Work Practically Explored by Actors, Directors and Other Theatre Makers

Studying and developing your craft of writing within a drama school means that you will have the opportunity to see your work practically explored by actors, directors and other theatre makers.

This is a full-time course, but contact hours will normally be concentrated into two days a week (Thursday and Friday), with four ‘intensive weeks’ spread through the year. The Writers’ Hub is a dedicated space for teaching & learning, individual writing and for the group to programme activities.

 

A Sophisticated Understanding of the Industry

It is expected that by the end of the course you will have developed a signature-script to be able to offer to producers, have a developed understanding of the demands of the different media (stage, screen, audio etc) and a sophisticated understanding of the industry.

I’m constantly delighted by the talent, commitment and drive of our students. Their curiosity and joy in the work gives us all energy and keeps me on my toes! My goal is to ensure that their voices serve their acting - both in theatre and recorded media. They need to be able to project, learn accents, respond to a wide variety of texts and have a voice that is healthy and be able to sustain long tours and tough filming schedules. This involves them working extremely hard – but having fun as well. When the new students see the final year students in production for the first time I know they’ll come into class the next day fully understanding the high standard they’re working to achieve. Carol Fairlamb, Head of Voice