Technical and Production Management, BA

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DURATION: 

3 years full-time, October start

UCAS CODE: 

Institution code: C35; Course code: W493

AWARD: 

Bachelor of Arts (Hons) Theatre Practice

About the course

Studying on the Technical and Production Management specialism of the BA (Hons) Theatre Practice degree course, you will:

  • Receive intense training in fundamental theatre technology and management practice
  • Prepare for a career in technical management, production management, or associated fields within the entertainment industry
  • Learn hands-on skills and techniques of theatre technical work through to managing the collaboration of the whole production team of designers, engineers, artists and technicians.

What is Technical and Production Management?

As live theatre and performance becomes an increasingly important part of the global economy, there is a huge demand for Technical and Production Management professionals. This course trains students in the specialist skills and knowledge of managing creative processes from initial concept through rehearsal to realised performance.

As a Technical and Production Management student, you will expand your contextual and critical understanding of performance, through examining and challenging contemporary philosophies, theories and issues surrounding the industry.

Alongside work within Central, you will direct your learning towards the areas of the entertainment industry that interest you.

Make Industry Connections

You will develop career focus by engaging directly with performing arts professionals, including access to long-established and emerging industry companies, venues, manufacturers and suppliers.

By the end of the second year, you will be encouraged to make strong connections within the industry which may ultimately lead to work, extending your learning and supporting your transition from education to full-time employment.

You will have opportunities in the final year to undertake placements to further build your network of contacts as well as exploring and understanding up-to-the-minute challenges, projects and developments for productions in the sector.

Interested in applying for 2020?

You can still apply for this course and be considered through UCAS despite them classing your application as 'late'. You can also register your interest in 2020 entry here and our Admissions Team will then contact you about interview options and further details. 

Course Detail

YEAR 1: Developing hands-on skills and building knowledge

  • Developing hands-on skills and building knowledge of the core technologies and techniques used in theatre production, including set construction, lighting, sound, technical drawing, risk assessment, counterweight flying and rigging.
  • Working closely with students from other courses at Central on a number of practical projects, developing teamwork and leadership skills
  • Learning key principles of health and safety, budgeting and timekeeping.

Year 2: Continuing to hone organisational and management skills

  • Undertake roles which are pivotal to the creation of public productions, progressively taking on greater responsibility and challenges, as appropriate; for example, you may be the Technical Manager or Head of Flying and Rigging.
  • You will be guided by specialist staff and mentored by visiting professional practitioners, working alongside mixed student and professional creative teams.
  • You will continue to receive taught sessions in specialist topics e.g. AutoCAD, health and safety legislation, pyrotechnics and automation.
  • Explore self-marketing and employment issues, as well as unions and industry associations, pay and work conditions, and insurance requirements will help prepare you for your career.

Year 3: Focus on professional development

  • Undertake activities such as managing budgets, ensuring the highest standards of health and safety are maintained and creatively solving complex logistical or technical problems.
  • You will be assigned roles individually, which may include being the Production Manager on a public productions. These challenges offer experience as Technical and Production Managers through working in a ‘real world’ context.
  • Preparation of a portfolio and a career plan which sets out the next steps in your professional life, including a presentation to a panel of leading industry figures, who will offer you suggestions and advice to support you on your chosen path.

Download BA Theatre Practice Programme Specification 2019-2020.pdf (1.19 MB)

Entry Requirements and Admissions

Minimum Entry Requirements

Our standard academic entry requirements range between 120 and 64 UCAS tariff points. You can see how many tariff points your qualifications would gain on the UCAS Tariff Calculator. International qualifications and others not covered within the UCAS tariff can also be accepted. Please email us if you need further clarification.

Please note that we make lower offers (including unconditional) to exceptional candidates and those who have alternative or prior experience to offer. All candidates invited to interview are asked to bring a portfolio. Interview and portfolio are key factors in determining which applicants are accepted on to the course.

Admission with Academic Credit

For information on alternative entry requirements please see www.ucas.com.

Application Details

See How to Apply section for Undergraduate courses.

We particularly encourage applications from groups currently under-represented in higher education, such as students with disabilities and members of Black, Asian and Minority Ethnic groups. Find out more information on Central’s commitment to equality and diversity.

Interviews

Find out more about the interview process for this course.

International Interviews

Each year Central hosts a number of interviews outside of the UK, with a team of tutors from Central travelling to meet applicants. The international interviews are designed to replicate the London-based interview experience in every aspect (other than a tour of our site!). See our Event Finder for listings of upcoming interview locations and dates.

International Students

Visit the International Students section to view details of English language requirements for Central's courses.

Industry Links & Placements

Placements

Throughout the course, you will have contact with performance arts professionals including industry leading and pioneering companies, venues, manufacturers and suppliers.

During your third year, you will research, arrange and attend a placement with a company, or alongside an individual practitioner, working in the field of performance arts, theatre making or events production that you are interested in developing further.

Students have undertaken a variety of placements including:

  • Production Assistant at the National Theatre
  • Proper Productions on the British Summer Time Festival
  • Assistant Technical Manager at the Young Vic
  • Stage Technologies
  • Experience in non-traditional areas of practice, for example at the Glastonbury Festival and Opera Holland Park.

Our Industry Links

The course has a range of relationships at all levels and in many areas of the performing arts industry:

London theatre companies include:

  • National Theatre
  • English National Opera
  • The Young Vic
  • Hampstead Theatre
  • Tricycle Theatre
  • Unicorn Theatre for Children

as well as receiving houses such as:

  • Sadler’s Wells
  • Hackney Empire
  • The Pleasance Theatre
  • Many West End theatres.

Touring theatre companies include:

  • Matthew Bourne’s New Adventures
  • English Touring Opera
  • Kneehigh Theatre
  • Ambassador Theatre Group

smaller, more radical companies such as:

  • Dream Think Speak
  • Shunt
  • Goat and Monkey
  • Walk the Plank
  • The World Famous
  • Emergency Exit Arts.

Technical Equipment Manufacturers and Suppliers

In addition to performance companies, Central has connections with a range of technical equipment manufacturers and suppliers, for example TAIT Stage Technologies (automation), Flying by Foy (people flying), Unusual Rigging (rigging and suspension), White Light and Stage Electrics (lighting and sound), J&C Joel (stage fabrics) and Scott Fleary (scenery construction).

The course also has links with performance venue designers including architects Keith Williams (Unicorn Theatre), Tim Foster (Tricycle Theatre) and Jason Flanagan (Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama) and theatre consultants (Theatre Projects, Charcoalblue and Theatreplan).

Recent Visiting Professionals

Julian Rudd (Remarkable Productions), Liz Pugh (Walk The Plank), Simon Byford (Production Manager), Martin Jady (Production Manager), Di Willmott (National Theatre), Kim Swaden-Ward (Circus Space).

Graduate Employment

Graduate employment and career pathways include:

  • Technical Director, Harry Potter And The Cursed Child; Curve Theatre; 59 Productions; David Bowie Exhibition, Victoria and Albert Museum; Stage Technologies; Olivier Awards; Royal Opera House.
  • Assistant Production Manager, English National Opera.
  • Production Assistant, Heart Productions Events.
  • Technical Manager, Matthew Bourne’s Swan Lake tour.
  • Automation Technician, White Christmas the musical tour.
  • Head of Stage, Opera Holland Park.
  • Draftsman, Olivier Stage Productions, National Theatre.
  • Arts Centre Manager, Ellesmere College.
  • Whole crew and production management, Opera Holland Park.

Notable Graduates

Laura Beacham (2015) was most recently Technical Assistant Stage Manager for Thriller Live. Prior to this she was also Technical Assistant Stage Manager for the UK Touring production of Rocky Horror Show. Laura has also worked in the stage crew for a number of other productions including; An American in Paris (Dominion Theatre); In the Heights (Kings Cross Theatre), and Octogan (Arcola Theatre).

Gary Beestone (2002) runs Gary Beestone Events & Theatre. Just a small selection of the projects he's provided production management for include; Secret Cinema's Casino Royale, (Shanghai), Harry Potter and the Cursed Child (London, New York, Melbourne and San Francisco), and Waltham Forest London Borough of Culture 2019's Welcome to the Forest. In addition to this, his company also oversees the project management and direction for theatre construction and renovation, and have been involved in renovations for The Lyric Theatre and Alexandra Palace Theatre. 

Christian Clark (2016) is currently Deputy Head of Lighting and Production for Sir Cameron Mackintosh's touring production of Les Misérables. Prior to this he was Head of Lighting for RSC's UK and Ireland tour of Matilda The Musical. Other productions that Christian has worked on include; Wicked (Zurich, UK and Ireland Tour); The Bodyguard (Dominion Theatre); Miss Saigon (Prince Edward Theatre), and Bend it like Beckham (Phoenix Theatre).

Benjamin Krebs (2018) is Technical Project Manager for Event Concept, a creative events production company based in London, whose clients include Dior, ASOS, Unilever, BBC, ITV and The BFI.

Aidan Lesser-Moor (2011) is Technical Director of Hull Culture and Leisure, and in his role is responsible for all technical aspects for touring shows coming to Hull New Theatre and Hull City Hall.

James Roxburgh (2008) is Senior Production Manager for 59 Productions, an award-winning design studio and production company who produce for stage, events, VR experiences, exhibitions and installations. They've worked on projects such as Grenfell - Our Home, David Bowie's Is Exhibition at the V&A, and the opening and closing ceremonies for events such as the London 2012 Olympics.

Andrea Salazar (2006) is currently Producer for alumni-led immersive theatre company, Darkfield, and is Head of Production for Punchdrunk International, the critically acclaimed immersive theatre company specialising in creating genre-defying theatrical experiences for audiences around the world.

Sarah Turney (2015) is a Project Manager for TAIT, a world leader in designing, constructing and delivering the finest live event solutions in the world. TAIT's diverse group of clients include Cirque Du Soleil, The Metropolitan Opera House, NASA and Beyoncé.

Staff on the Course

View profiles of the academic staff who teach on this course. Click on each staff member to find out more about them.

Paul Colwell, FHEA

Lecturer & Course Leader, Technical and Production Management

Peter Maccoy, BSc, PGCert, FHEA

Senior Lecturer, Theatre Production, Course Leader Stage Management
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