ICTheatre trains its students to the highest standard and lives up to its name with an emphasis on contemporary practices, ensuring its graduates enter the industry with the tools to succeed
The world has changed hugely in recent months, but the BA in Production Management and Entrepreneurship at the Institute for Contemporary Theatre ensures that students have the skills, confidence and entrepreneurial spirit to flourish in the creative industries – whatever challenges the world sends their way.
“We’re called the Institute for Contemporary Theatre, and the key word is ‘contemporary’,” says Paul Ryder, principal of ICTheatre’s Manchester college. “When we started, we were very aware that traditional drama school training wasn’t preparing people for theatre as it is in the 21st century. We heard it from industry experts, employers and drama school graduates. They had to learn so much on the job, particularly when it came to technology.
“We realised that if we were able to include all those tools in the training itself, our graduates would be much better equipped when they leave. That would make them more employable and more adaptable.”
Over the course of three years, students learn how to create, run, manage and finance a wide range of live events, rooted in the practicalities and the demands of the contemporary world.
The course, which is awarded by the renowned BIMM Institute, includes training in digital marketing, digital content creation, PR, branding, social media, digital arts, and how to develop concepts, strategies and pitches. It also teaches the foundations of business ethics and entertainment law, market research and consultancy.
Throughout the degree, students undertake work experience and placements, and build up a portfolio of work, gradually discovering where they might wish to start their career. “It’s a gentle segue into the industry, rather than the cliff-edge that a lot of graduates face after training,” says Ryder.
“When I left drama school, a lot of my friends were like birds with no wings. They didn’t know what to do. We don’t want that to happen. We want a smooth transition, to demystify how it all works. Students get the theoretical underpinning as to why things exist, how all the elements work, and they start to look at things in a more analytical way, realising it’s not all smoke and mirrors: there are people puffing the smoke and shining the mirrors.”
With teaching from current practitioners and professionals who have worked across the West End, Broadway, TV and film, students are guaranteed to be trained to the highest standard. These teachers are all working now, and reflect the creative industries of our contemporary world.
“Our students get the most up-to-date information about work that practitioners have just finished, rather than from someone who was at the Royal Shakepeare Company in 1973. We keep industry connections all the way through: experts come in and work with students, students go out and work in the industry.”
ICTheatre also focuses on smaller class sizes and more contact hours, and students have the option of applying to either the Manchester or Brighton college. Each site has its own identity, rooted in the cultural life of the city it’s in.
“We’re very conscious that we’re in a completely new frontier,” Ryder explains. “If lockdown has taught us anything, it’s that the creative industries are going to be centred around digital interaction in one way or another. This degree not only gives students the practical skills to create 21st-century productions and events, it also gives them the tools to adapt to rapidly changing circumstances. We’re in a whole new world of potential. If we always rely on other people to create work, we will be disappointed. If we have the ability and the confidence to create our own work, then the potential is unlimited.”
For more information, visit: ictheatre.ac.uk