A full-time, two year course to equip students with the necessary skills to gain employment in the theatre industry.
Course Leader: Janet A Cantrill
Validated by: The University of Greenwich
Programme Length: Two years, full-time
Application: This course is not included in UCAS; application is direct to the school. Candidates who wish to be considered for our course should download the paper application form which should be returned to us before we arrange an interview. There is no charge for this application.
Qualification: Foundation Degree
The 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 event management, special effects, lighting, sound, prop and stage design. You will gain a 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 you will undertake a professional work placement.
Studying at ALRA on the Stage Management & Technical Theatre course equips you with the necessary skills, experience, vision and determination to gain employment with 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 working with professional directors and designers. ALRA also tours to external venues providing you with valuable experience on the road.
In 2011/12, SMTT students co-ordinated two week-long tours to schools and colleges, managing the cast's travel plans and accommodation, and managing the get in and get out at each venue. Two ALRA shows programmed at Tara Arts were also handled by SMTT students.
[Stage Management & Technical Theatre student 2010]
'I viewed a variety of drama colleges but ALRA immediately stood out. When I was looking around I found it friendly and fun. The training that I was given was amazing and truly helpful, it was a pleasure to come to ALRA every day.Even the early starts and late nights were fun, because I was working with friends and constructing and managing brilliant shows that we were all proud of.
I loved working together with the actors and the rest of the team, and seeing the final result of a production we have all put our ideas and thoughts into. I'd be lying if I said I wasn't scared of the 'real world' but my training at ALRA has enabled me to use what I've learnt and adapt and use it in the industry.'
The course is structured over two years and includes units in:
- Stage Management
- Production Management
- Event Management
- Prop Making and Sourcing
- Stage Lighting
- Theatre Sound
- Technical Drawing/Design
- Model Making
- Special Effects
- Health and Safety
- Preparation for entry into the industry
In the first year you develop core skills in stage management, lighting, sound, stage craft and AV. You participate in small group lectures designed to actively encourage debate and investigation, with time given for the exploration and understanding of each discipline. You will also participate in practical classes designed to take you through a variety of occupational scenarios, from propping and prompting to mark-ups and rigging. An understanding of Health and Safety is an essential part of the first year of study.
You are guided by a series of individual tutorials towards choosing two specialist pathways from a choice of seven. Each pathway involves at least one allocated work placement with a professional theatre, production company or technical services company.
You 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 ASM, DSM or technician to lighting designer and sound designer. You can expect to work on the full range of college productions. You will also have opportunities for work in TV and Film, with placements available assisting on the Acting students' short films.
You are taught mainly by practical methods, such as technique classes, workshops, exercises, rehearsal and informal presentations. You participate in group discussions, seminars and lectures, as well as tutor feedback and review. 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 and into weekends, for shows and get outs. This reflects scheduling in your future career and is a valuable part of your training.
Workshops and seminars
Including sessions with Orbital, Flints and Rosco.
In 2009/10, our students gained London placements at the Criterion (West End), the Arcola (Dalston), the Rose (Southbank) and the Etcetera (Camden). Students sometimes chose to take placements in theatres in their hometowns, like the Tron in Glasgow.
The relationship with our neighbours at Tara Arts continues to grow with students being employed there.
Upon successful completion the course you are awarded a Foundation Degree in Stage Management & Technical Theatre (validated by the University of Greenwich).
On completion of the course you will have the opportunity to progress to a full BA (Hons) Degree. For further information head to www.gre.ac.uk/foundation.
Selection is made on the basis of interview. Normal entry requirements also include one A level, a BTEC National Diploma in Performing Arts or GNVA Advanced in Performing Arts. However, ALRA may also consider applicants with an exceptional level of practical ability.
You must be at least 18 years old at the start of the course and ALRA welcomes the older student, especially those who are thinking about a career change.
Candidates for whom English is not a first language are required to demonstrate a level of fluency appropriate to professional training.