MA Site-Specific Theatre Practice

Validated by University of East Anglia

One year (full-time) Entry January

Applications for entry January 2022 now open.

Mountview’s MA in Site-Specific Theatre Practice is provided in partnership with Shoreditch Town Hall. The first course of its kind in the UK, the MA is created and led by Geraldine Pilgrim, a leading practitioner in the creation of site-specific theatre and installations.

The course is for students interested in highly specialised training across all elements of site-specific practice and consists of a variety of salons and seminars as well as site visits, practical projects and a site residency with strong emphasis on learning through practice. There is a maximum of seven students per cohort

Site-specific theatre has captured the imagination of theatre and fine art practitioners throughout the UK and internationally. True site-specific theatre engages with a chosen site’s history,
atmosphere and architecture to underpin devised or text-based narratives. Site-specific theatre is an art form in its own right, allowing a space to inform the final performance and acknowledging that the performance can only happen in a specific-site

What sets this course apart is that students will undertake an overseas or UK based residency to create a site-specific work. Learning will cover practical skills and creative realisation as well as theoretical and methodological investigation.

The course is aimed at practitioners with a fine art or theatre and performance background wanting to diversify their artistic skills in the area of site-specific practice. Applications are also welcomed from those who are currently studying at BA level.

Teaching will take place both at Mountview’s Peckham site and at Shoreditch Town Hall, an independent arts centre experienced in presenting site-specific theatre. Mountview’s collaboration with Shoreditch Town Hall will root students in a professional space enabling practical experimentation with the site-specific form and connection to established artists.

Geraldine Pilgrim, Artistic Director of Geraldine Pilgrim Performance Company, has been making site-specific performances and installations for over twenty years in sites including empty office blocks, schools, hotels, swimming pools, factories, hospitals, castles, stately homes and public parks. Her links with site-specific companies, practitioners, theatre companies and live artists ensure that students will have access to a rich network of contacts as well as fine-tuned expertise.

Work created by previous MA Site-Specific Theatre Practice graduates as part of the course includes AP, “Who Knew The Old Man Had So Much Blood In Him?”, Inu and Copernican Dream / we are not alone.

Watch Handbag at Home, a celebratory online participatory performance presented by Geraldine Pilgrim Performance Company and Mountview London.

Production photography by Lyodd Winters and Katherine Leedale.

Course Practitioners

Geraldine Pilgrim
Head of Site-Specific Theatre
James Pidgeon
Director and Chief Executive of Shoreditch Town Hall Monthly Seminars
Didi Hopkins
Masterclass Guest Artist
Tim Spooner
Masterclass Guest Artist
Gary Stevens
Masterclass Guest Artist
Tassos Stevens
Masterclass Guest Artist
Melanie Thompson
Masterclass Guest Artist
Athina Vahla
Masterclass Guest Artist
Connor Bowmott
Production Seminar Guest Lecturer
Simon Byford
Production Seminar Guest Lecturer
Adam Finlay
Production Seminar Guest Lecturer
Fridthjofur Thorsteinsson
Production Seminar Guest Lecturer
Josephine Burton, Salon Guest Artist
Josephine Burton
Salon Guest Artist

Felix Cross, Salon Guest Artist
Felix Cross
Salon Guest Artist
Professor Marc Rees
Salon Guest Artist

Mike Pearson, Salon Guest Artist
Mike Pearson
Salon Guest Artist
Simon Vincenzi
Salon Guest Artist
Mole Wetherell
Salon Guest Artist

 


2021 Term Dates 
Spring term 5 January – 2 April 2021
Summer term
 20 April – 9 July 2021
Autumn term 7 September – 26 November 2021
Writing up period (MA only) 1 November – 26 November 2021

2022 Term Dates
Spring term 4 January – 1 April 2022
Summer term 19 April – 8 July 2022
Autumn term 6 September – 9 December 2022

Site Requirements and Practice

  • Site practicalities
  • Production planning
  • Licensing
  • Design, including space, lighting, sound & visual effects
  • Inspirational visits including heritage sites & outdoor

Skills

  • Practical workshops from the course leader, Mountview staff & visiting practitioners
  • A short, London-based collaborative site-specific performance

2021 Term Dates 
Spring term 5 January – 2 April 2021
Summer term
 20 April – 9 July 2021
Autumn term 7 September – 26 November 2021
Writing up period (MA only) 1 November – 26 November 2021

2022 Term Dates
Spring term 4 January – 1 April 2022
Summer term 19 April – 8 July 2022
Autumn term 6 September – 9 December 2022

Context

  • Seminars, lectures & salons with leading practitioners, focusing on methodologies, practice & innovation
  • Shadowing: work-based learning & personal engagement with artists & companies

Directing & Site Residency

  • Individual short self-devised site-specific project directing other students
  • A UK or overseas residency working collaboratively to create & realise a site-specific performance

2021 Term Dates 
Spring term 5 January – 2 April 2021
Summer term
 20 April – 9 July 2021
Autumn term 7 September – 26 November 2021
Writing up period (MA only) 1 November – 26 November 2021

2022 Term Dates
Spring term 4 January – 1 April 2022
Summer term 19 April – 8 July 2022
Autumn term 6 September – 9 December 2022

Site-specific practical dissertation

  • Research, development & production of a substantive piece of site-specific theatre
  • Presentation of an interim exhibition with critical support and feedback
  • Production of written materials towards the practical dissertation
 
Discover Uni - key statistics about this course

USEFUL INFO

Application FeeFree
2020/21 UK/EU Students Course Fee£10,985
2020/21 International Students Course Fee£18,215
Additional Costs (e.g. cultural trips)£180

Fees are subject to annual review. One term’s notice will be given of any increases.

Mountview works with all students to discuss funding options.

Funding and Scholarships

Admission onto the course is by interview. Applicants must be aged 21 years or over at the start of the course. Students who do not hold an undergraduate degree will need to undertake an access assignment to establish suitability for undertaking the MA.

If an applicant’s first language is not English, and they have not been taught in English or studied to A Level standard in the UK, they will need to demonstrate an acceptable minimum level of competence through the International English Language Testing System (IELTS) (Band 6.5).

Mountview welcomes applications from people with disabilities and is keen to support all applicants to achieve their best. If applicants have any special requirements or access needs, these should be discussed with the course leader/administrator.

Mountview is committed to a comprehensive policy of equal opportunities for students in which individuals are selected and treated on the basis of their relevant merits and abilities. No applicant will receive less or more favourable treatment on grounds of sex, gender, sexual orientation, age, ethnic origin, disability, religion and marital/parental status or any comparable grounds.

You will take part in a first round interview with the course leader at which you will discuss your interests, influences and previous experience. This may take place online or in-person. Interviewees should bring a portfolio of previous work and/or ideas and inspirations. There is no application fee.

Find out more about Mountview’s auditions and interviews.

Geraldine Pilgrim is the reason site-specific work is known and loved in the UK – whenever you see a site-specific piece, or ‘immersive theatre’, you’re seeing the influence of her groundbreaking work.

Poppy Keeling, Producer – Wise Children

2021 Prospectus