MA in Directing for Circus
Circomedia is pleased to offer a Masters in Directing for Circus.
This course is unique in the world and has been created in response to a recognised need in the contemporary circus industry and the Arts Council of England for the development of a new kind of performance director, one that is aware of the possibilities and limitations of using circus techniques in an artistic context. As well as studying a range of research methodologies the course covers the roles, strategies and practical skills of circus directing in two areas - the director as author and the director as facilitator. Over the duration of the course, you will have the opportunity to explore the direction of circus performance for a wide variety of audiences in varying contexts. This might include sharing your work with specialist educators, student peers, studying other subject areas, and working with youth circus groups.
The course will explore circus direction in-depth through a variety of research methods and promote autonomous and collaborative learning. You will also work with professionals in the industry and engage with current debates and discourses of the discipline to ensure you are at up-to-date with the most recent developments within such a specialised, but potentially diverse, industry.
Starting 21st September 2017 for 12 months.
How is the course structured?
The course is split into five modules:
- Research methodologies
- Circus Directing 1: Performer as Source
- Circus Directing 2: Director as Author
- Professional engagement
- Thesis project
This module gives you an opportunity to work alongside students from other Performing Arts disciplines. It develops a sophisticated understanding of, and ability to, research at a postgraduate level. The module recognises that research in the performing arts disciplines is a dynamic and varied field, which the methodologies explored on this module reflect. The module also encourages students from different disciplines to work together, thereby increasing your research capacities and broadening your research horizons. The module also provides specific context tailored to the individual needs of each Performing Arts MA course.
This practical module explores a range of roles, responsibilities and skills necessary for directing circus-based performance. You study different types of circus performance creation and demonstrate skills through practice and knowledge sharing. You begin by learning about all the roles that a circus director may be required to fulfil including dramaturgy, choreography and design, as well as the implications of different starting points such as performer-as-source and director-as-author. You engage in short, small projects, mainly working to facilitate the creative ideas and performance of the performer(s).
This module develops your directing skills with a longer, more in-depth project, with more emphasis on director-as-author, shifting the emphasis from taught learning to more independent learning. You direct circus-based acts or pieces to demonstrate your advanced level skills through practice, at a semi-professional level. You will also reflect critically upon your overall skills development for directing circus and place them in the context of the contemporary industry. Teaching includes workshops, seminars, and off-site visits to companies in rehearsal.
This module gives you the opportunity to explore your subject specialism within a contemporary professional context to promote entrepreneurialism and/or professional practice. The shared elements of this module links Performing Arts practitioners from different subject areas, while subject specific content focusses on professional approaches. This module includes placements with leading UK contemporary circus companies.
Your final project will draw on skills and knowledge acquired in modules 1, 2, 3, and 4. Drawing on an area of practice that is central to your interests and aspirations, your thesis content is decided in negotiation with your course tutors. It may take the form of a written submission or practical work or a combination of both. The initial stages of your project will commence with tutor guidance and then become self-directed in its later stages. A single summative assessment will conclude this final module of your Masters' degree.
How will this course benefit my practice and career?
The course gives you the support and freedom to build upon your practice and research profile by completing a dissertation or developing a circus production from start to finish. These experiences are valuable for developing directors, educators, scholars and circus enthusiasts. The course will equip you with the knowledge, skills and experience to pursue a professional career in the study and/or practice of directing circus. Over the duration of the course, you will have the opportunity to explore the direction of circus performance for a wide variety of audiences in varying contexts. This might include sharing your work with specialist educators, student peers, studying other subject areas, and working with youth circus groups.
This course aims to:
- Foster creative practices for directing circus-based performance work
- Promote autonomous and collaborative learning and performance skills
- Explore circus direction in-depth through a variety of research methods
- Engage with current debates and discourses of the discipline
- Experience working with professionals in the industry.
Is this the right course for me?
This course would suit those who have professional or semi-professional experience, either as a circus-artist performer who is interested in moving into directing or, as a theatre-based director who is interested in moving into circus-based work. However, a thorough practical knowledge of techniques is a requirement for entry onto the course.
The course would be suitable for:
- Entrants who have a background in the subject or, acquired through previous study (e.g. an honours degree in circus).
- Entrants who have acquired extended work experience that enables admissions staff to be confident of the candidate's ability to succeed in the programme.
- The course is suitable for those who have some professional or semi-professional experience EITHER as circus-artist performers who are interested in moving into directing OR as theatre-based directors who are interested in moving into circus-based work. However thorough practical knowledge of circus techniques is a requirement for entry onto the course.
What are the course fees?
How do I apply?
Applications should be sent directly through to Bath Spa University. You can download the application form from the Bath Spa University website. Once filled in send your application to admissions [ @ ] bathspa.ac.uk
*Subject to approval