Creative Producing  

Kevin Wyatt-Lown, Head of Marketing at East 15, outlines their new degree course in Creative Producing, aiming to train individuals in theatre making from behind the scenes.

Building on East 15 Acting School’s track record for helping create international award-winning theatre companies, this year they will introduce a new course (for September 2018 entry) offering a BA in Creative Producing. The course is designed to prepare students to become versatile professionals in a wide range of production roles in theatre and related industries.

As well as their well-deserved reputation for training actors acclaimed for their courage, versatility and vision, top-ranked drama school East 15 has also built a formidable track record in nurturing Playmakers.

Students are encouraged, across all courses, to devise and develop original works and the proof of the success of this thinking has been highlighted year after year through the award-winning work students have taken to festivals from Edinburgh to New York that have not only won accolades for their premier performances, but have then enjoyed success in reaching wider audiences with both national and international tours.

As well as the opportunity to stage individual devised productions being offered across all courses, both the BA Acting (International) and BA Acting and Contemporary Theatre graduate years host their own annual Festivals of work. The IF and Debut Festivals provide a platform upon which students are able to write, direct and perform their own new works.

In 2016, as part of the school’s commitment to supporting career progression, a New Production Award programme was established. Designed to support new companies being created both by current and past students, some £50,000 was awarded to eleven new companies in the first year and the success of this ongoing initiative has provided added impetus to those who seek support to help them create new work.

Students are encouraged to interact with those from other courses and take a very collegiate view toward developing projects. As a result, it is rare that any one company would be drawn from a single course. With a range of specialisms on offer within East 15 that range from Community Theatre to Physical Theatre and Stage Combat, new companies enjoy a rich mix of talent.

In addition, East 15’s excellent video and post-production resources ensure that students all have the opportunity to engage with hands-on filmmaking and so help develop their understanding the workings of the medium.

Ever keen to ensure that the training offered by East 15 helps best equip students for the global 21st Century performing arts industry, the very logical next step for them is to introduce a course that will specialise in developing skills in the all-important role of Producer.

The BA Creative Producing course draws on the broad disciplines of film and theatre making (such as writing for performance, lighting and sound, directing, dramaturgy, prop and digital set design and creation), while combining the knowledge of these skills with the business focused elements of the creative arts and the associated industries (including marketing, web-design and arts and live event management).

Designed to develop the individual’s qualities and transferable skills of communication, presentation and analysis necessary for employment or, indeed, to become employers themselves through their own creative endeavours. This is a full-time, vocationally-centred, course designed to develop the skills of creative producers destined to work in every area of the preforming arts.

The programme is aimed at entrepreneurial artists with an interest in creating, producing, administrating and promoting productions in any and all of the associated fields, including theatre, film, touring and live events as well as writing for and directing performances.

With a strong emphasis on learning through both practice and theory, students will work individually and as part of creative teams from the first year onwards and begin working with actors, directors and designers, to develop, manage and promote projects for public performance.

The course will be based at East 15’s Southend Campus and will afford the opportunity to be working alongside students in training across a wide range of acting disciplines, as well as providing direct access to the schools’ own the state-of-the-art Clifftown Theatre.

As well as contributions for a wide range of professionals in their respective fields, and in addition to having direct access to such a range of in-house acting talent, the course will also benefit from input from many of the School’s alumni who have already established themselves as creative playmakers in their own right.

Figures just published by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media & Sport declare that the UK’s creative industries are now worth over £84 billion to the UK economy. While there has never been a shortage of creative talent to originate work across the digital, live event, music, publishing screen and stage sectors, all of this creativity and talent needs to be managed and the School believes (as they have also proven with the success of their BA Stage and Production Management course) that employment prospects for well-trained graduates, skilled in non-performance based disciplines, are excellent.

Application is through UCAS, the code for the BA Creative Producing is W900.

Photography credit: Kevin Wyatt-Lown