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University of the Arts London unveils plans for new college in Wimbledon

The Wimbledon college has until now focused on fine arts, with theatre design courses, but will begin to offer acting degrees from next year The Wimbledon college has until now focused on fine arts, with theatre design courses, but will begin to offer acting degrees from next year
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University of the Arts London has announced major expansion plans under which a “total performance school” will be created in west London.

UAL incorporates six individual colleges across the capital, including Drama Centre London, part of Central Saint Martins, and Wimbledon College of Arts.

The Wimbledon college has until now focused on fine arts, with theatre design courses, but will begin to offer acting degrees. From next year it will become a “total performance school”, enabling students to train in all areas of theatre and performance.

This comprises core BA and MA courses in acting, technical arts – including lighting, sound, special effects and robotics – and events and stage management. These will run alongside the existing theatre, costume and screen design courses.

UAL said it is working with partners from the performing arts industry and academia on the concept of ‘total performance’, which is designed to enable students to work in teams to design, perform and manage theatre to a professional level.

The addition of the new subjects will see the college’s student population triple – to 1,100 students – by 2022.

The college said digital would be an integral part of all courses, particularly with regard to performer training.

David Crow, pro vice-chancellor and head of Camberwell, Cheslea and Wimbledon, said: “The intersection between new technologies and performance is an incredible exciting space and our ambition is to create the right environment to nurture bold, talented, innovative future performers.

“Acting at Wimbledon will integrate performer training with interactive and immersive technologies, differentiating UAL’s offer from competitor institutions. Wimbledon’s course structures will equip students to start up small theatre and performance companies on graduation.”

The relaunched school is due to open in late 2019, with the new courses becoming available between next year and 2021.

The acting provision in Wimbledon will be in addition to the performance courses that currently run at Drama Centre London, which include a BA (hons) in acting, and MAs in directing, acting and writing.

UAL said it would be strengthening the provision offered by Drama Centre, by adding more to its acting course portfolio in the coming years.

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