Stage Management and Technical Theatre (Foundation/BA) - Foundation Degree
Academy of Live and Recorded Arts
Studio 24, Royal Victoria Patriotic Building, John Archer Way, Wandsworth, London, SW18 3SX
Tel: 020 8870 6475
Course Leader: Janet A. Cantrill
Qualification: Foundation Degree (validated by St Mary's University College)
The amazing thing about ALRA is that you learn everything there is to know about stage management and technical theatre. You get to try out every single role, which gives you a wider perspective about how the backstage life works in theatre.
This two-year course offers a thorough vocational training for those who wish to work in theatre stage management and technical theatre production.The course includes practical and theoretical instruction in stage management, production management, lighting, sound engineering and design, set construction, prop and set design, costume design and lighting design. Students gain professional knowledge of the industry and will be prepared for a variety of employment opportunities from small-scale theatres to large multi-media events. In addition, they undertake a professional work placement in the second year.
Studying at ALRA on the Stage Management & Technical Theatre course equips you with the necessary skills, experience, vision and determination to gain employment within the theatre industry. The course is deliberately challenging and endeavours to emulate the procedures of the industry.The course encourages you to develop a strategy for survival in the profession. Production work takes place in ALRA's flexible theatre space, working with professional directors and designers. ALRA also tours to external venues providing you with valuable experience of organising and managing a touring production.
The course is structured over two years and includes units in: Stage Management, Production Management, Radio Recording / Making Radio Plays, Prop Making and Sourcing, Electrics, Stage Lighting, Theatre Sound, Technical Drawing/Design, Model Making, Special Effects, Costume Construction and Maintenance, Design Process, Health and Safety and Preparation for entry into the industry.Each year ALRA SMTT students produce six productions, 3 in the ALRA theatre, two touring and one in another London venue. In the first year they develop core skills in stage management, lighting, sound, stage craft, costume maintenance, design process, AV and health and safety.
They participate in small group practical classes designed to take them through a variety of occupational scenarios, from propping and prompting to mark-ups and rigging. As well as class work students take on roles in each department throughout the first year on the production. Health and Safety is an essential part of the first year of study, this covers working with access equipment, first aid training and risk assessment training.In Year 2Students are guided by a series of individual tutorials towards choosing two specialist pathways from a choice of seven, ranging from stage management to lighting design. Each pathway involves at least one allocated work placement with a professional theatre, production company or technical services company.Students take on various ‘Head of Department' roles for the public productions and have the opportunity to gain practical experience in a variety of production roles ranging from APM, DSM or technician to costume designer and sound designer. Students can expect to work on the full range of college productions including two tours and two productions in repertoire.
In the final term there is the opportunity to work on an ALRA Film with the Acting students working on technical roles such as assistant production manager, camera operator and grip. A main part of the final year is, either as a group or individual, to produce a stage management and technical theatre showcase. This showcase is designed to show off the skills learnt to an audience of invited industry professionals which is followed by an industry networking reception.You are taught mainly by practical methods, such as technique classes, workshops, exercises, rehearsal and informal presentations. You participate in group discussions and seminars as well as tutor feedback and review and regular tutorials. All tutors and directors involved in the delivery of the course are practising professionals.SMTT students work on every public production ALRA produces.
As well as visiting professionals, you will work closely with the Acting students, learning how to work with and effectively manage a company of actors.ALRA requires constant attendance at all timetabled classes, seminars and other events. Days are long and commitment has to be full-time. Calls often extend late into the evening for shows and get outs. This reflects scheduling in your future career and is a valuable part of your training.
Guest Workshops: Stage management Association, Equity, Stage Jobs Pro, Orbital Sound, ETC-lighting board training, Flints Hire and Supply, White Light, BECTU (Broadcasting Entertainment Cinematograph and Theatre Union), ABTT (Association of British Theatre Technicians), RC Annie-Weapons and Special Effects training, Horror Makeup FX- Special Effects Makeup training, Royal Opera House Broadcasting department-broadcasting in theatre, Graduates Panel - presentation to a panel of past ALRA graduates for a career Q and A.Work Placements: over the last 5 years students have undertaken work placements at the following organisations: Royal Opera House, Donmar Warehouse, National Theatre, Battersea Arts Centre, Omnibus Arts Centre, The Rose Theatre (bank side), Royal Shakespeare company, ITV, Commonwealth Games, Pleasance Theatre London, The Musical Theatre Academy, Tara Arts (UK tour), The Tron Theatre, The Arcola Theatre, The Almeida Theatre.