Foundation Degree (FdA) in Technical Theatre & Stage Management
Our students learn by doing. Your training will be vocational and practical, focusing on preparing you for work in the industry. Career guidance and professional development sessions are given throughout the course. There are no academic essays or dissertations, our work is practical and collaborative. You will be asked to write a self assessment every six weeks and written work ranges from risk assessments to technical schematics as part of the training.
After a broad-based first year of training, your second year allows you the opportunity to specialise in the vocational area that interests you, choosing from stage management, lighting, scenic construction, technical management, sound, property making and supervision, production management, video, scenic art or costume.
From the outset, you will work on RADA public productions – we stage around 15 shows a year – as crew and/or operator. These productions are directed by professionals and usually involve professional designers. In your second year you will work in more senior roles (of which there are around eighty to choose from). Theses include: stage manager, deputy/ assistant stage manager, wardrobe supervisor, production electrician, lighting programmer, production sound engineer, production video engineer, scenery builder or project manager, production manager, technical manager, scenic artist, broadcast/ camera supervisor, props supervisor.
You will also undertake a professional placement in your second year for up to six weeks with a theatre company, organisation or practitioner. Recent student placements have taken place on shows including Harry Potter and the Cursed Child, The Curious Incident of the Dog in the Night-Time and Secret Cinema, and at venues such as the National Theatre, Old Vic, Young Vic, Glyndebourne Opera, Regent’s Park Open Air Theatre, Royal Court and English National Opera .
Rich and diverse in its scope and facilities, the course combines in-depth technical instruction with insight into the organisational, management and collaborative skills that form the core of successful work in theatre and other areas of the entertainment industry, like film, radio, television, conferences, events and other commercial ventures.
We encourage personal development, considered reflective practice and strong individual growth because these are the skills that will support you through a complex, high-pressured and rewarding career.
RADA also regularly hosts guest speakers, comprising leading figures from a wide range of industries and walks of life – from politics and arts, to photography, neuroscience and religion.
Students benefit from a the RADA Buddy mentoring scheme, which supports your transition from student to professional with graduate ‘buddies’ providing professional advice, feedback and networking opportunities.
Although the Foundation degree is intended as a complete vocational training in itself, students who successfully complete the FdA and acheive at least a Merit will now automatically be considered for the BA (Hons) progression year - enabling students to deepen their specialist knowledge further in one or two areas of technical theatre or stage management.