Originally printed in THE NEWS on 3rd December, 2010.
The single overarching aim is to develop the intellectual and practical artistry, craft and attitude of highly trained professional actors and directors. The course will provide a safe environment in which experimentation, innovation and creativity are a highly valued part of the learning process. The aims of the degree are designed to provide an integrated academic and professional training environment conceived and structured in such a way as to enable students to gain the knowledge, understanding and skills to pursue and sustain worthwhile careers in the performance industries.
The 4-year degree programme is comprised of two semesters per year, each of 18 weeks duration.
Level 1 (Year 1)
The first level equips students with foundational practical skills and theoretical knowledge upon which students can develop their own methodologies, and is comprised of core modules in acting and theory, theatre history, dramatic texts, music and voice, dance and movement, production analysis, scenography and a production studio. The first level provides a broad overview of Pakistani theatre, within historical and contemporary perspectives, and inducts skills pertaining to classical and modern theatrical approaches: song, dance and acting and the synthesis between them.
Strong emphasis will be placed on training the physical body, voice, presence and energy of the performer. Training draws upon regional theatre practice, contemporary theory, together with philosophies of theatre from world practice to create a holistic approach to the acting medium.
Islamic Studies and Pakistani Studies are modules shared with the other departments, facilitating interaction between other students and faculty. Further, components of the foundation Visual Theory may be incorporated into the History/ Dramaturgy strand, as appropriate.
Students can expect to perform in at least 2 directed studio productions over the year which will bring together all of the skills and ideas developed.
Level 2 (Year 2)
The second level challenges the processes students have acquired at level 1, and encourages them to discover their own creative processes.
This year continues with core modules at a more advanced level in music and voice, dance and movement, acting and direction theories and practice, dramatic texts and a production studio. Dramaturgy modules replace the History modules at this stage of the programme to strengthen theoretical perspectives and explicitly forge a nexus between theory and practice, aimed at transference of taught theory and concepts through a practical workshop orientation.
The production studio enables students to participate in ensemble creation, direct elements of their own training, and consciously choose techniques to develop a contemplative approach to the creative processes of theatre-making.
Level 3 (Year 3)
Students have the opportunity to choose minor electives, informed by their own career pathways.
At this level, the focus of the course aims at inculcating a professional work ethic in the students, and they have the opportunity of working each semester on a large-scale production with professional theatre directors, undertaking an internship in a professional environment and finally producing a self-directed large-scale performance.