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MFA Linklater Teaching Practice (Voice and Theatre Arts)
Course Leader: Mary Irwin and Gemma Maddock
Course Location: Wandsworth (London)
Study Level: Postgraduate
Study Mode: Part Time
Course Length: 17 Months (36 teaching weeks)
Application: FREE
Awarding Body
St Mary’s University, London
*(subject to validation)
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ALRA collaborated with Kristin Linklater to create a unique Master of Fine Arts degree, subject to validation by St Marys University, Twickenham.

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We know there are some concerns about what studying at ALRA will be like from September. ALRA is committed to, and will provide, the conservatoire experience that each student deserves. We will continue to deliver our programmes at the highest level of quality and safety – always adhering to government guidelines. Students will receive full information before courses begin in September and we are looking forward to welcoming back our existing students and enrolling all of our new recruits.


ALRA collaborated with Kristin Linklater to create a unique Master of Fine Arts degree, subject to validation by St Marys University, Twickenham.

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We know there are some concerns about what studying at ALRA will be like from September. ALRA is committed to, and will provide, the conservatoire experience that each student deserves. We will continue to deliver our programmes at the highest level of quality and safety – always adhering to government guidelines. Students will receive full information before courses begin in September and we are looking forward to welcoming back our existing students and enrolling all of our new recruits.


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Course Length: 17 Months (36 teaching weeks)
Application: FREE
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We know there are some concerns about what studying at ALRA will be like from September. ALRA is committed to, and will provide, the conservatoire experience that each student deserves. We will continue to deliver our programmes at the highest level of quality and safety – always adhering to government guidelines. Students will receive full information before courses begin in September and we are looking forward to welcoming back our existing students and enrolling all of our new recruits.


ALRA collaborated with Kristin Linklater to create a unique Master of Fine Arts degree, subject to validation by St Marys University, Twickenham.

  • The new MFA Linklater Teaching Practice (Voice and Theatre Arts) is a unique practice- based Masters Degree centred in Kristin Linklater’s methodology. Linklater was 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 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 work 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.

    Mid-Programme Attachment 

    In the months between study, that bridge the end of the taught portion of year one and start of year two, students will organise a professional attachment with a Designated Linklater Teacher, and another with an Applied Theatre Practitioner or other organisation engaged in social or educational activism.

    Year 2 

    Candidates will enter into a focused study and practice stream to prepare them for the specialised qualification of Designated Linklater Teacher. Opportunities to deliver Linklater methodology will involve collaboration with their peers, as well as other teaching opportunities. A particular emphasis will be placed on the process of pedagogic practice, and the personal and vocal discoveries made in this specialised learning environment.

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

    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.

    During Year 1, learners will travel to Orkney for a two-week residency at the Kristin Linklater Voice Centre

     

    Schedule: 

    From March through to August 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 mentoring Designated Linklater Teacher as well as a 50 hour placement with an organisation employing Applied Theatre Arts.

    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.

    As part of their preparation for Designation as a Linklater Voice Teacher, students will teach the progression to interested communities. These sessions will be observed and critiqued by peers and Senior Designated Linklater Teachers.

    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, a Linklater practitioner of senior standing will 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 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 – 100 hours of contact time

    This placement is undertaken during the seven months between the taught portions of Years One and Two. Students will engage in two separate Creative Attachments:

    Specialised paths include:

    • MFA candidates will individually observe 50 hours of teaching by a senior DLT
    • They will also intern with a practising company or organisation engaged in social or educational activism to further their practical understanding of Applied Theatre principles

    Following these residencies, all students will present two practise-based papers. One will explicate a specific learning journey (individual or group) the student has noted in the voice students they observed, and the other will articulate their observations of how individuals were impacted by the social or educational activism they were a part of.

    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: (Voice and Theatre Arts)

    60 

    Year 2- 250 hours of contact time

    All students will study: 

    • Theatre History
    • Theatre Arts Curriculum Development
    • Psychology of Voice
    • Neurodiversity and Voice
    • The Business of Voice
    • Recorded Media and Vocal Technique
    • Leadership
    • Anatomy and Physiology
    • Embodied Phonetics and Accent work
    • Ethics within Applied Theatre

    During the second year of study, students will enter into an observed practice teaching stage, demonstrating their ability to teach each step of the Linklater Method.

    Students will work with the Course Leader and peers to refine their practical and theoretical knowledge. Detailed one to one voice tutorials will be held.

    The cohort will create a collaborative Applied Theatre project engaging with others in a creative endeavour.

    Students 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 across a range of topics.

    Assessment will be through an observed 90-minute Voice class, led by the 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 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:  

    • One residency in Orkney at the Kristin Linklater Voice Centre led by a senior Designated Linklater Teacher.
    • Self-selected apprenticeship and observership with a Designated Linklater Teacher and 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.

    Auditions will comprise performance one classical text, one contemporary text and an unaccompanied song, followed by an interview.

  • Fees for 2021 Entry

    Term

    Annual

    Deposit

    TOTAL

    MFA Linklater Teaching Practice

    £3,000

    £9,000

    £400

    £9,400

  • Acceptance into the programme is by written application and audition.

    On the assessment day applicants will present the following:

    • A classical speech (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)
    • A contemporary speech (2-3 minutes). This speech should either be selected from a play or a real life political speech. 
    • A song (unaccompanied verse and chorus of any chosen song)

    Applicants will then take part in a workshop where they will be assessed on ensemble, performance and skill.

    Finally, applicants will be invited to interview.