MFA Linklater Teaching Practice (Voice and Theatre Arts)*

MFA Linklater Teaching Practice (Voice and Theatre Arts)

*subject to validation

Course Leader John Wild
Course Location London
Study Level Postgraduate
Study Mode Part Time
Course Length 2 Years
Application Free
Awarding Body St Mary’s University, London
(subject to validation)
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  • General Outline
  • Entry Requirements
  • Fees And Dates

The new MFA Linklater Teaching Practice (Voice and Theatre Arts) is a unique practice- based Masters Degree centred in Kristin Linklater’s methodology. Linklater is a world-leading expert in vocal technique for actors and performers of all disciplines. The Linklater voice methodology underpins all voice training at ALRA, which is internationally recognised as one of the most innovative centres for actor training.

The MFA is rooted in Linklater’s approach to voice as fundamental to a whole system for actor training. A second emphasis in the two-year programme is Applied Theatre Arts, as developed by Augusto Boal through his ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’.

A reimagined, pioneering training for Actor-Teachers

ALRA believe that the highest purpose of theatre is to shed light on the lives we lead and to the shift perception towards potential transformation. 

Who is this for?

This training programme takes into consideration the changing world of the performing arts industry and traditional actor training. We recognise that many trained actors from conventional conservatory programmes wish to continue their training and develop their skills further. This MFA bridges the skill gap and will enable graduates to enter new creative roles with confidence and authority.

Why is this training needed? 

When actors create projects with community groups or begin to lead classes in a drama school setting, they often lack the specific skills and ethical preparation to engage effectively with groups.

Combining the Linklater approach with the Applied Theatre Arts methodology of Augusto Boal, movement theory developed by Trish Arnold and the acting techniques of Michael Chekhov, this MFA programme will equip graduates with the skills to develop the capacity of multiple communities to express complex social and political needs and find their voices both metaphorically and physically. 

As global culture shifts there is a growing need for professionals who can lead artistic projects, to facilitate groups from a multitude of experiences and beliefs to successfully communicate.

What will the training experience be? 

The ALRA MFA Linklater Teaching Practice (Voice and Theatre Arts) represents a shift in emphasis in Actor Training by making voice the foundation of the training.

Year 1 

Within the first year, students will be immersed in holistic actor training that rebalances the hierarchy of voice, movement and acting. Linklater’s work is at the heart of the training, supported and complemented by Trish Arnold’s body work, known as ‘Pure Movement.’

Building on the foundation of free voices and bodies, acting classes will be based in Michael Chekhov’s psycho-physical techniques. Over the course of year one, students will choose a particular focus for their second year of study, which can be either Voice or Theatre Arts, under the guidance of the course leader. 

Mid-Programme Attachment 

In the weeks between study, that bridge the end of year one and start of year two, students will organise a professional attachment with either a Designated Linklater Teacher (Voice Specialism), or another relevant performing arts professional or mentor that complements their second year specialism.

When students begin considering choosing their professional pathway they will receive 50 hours mentorship with an appropriate advisor.

Year 2 

Candidates for Designated Linklater Voice Teacher status will enter a focused study and practice stream to prepare them for this specialised qualification. Opportunities to deliver Linklater methodology will involve collaboration with the students studying the Theatre Arts Specialism and other teaching opportunities, with a particular importance placed on the process of pedagogic practice, and the personal discoveries made in this specialised learning environment. 

Students focusing on the Applied Theatre Arts Specialism will contextualise their learning through devising a workshop or other presentation. 

All students will continue their focus on the Linklater methodology throughout Year 2, with opportunities to work within the community, with other ALRA students and peers.

In addition, all students will develop a final performance project to be presented at the end of the programme. This project will demonstrate an understanding of the pedagogical practice, and its artistic value. 

Teaching Pattern and Methods 

The programme is delivered over two years through a series of modules that consist of workshops, seminars and tutorials. The module delivery takes part in the first half of each year allowing learners to engage in employment during the non-taught elements of the programme.

Year 1 is delivered over a 17 week period between January and May.

The core disciplines of Voice, Movement and Acting are included weekly. A typical day will involve practical training in these disciplines from 9.00am to 6.00pm. Near the end of Year one, the training will focus on Augusto Boal’s ‘Theatre of the Oppressed’ methodology, during which students will be guided in the first steps towards community engagement and Applied Theatre Arts.

At the end of the taught element of the programme in Year 1, learners will travel to Orkney for a two-week residency at the Kristin Linklater Voice Centre. 

Schedule: 

From May through December of Year 1, students will engage in a self-directed practical application of their learning. This will include a minimum of 50 hours attachment to their chosen mentor.

Year 2 is delivered over a 19 week period between January and May. 

A typical day will again run from 9.00am to 6.00pm. 

The programme will be delivered over a five-day week. In addition to continued practical training, the programme will include theories of physiology, psychology and neuroscience. Students will learn about the business of teaching, entrepreneurship, and leading through creativity.

Students will additionally work with members of a community group, ALRA students or invited participants. They will follow either their Linklater teaching or Applied Theatre Arts path in order to create projects that demonstrate their specialism.

Students who have chosen to pursue Designation as a Linklater Voice Teacher will teach the entire progression to interested communities. These sessions will be observed and critiqued by peers and Senior Designated Linklater Teachers.

Those choosing to specialise in Applied Theatre Arts will lead workshops and/or rehearsals within their areas of interest. These projects will be observed and critiqued by a Boal specialist.

ALRA defines a community as a group of people who share a common experience, value system or defined cultural heritage.

At the end of the taught element of Year 2, Kristin Linklater and/or a practitioner of senior standing, will visit the UK to work intensively with the cohort.

Indicative Module Content:

Module Title 

Credit 

Delivery 

 Linklater Voice  

 20 

Year 1- 100 hours of contact time

A comprehensive training in the Linklater Voice Methodology focusing on an embodied experience of the progression as described in Freeing the Natural Voice. 

End of term assessment will be based on demonstration of both theoretical and practical understanding of the work.  

 Movement  

 20 

Year 1- 50 hours of contact time 

Movement training for actors focusing on the work of Trish Arnold, including ensemble and other relevant physical theatre approaches. 

End of term assessment will be based on demonstration of both theoretical and practical understanding of the work.  

 Acting 

 20 

Year 1- 120 hours of contact time 

Actor training will centre on the Michael Chekhov Technique, with explorations in improvisation, ensemble and scene work. 

Assessment will be through the development of a self-devised piece using the techniques presented in this first term.  

 Applied Theatre Arts

40 

Years 1 and 2 – 200 hours of contact time 

This module will focus on the work of Augusto Boal’s Theatre of the Oppressed in an initial intensive workshop. Over the course of the year the cohort will create individual applied theatre projects.

In Year 2, a professional director will work with the students to bring their projects together to create a final presentation of the module’s explorations. 

Assessment will be through the creation of a performance or workshop with accompanying reflective tasks.

 Creative Attachment:

 20 

Year 1 – 50 hours of contact time

This placement is undertaken during the seven months between the taught portions of Years 1 and 2. Students will engage in a practice based Creative Attachment in their chosen specialism.

Specialised paths include:

  • Designated Linklater Teacher candidates observe 50 hours teaching by a senior DLT
  • Applied Theatre Arts Practitioner candidates will intern with a practising company or organisation engaged in social or educational activism

Following this, all students will present a practise-based paper that explains a specific learning journey (individual or group) that they have observed.

This module is self-directed and can take place in the location of the student’s choice.  

Assessment will be based on demonstration of artistic and pedagogical ability, in addition to the fulfilment of the above requirements.  

  • Linklater Voice Teaching Practice
    or 
  • Applied Theatre Arts Practice 

60 

Year 2- 250 hours of contact time

All students will cover: 

  • Theatre History
  • Theatre Arts Curriculum Development
  • Psychology of Voice
  • Neurodiversity and Voice
  • The Business of Voice
  • Recorded Media and Vocal Technique
  • Leadership 

LVTP students will additionally cover: 

  • Anatomy and Physiology
  • Embodied Phonetics

ATAP students will additionally cover:

  • Ethics within Applied Theatre

Voice specialism students will enter into an observed practice teaching stage, demonstrating their ability to teach each step of the Linklater Methodology.

Students will work with the Course Leader and peers to refine their practical and theoretical knowledge.  

Applied Theatre Arts specialism students will create a project in their area of interest, engaging themselves or others in a creative endeavour.   

Students on both specialisms will engage in practice work with community groups, peers and/or ALRA students, with ongoing feedback from the Course Leader.  

Throughout Year two, formal classes will be augmented with lectures, workshops and practical training activities.  

Assessment will be through an observed 90 minute Voice class, led by a DLT candidate, or a workshop/rehearsal led by an ATA candidate, followed by a reflective task.   

The creation of a digital portfolio evidencing student teaching practice in the form of a ‘teaching reel’ will also be an assessed component of this module. 

Contextualising Linklater Voice in Theatre Arts Practice  

 60 

Year 2: 250 hours of contact time

This module is at the heart of the second year continuing the training in performance through the Linklater Methodology. Students continue to integrate skills into performance projects throughout Year 2.

Students will be expected to work with each other and visiting directors to create performance work that is about, and impactful upon, the world around them. This taught module will end with a self-led period of creation developing ensemble and individual pieces of performance that evidence the student’s mastery of the principles explored within the training. 

Learners will be assessed through: 

  • the development of a performance piece exploring theatre arts through the Linklater Methodology
  • a reflective Viva Voce 

Key features of this course include:  

  • Two residencies in Orkney at the Kristin Linklater Voice Centre led by Kristin Linklater, or a senior Designated Linklater Teacher.
  • Kristin Linklater will present the Designated Linklater Teacher certificates in London at the culmination of the course. 
  • Self-selected apprenticeship and/or observership with a Designated Linklater Teacher or Applied Theatre Arts Practitioner.
  • Placement and observership hours at ALRA
  • A working model for a socially driven theatre practice, centred in voice, involving partnership with applied theatre companies in the UK and beyond. 

Achievement of a BA (Hons) or BFA in Theatre or Acting or Performing Arts, in any setting. Applicants may offer equivalent professional experience as alternative qualification.

Acceptance into the programme is by written application and audition. Auditions will comprise performance one classical text, one contemporary text and an unaccompanied song, followed by an interview.

£18,000 Total Course Fee

*inclusive of Orkney travel and accommodation

Commencing January 2021

ALRA understands that choosing to go to drama school is a big decision. We have put together some useful information to help you through the application process and beyond.

Here is some useful information for applicants:

  • FAQs

  • Next Interview / Audition Dates

  • Audition Guidelines

    Auditions Guidelines

    For information on Free Auditions please see this page.

    • Your Audition
    • Audition Format

    For Acting Courses

    There are new guidelines for 2020 entry, set out below:

    Each applicant is asked to prepare three audition pieces.

    • a contemporary monologue (from a play written post 2000)
    • a piece of poetry OR spoken word OR a second contemporary monologue (this piece should be contrasting from your first and can but does not have to be self-written)
    • a classical monologue (this can be Shakespearean/Jacobean/Elizabethan or an equivalent text that may be from cultures other than western classical text but contain elements of rhythm and poetry

    Please make sure you have read the whole plays your monologues come from and that it works as a stand-alone speech, not requiring input from another character.

    Ensure that you:

    • Prepare and learn your pieces thoroughly
    • Choose pieces that are close to you in age
    • Do not use props or costume
    • Use only your natural accent
    • Wear clothing that's easy to move in (i.e. no tight jeans/skirts etc.)

    ALRA is assessing you on the following qualities and abilities throughout the day: 

    • Truth, focus and concentration
    • Potential to express thought and feeling through text, movement and voice
    • Openness and responsiveness to others, imagination and creativity
    • Ability to take direction

    For further help and advice, please see our FAQ Audition Advice Videos

    ALRA offers various provisions for access to our full-time courses for applicants:

    • Auditions, Interviews & Workshops at ALRA North & South Campus
    • Workshops & Auditions at Private Outreach  Venues
    • Auditions, Interviews & Workshops at Regional UK Venues
    • Preliminary Online Assessments for International Students
    • Auditions, Interviews & Workshops at International Venues
    • Collaborative Partnerships

    ALRA follows the ‘Auditioning and interviewing for Dance & Drama Code of Practice’ as detailed on the CDMT and EFA websites.

    Audition Days (All Acting Courses)

    Selection is made by audition that takes place over one day. Applicants will be considered based on performance of text, vocal and physical suitability and individual interview.

    The day will consist of two stages.

    Stage 1 all applicants will perform their two contrasting contemporary audition pieces (see Your Audition tab above).

    At this point the panel will consider all applicants and decide who will progress to the next stage.

    Stage 2 applicants will participate in a workshop, perform their classical monologue and finally be invited to interview.

    There are opportunities to talk to staff and students throughout the audition process.

    Audition Day Format

    This is a rough format of how a typical audition day runs.*

    Stage 1

    • 9.00 – 9.30: Arrival and Registration
    • 9.30 – 10.15: Warm Up
    • 10.15 – 11.15: Audition Piece One
    • 11.30 – 12.30: Audition Piece Two

    Stage Two (for applicants who progress onto this stage)

    • 1.00 – 2.00: Workshop
    • 2.00 – 3.30: Audition Piece Three
    • 3.30: Interview

    *Please note that the times given may vary, dependant on numbers. 

    Audition Results

    ALRA operates an Equal Opportunities Policy: all candidates will be assessed on their potential to meet the demands of the course and considered entirely on the basis of merit. Those showing the most aptitude at audition will be considered for Dance and Drama Awards.  

    The audition panel for all full-time courses are run by Course Leaders, Lead Tutors and Senior Staff members, final selection is completed by the Principal and Registrar.

    Successful applicants will have demonstrated a significant degree of talent, ability, preparation, aptitude and commitment as well as the ability to make a positive contribution to, and benefit from training with ALRA. 

    Audition results are usually processed and sent out via email as well as available on the Audition Management System within ten working days of the date of audition. ALRA always aspires to inform applicants of the audition result within this timeframe but during busier times results can take longer and we ask for patience and understanding in these circumstances.

     

    Feedback from Auditionees

    • Thank you for the opportunity, and for providing a thoroughly enjoyable experience... even if I don't get a place I have loved the experience.
      Natasha Davidson
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Reasons to study at ALRA
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    ALRA is a leading conservatoire drama school with a reputation for training hard working, fully-rounded professional actors.
  • ALRA’s acting training includes includes specialist instruction in stage, film, TV, audio, comedy, voice and movement and is supported with contextual studies to prepare for work.
  • ALRA is a leading conservatoire drama school with a reputation for training hard working, fully-rounded professional actors.
  • ALRA has built strong relationships within the industry and our showcases and productions are directed and attended by agents, directors, casting directors, writers, producers and our own inspiring Alumni.
  • ALRA’s resident teams are dedicated, talented professionals with a wealth of knowledge and experience and a passion for teaching. Our students are supported in all aspects of their studies.
  • ALRA’s reputation of securing opportunities for students grows each year and our Alumni are working in the West End, Regional and Touring Theatre Productions, as well as in Film, TV and Comedy both in the UK and beyond.
  • ALRA recruits a comparatively small number of students each year so that everybody has our full attention and feels part of the school from the moment they arrive.
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