Drama at Essex
Why study drama at Essex?
We believe that a true marriage of practical engagement and intellectual enquiry produces a deep understanding of the way in which drama works.
From day one students are encouraged to create their own theatre in response to a wide range of contemporary and classical texts.
All drama modules are taught through a combination of practical workshops and seminars. All lecturers come from the theatre profession and continue to have active theatre careers, either as playwrights, directors, actors or theatre makers.
Students can follow their own interests and tailor make their own degrees by choosing from the wide range of modules offered. In the third year students can opt to make their own independent practical project.
What is the Centre for Theatre Studies
The Centre for Theatre Studies sits inside the Department of Literature, Film and Theatre Studies, which offers a host of courses in literature, creative writing, film and drama. The growing synergy between these fields is reflected in our teaching. We also pride ourselves on being a friendly department, responsive to your needs and committed to providing an environment conducive to learning.
You may also choose from a variety of courses taken jointly with other departments Students are provided with a thorough grounding in areas that are key to theatre and performance, notably the theory and practice of comedy, tragedy, physical theatre, live art, classic texts, and contemporary writing and stage-management. Students are able both to write and direct new plays, as well as to redefine classics and rediscover neglected masterpieces. Drama students can also broaden their the scope of their studies by taking options in subjects such as film studies, US literature, and creative writing.
The Lakeside Theatre is a vibrant creative hub which sits on the edge of a lake at the heart of the campus, with a small studio laboratory for experimental work and a 200 seat, fully equipped auditorium. It is a place of wonder, discovery and curiosity fronted by a convivial, buzzing café. It is a thriving venue showing a diverse and thought-provoking programme of theatre, comedy, live art and music.
Students can be involved in all areas of the theatre’s operation both front of house and behind the scenes so that they can gain invaluable work experience.
Students are invited to join the Lakeside Theatre Student Company, which offers weekly workshops led by the Artistic Director and visiting industry professionals. The workshops offer students practical training, personal development and the skills needed to embark upon a career in the performing arts.
After studying at Essex
A drama degree can open doors to a wide variety of places. Creativity is a highly valued skill in our changing world. Our graduates have gone on to become producers, playwrights, actors, administrators, teachers, youth workers, stage managers, live artists, theatre makers and many more careers.
The Department offers an MA in Theatre Studies (full-time or part-time), which specialises in playwriting and Shakespeare studies but also offers the possibility of combining playwriting with other creative writing disciplines. The Centre for Theatre Studies is led by Professor Jonathan Lichtenstein, a professional playwright, who has enjoyed recent successful runs with the National Theatre of Wales, and in London, Edinburgh and New York. Elizabeth Kuti, also a successful playwright, has had her work staged in London and Dublin. Her radio plays have been broadcast on Radio 3 and Radio 4, and Rebecca Prichard whose plays have been performed at the Royal Court, The Tricycle, Chichester Festival Theatre and Clean Break.
is a specialist in French theatre, and has translated several plays from French
The Centre for Theatre Studies welcomes applications for PhD research. Please see individual web pages of the tutors named above for areas of expertise. Examples of present PhD theses can be seen at current research students.
More about the Department of Literature, Film, and Theatre Studies
Languages for All
As a University of Essex student, you can also study a language alongside your course for free as part of the Languages for All scheme.