MA Performance: Writing

MA Performance: Writing

Central Saint Martins

Courtesy of Central Saint Martins.

June 6, 2023
MA Performance: Writing
Innovation in the art of storytelling
Graduate showcase: June 21, 2023, 1pm and 7pm (BST)
Central Saint Martins
Granary Building, 1 Granary Square
King’s Cross
N1C 4AA London

Applications are open for MA Performance: Writing for entry in 2023. Sign up for the MA Performance: Writing Showcase on June 21. 

Course Leader Ray Grewal has this to say about what sets MA Performance: Writing apart: “So many set out to write a script; so few set out to tell a story.”

This was a sentiment I expressed at a meeting of the department heads, the exec producers and the readers at the BBC Writersroom. When I worked at the Writersroom we spent days sifting through radio dramas, theatre plays and screenplays for film and television. One thing became very clear very quickly: whilst people had a passion to write scripts, they didn’t seem to have an equal passion to learn what a story is and how to tell one.

These two questions form the bedrock of the MA Performance: Writing course: what is a story? And how do you tell one?

Students on the course can expect to watch and listen to stories in many different media: film, TV, theatre, web series, interactive, audio; they can expect to hear stories from other students who come from all over the world; and they can expect to be taught by working professionals whose job it is to tell stories. Students will work on their individual projects; they will collaborate with others on the course; and they will collaborate with other courses. Students will be expected to engage in self-directed learning: watching, listening and reading stories outside their usual sphere of interest, making use of the library, presentations and talks delivered by industry professionals. And throughout it all every student will be expected to engage with the questions: what is a story and how do I tell one?

Year one of the course is tutor-driven. In Unit One students will explore storytelling in television, theatre and digital media (web series and interactive). In Unit Two students collaborate with the MA Character Animation students as well as write a short film script. Tutors will share their views of storytelling, their experiences of working across various media and inspire students to challenge themselves.

Year two is student driven. Unit Three is composed of Professional Prep and a student led symposium. In Professional Prep students explore their place in the storytelling industry—which creative outlets would suit their voice and how to approach them. Or create their own by setting up their own social media channel or theatre company. The symposium allows each student to explore some essential aspect of storytelling that inspires, fascinates or challenges them. In Unit four students work on their final portfolio and take on the role of script editor or dramaturg to each other’s writing.

Throughout, students are expected to engage with the questions “what is a story and how do I tell one?” There is no expectation that the answers to these questions should stay the same throughout the duration of the course, nor that there is a single answer that applies to all students universally, and certainly not that the stories of one culture are more important than the stories of another. Nor that a story told in an interactive text-based adventure should be the same as a site-specific theatre experience. And definitely not that the narrative theories of any one thinker are more relevant than any other.

The only expectation is that when each student sits down to work, they are sitting down to tell a story and not sitting down to write a script.

Course length and mode of study
MA Performance: Writing is delivered over two years (60 weeks) in Extended Full-time (EFT) mode. Devised in collaboration with students, EFT sits between full-time and part-time and allows students to maintain a balance between the competing demands of contemporary life and the pace of postgraduate study in an arts and design college.

Applications are reviewed until the course is full. Full details of entry requirements can be found on the course pages of our website.    

A note to applicants from the US: University of the Arts London participates in US federal student aid programs which means that US applicants may be eligible for federal loans to help cover the cost of study.

RSVP for MA Performance: Writing
Central Saint Martins
June 6, 2023

Thank you for your RSVP.

Central Saint Martins will be in touch.

I have read e-flux’s privacy policy and agree that e-flux may send me announcements to the email address entered above and that my data will be processed for this purpose in accordance with e-flux’s privacy policy*

Thank you for your interest in e-flux. Check your inbox to confirm your subscription.