Departures - 2019
Performance Preparation Academy is a warm and lively community of performers, industry practitioners and facilitators.
We champion a safe and supportive working environment, promoting a strong ensemble ethic shared by our staff and students.
Our students enjoy long lasting personal and professional relationships formed whilst closely exploring a wide range of learning experiences, rehearsal-based projects and public performances.
We are dedicated to individual development, and a team of passionate teachers deliver a rigorous and innovative training programme, designed to prepare graduates for the Acting industry, with a dual focus on Stage and Screen work.
Reflection on professional practice is an empowering aspect of the student experience, and in the third year there is the option of a written dissertation or a practical research project.
In addition, there is the possibility of access to the PPA Agency, which has enviable industry links and may promote graduates into the Acting world with access to agents, casting directors and potential employers. Where possible, we encourage students to develop industry links via public performances, auditions, work-based learning opportunities, and the Showcase in London’s West End.
BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen is validated by De Montfort University. To apply for this course you will need to have 96 UCAS points (new tariff) and be over the age of 18 by 01/09/2018.
University Code: D26
Acting Course Code: W411
BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen
PPA’s BA(Hons) in Acting for Stage and Screen will give you all the skills necessary to become a professional actor. As a professional actor, you can’t rely on adrenalin or luck, you must know how to recreate your performance to the highest level, every single time that you give it. At PPA, you will discover how to do this, no small feat but one which, together, we can achieve.
You will develop a voice and a body, which allows you to assume a physicality that is different to your own and which is sustainable and safe to do for a long run. You will learn how to be free on stage and on screen, to be released and in the moment. You will learn how to approach a script to unlock it, to find the meaning within it and to share it with an audience. You will learn how to research, to explore, and to share your ideas clearly and concisely. You will learn the skills to tell stories, bravely and truthfully.
Your three years at PPA will serve you for the rest of your life. They will be demanding and will ask you to challenge yourself but they will also be massively exciting and rewarding too. You will be taught by a highly qualified and vibrant faculty, all of whom have all worked at the highest professional level. In your third year will perform in two plays, a film and a West End showcase to give you the best possible chance to be seen by industry professionals.
In Acting you will be given a toolbox of approaches and exercises to help you to create a fully rounded, detailed and truthful performance on stage, screen, radio and related media. This will be achieved through practical exercises, improvisation, monologue and scene work.
You will be given the practical skills which will allow you to unlock meaning in text and to create a character. This will be predominantly based on the System devised by Constantin Stanislavski but will also take account of the refinements and additions to his approach made by Twentieth century practitioners such as Uta Hagen and Stanford Meisner amongst others.
You will learn how to be present on stage, how to be ‘in the moment’ and to be physically and vocally released. You will explore the practical skills required by a professional actor on stage and screen and learn how to analyse your performance in a critically self-aware and specific manner both on stage and on screen.
VOICE AND MOVEMENT
Movement & Physical Skills
In movement and physical Skills you will develop the physical skills required of you as a professional actor.
You will discover your body’s potential as well as its limitations.
You will discover your habitual tensions, weaknesses and idiosyncrasies and explore methods to improve upon or overcome these limitations so that your ability to physicalise a character increases and becomes more specific and detailed.
You will explore how your body moves through space so that you have full command of your body as an expressive medium through which to convey meaning and character, in a way that is both safe and sustainable for the duration of a performance and a run.
You will study specific physical skills including neutral mask work, mime and Commedia Dell’arte, which will enhance your on stage and on screen ability to create physically free and bold characterisations.
In Voice classes you will learn how to use your voice to its fullest potential. In these classes you will learn how to harness your speaking and singing voice and your body, so that you are fully in command of them and so they serve your requirements in a performance. Voice will be taught in three component parts, which will all inform and be integral to each other.
In Practical Voice you will investigate the anatomy and physiognomy of vocal production and learn how to use your own voice to its full potential without unwanted physical tension.
In Voice and Text you will explore a wide range of texts, modern and classical, prose and verse and explore how to create meaning in performance.
In Speech and Accent you will acquire an understanding of your own specific speech habits and, through this understanding, explore other dialects.
You will also have individual voice tutorials throughout each term, which will focus on your own specific needs and vocal issues.
All students on the BA (Hons) Acting for Stage and Screen course receive:
- Group Singing Lessons
- Technical Singing Lessons
- Song Presentation Classes (Second and Third Year)
- Repertoire advice
Singing is taught using the Estill method. If students wish to have individual, weekly singing lessons, then that can be easily arranged through PPA’s office.
THE CRITICAL ACTOR
In your first year, you will develop your understanding of approaches to analysing performance and also learn to your own create research informed practical work. Staff will introduce you to different theatre theories and critical perspectives, enabling you to apply these in different formats (written, oral, practical) supporting you to become a strong communicator in different mediums. You will start to analyse live performance more deeply and consider how different critical lenses affect the way we both create and interpret a performance. You also investigate the work of different practitioners and practically apply their methods in the staging of your assessed work.
In your second year, you will explore performance styles which have pedagogic and/or political aims to consider how performance is ‘applied’ within different social contexts. You will also have further opportunities to build on your ability to develop core research skills and find creative ways to communicate your findings both individually and as part of a collective. These opportunities will enable you to develop into a creative practitioner that produces solid, original, and informed practical work.
Finally, at Level 6 you have the opportunity to design and deliver an advanced research project, demonstrating your skills in research, analysis and critical thinking in an appropriate professional format. You will be able to choose between two pathways on this research project: a written dissertation pathway or a performative research presentation pathway. The classes, supervision sessions, and independent study you do on this module should help you prepare to step into your chosen industry with a greater knowledge of current issues and professional practices. As you prepare to become a ‘solopreneur’, your research project should allow you to gain experience and confidence in working like an independent industry professional.
During your training you will develop key industry skills including:
- Excellent time management and organisational skills to manage your deadlines and research tasks
- The ability to communicate ideas verbally, in writing and practically
- Professional etiquette so you work collaboratively and professionally with peers
- How to research and apply specific theatre methods to the creation of a piece of original work
- How to present performance work for a specific audience or client group
- How to reflect on and evaluate a performance via different mediums
- The ability to apply different research methods
- The ability to operate with an ethical code of conduct
This module consists of three text-based presentations, approached consecutively on a term-by-term basis in which you will be expected to assimilate and utilise the practical and analytical skills gained from your other modules.
With assistance and careful guidance by your tutor/director, you will collaborate on a text from rehearsal through to final performance. You will work initially on a text with a strong narrative thrust, then on a European Naturalistic play and finally, in term three, on a UK text written before 1950.
You will research and rehearse thoroughly the set text from a contextual and creative perspective and use the understanding that you gain from doing so to make exciting and informed choices as an actor. You will be encouraged to experiment in rehearsal, to be emotionally brave and to adopt a sense of adventure in your approach and in so doing possibly discover a new means by which to create a performance.
In addition to the modules forming the BA (Hons) in Acting for Stage and Screen you will have the opportunity, at no additional cost, to access all the vocational classes available to Diploma students, for which you will receive the PPA Award. We strongly advise you to take up this opportunity, so that you are fully prepared to meet he challenges posed by entering the industry.
You will have classes in Stage Combat throughout your training at PPA. You will have classes in armed and unarmed combat which will include sword fighting, knife, small sword and rapier. You will have the opportunity to gain professional qualifications in armed and unarmed combat at both basic and intermediate levels. These qualifications will be offered through The Academy of Performance Combat.