The course embraces the three concepts of design, performance and theatre-making. Students develop skills in design, sculpture, manipulation, visual performance, animation, movement, voice, devising and collaborative theatre-making. There are opportunities to make, and perform with, puppets in a range of styles and explore the world of object manipulation. All years will develop projects for performance both within and outside, Central. The course works closely with professional practitioners and internationally recognised puppet companies, all of whom are experts in their fields and students benefit from a wide range of visiting lecturers and placements in theatres and with companies worldwide.
The course aims to develop skilled practitioners who are able to initiate and develop their own projects as well as collaborating closely with others within a discipline that needs both technique and creativity. Students are encouraged to engage with contemporary practice from the outset, to develop strong working relationships with professional practitioners and to forge their own identities as specialists in the field.
Practical research and development will be underpinned by contextual studies in puppetry and visual theatre performance, including historical and theoretical discussions, and intercultural study of traditional forms and practices.
Students work closely with other students on other strands of the Theatre Practice course so that they understand, respect and work effectively with the full range of professional practitioners, in order to appreciate the theatre process and interdisciplinary practice.
Throughout the three years, students will have the opportunity to experience puppetry in a variety of contexts, participate in frequent visits to shows, talks and workshops by visiting professionals, and benefit from ongoing collaboration with a number of arts bodies within London and elsewhere.
Introduction to a range of collaborative and strand-specific projects in order to explore puppet-making processes, principles of movement, voice work, acting, animation and manipulation, application of puppetry skills to specific projects; students create a performance in response to a text and develop installation, site-specific and immersive theatre in collaboration with other strands. Research into traditional puppetry forms and contemporary puppetry companies of note.
Collaboration with BA (Hons) Theatre Practice Performance Arts students on an experimental performance project; development of a major puppetry production which will tour nationally and possibly internationally; and with Applied Theatre students, using puppetry in a community setting such as working with the charity MIND, creating performance for elderly dementia sufferers or assisting with a puppetry production created by prisoners. Research into different styles and practitioners such as Kantor, Meyerhold and Craig, symbolism and Dada.
Students negotiate personal development plans and carry out individual work to deepen learning in specific areas of interest. The personal development plan may be a professional placement with puppet theatre companies, working as an assistant director, in-school training in specific complementary areas, preparing solo work for performance, or an apprenticeship with makers.