Q&A

Cast of Modern Millie

What are you looking for in your students?

Our undergraduate course represents an outstanding opportunity for students with an interest in, and flair for, stage management and technical theatre. We see a great number of students apply each year but it is those with a genuine desire to make it in the industry that we will help train to become tomorrow's leading industry professionals. Our aim is to take the most talented individuals out of the relative comfort of their previous experiences, to challenge their attitudes, and to furnish them with new techniques. We provide one of the most intense, dynamic and thorough courses available, and we create highly capable stage managers, event managers and technicians.

How many places are available?

We usually recruit twenty students each year. The course is unashamedly difficult but students are supported from the outset by RWCMD's passionate tutors who help them to identify specific areas of interest and areas for improvement, and to develop career focussed opportunities. The intimate numbers on our course enable us to get to know each student and help shape them into the graduate they want to be - all different, all highly capable, but all ready for work.

What makes this course different from other stage management courses?

We find that although students are certain that the backstage life is for them, many of them are unsure which field they might want to specialise in. To help with this, we’ve made sure the course at RWCMD gives the student the opportunity to receive training in all areas of Stage Management and Technical Theatre. Staff then work closely with students to nurture and develop their specialism, with a view to long term career development.

We also believe that the level of support that is available here is particularly high, both from the College and from fellow students. There is a real sense of community amongst the students, staff and graduates of the department.

Every year RWCMD stages up to 25 drama, musical and opera productions, which are open to the public. These are held within the College's own venues and at external venues including Sherman Theatre (Cardiff), Chapter Arts Centre (Cardiff), Weston Studio (Wales Millennium Centre), The Gate Theatre (London) and Bargehouse (London). Each of these shows are run by students on the stage management course: they assume the roles of The Stage/Production Management, Lighting Designer, Sound Designer, Chief Technicians, Deputy Stage Manager, Assistant Stage Manager and Technicians.

The Department runs independently whilst at the same time complementing the activities of the Acting, Design for Performance and Music programmes. This means that RWCMD has successfully built a reputation for producing both traditional and innovative dynamic performances.

In the Summer, Stage Management students run a venue at the Edinburgh Festival Fringe. Through Venue 13, Stage Management students put on over 150 performances in three-weeks as part of their professional portfolio.

Students also undertake work experience placements at a number of high profile venues and productions throughout the UK. These include the Royal Court, Almeida, Donmar Warehouse and the Globe theatres and on festivals and events such as Glastonbury, Boardmaster and the Olympic games. This exposes our students to a variety of situations from which they can draw experience in the future.

What professional opportunities can Cardiff offer?

Cardiff has many venues in which students gain employment, such as the Wales Millennium Centre, Sherman Theatre, New Theatre, Chapter Arts and the College (RWCMD is one of Cardiff’s leading receiving houses). However, the opportunities are not limited to Cardiff, or indeed Wales. The Stage Management course is vocationally based and as such we work closely with external production companies, agencies and events based throughout the UK and beyond.

RWCMD has an excellent reputation for student retention, student satisfaction and student employment and our graduates are desirable to potential employers throughout the world, in a number of disciplines. The opportunities for our students to gain experience are extensive and this is reflected in the success of our past students.

 

Do you have any final words of advice?

If you are serious about a career in stage management and technical theatre all we can say is come and have a look at what we have to offer. Experience the campus, spend a day in Cardiff, speak to us and the students here - and then decide where you want to be studying.