Q&A

Sean Crowley

What are you looking for in your students?

Design for Performance at RWCMD encompasses design for all performance forms. There is so much variety, which is what makes it a fascinating profession and one which I am fortunate enough to have been involved in for over 20 years. I guess we look for students with a natural flair for design and a desire to work collaboratively to create performance. We also need students who are able to cope with the intense and demanding nature of these courses. Students will cover a huge range of classes, projects and productions and be introduced to areas of performance design which they may have never considered before. We need students with imagination, curiosity, and dedication who can respond to the challenges of the training. In return, they will receive what I consider to be one of the finest theatre design experiences available in the country.

How many places are available on the course?

We look to recruit around 13 students each year. Competition for these places is intense but those who make it are rewarded with fantastic, vocationally based training. Students will quickly find themselves working closely with the staff and fellow students at RWCMD to produce work of a professional standard. The experienced teaching staff will help to identify specific areas of interest and areas for improvement, and to develop career focused opportunities over the duration of the course. The small class size enables us to manage each student relationship and ensure that each student matures into the professional they want to be.

What makes the training available at RWCMD so special?

Personally I think the environment here at the College is one of our strongest attributes. We are a small, efficient conservatoire offering superb education in a number of different but complimentary subjects. My colleagues in Stage Management, Acting and Music all work with some of the most promising students in their particular fields. As a department I'm pleased to say that we work closely with the other courses, and by working together we have produced some fantastic performances. I think it's fair to say that RWCMD has successfully built a reputation for producing both traditional and dynamic, alternative performances.

The College enjoys an excellent reputation for student retention, student satisfaction and student employment. Our graduates continue to impress the industry and a quick look at how our alumni are progressing makes me feel confident in the training and preparation we are giving our students.

The course at RWCMD would appeal to me for the level of support that is available to students, both from the tutors and from fellow students. There is a real sense of community amongst the students, academic staff, and our alumni.

I think Cardiff itself has so much to offer students too. The College is set in beautiful parkland in the heart of the city centre. There seems to be a real buzz around the city at the moment with the likes of Doctor Who and Being Human, the BBC Drama Village in Cardiff Bay which is home to Causualty and Sherlock, the Dragon International Film Studio, Pinewood Studios, the company behind James Bond and Harry Potter, and venues like the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC).

Ultimately though, people choose us because of the course. In my opinion, we are able to offer such an exciting, demanding and completely vocational training in performance design that studying at RWCMD would definitely be my first choice.

What kind of performance-based opportunities are there?

Every year RWCMD produces 15 productions held at venues including the Wales Millennium Centre (WMC), the Sherman Theatre (Cardiff), Chapter (Cardiff) and the Royal Court in London. There are opportunities to design for theatre, opera, musical theatre, dance and site specific performance.

In spring of 2011 the College was host to the Society of British Theatre Designers National Exhibition of Design for Performance. The College' facilities housed the work of over two hundred UK based designers. In September 2013 the College was host to the World Stage Design. During the ten day event, Design for Performance students will work side-by-side with leading practitioners who are exhibiting their work.