MPhil (B) Playwriting Studies

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					MPhil (B) Playwriting Studies

During the course of my studies at Nottingham I have, in addition to the conventional
elements of an English Studies degree, been able to specialise in theatre history, theory and
practice. This pattern of work reflects my long standing interest in the theatre: I have also
continued to write for the stage. My debut play, A Background Noise headlined the Momentum
Young Writers’ Festival in 2005, and my commissioned Translation of a Norwegian Play, The
Woods, was staged as a reading at Nottingham Playhouse and also long listed for The Gate
Translation Award 2006. I am currently under commission from New Perspectives Theatre
Company and Theatre Writing Partnership, and have been selected as one of 50 national
writers to take part in ‘the50’ a Royal Court and BBC writers room initiative, supporting new
writing. The MPhil in Playwriting Studies at the University of Birmingham is the ideal
continuation of my professional writing experience because of its established history of
creative experimentation and innovation. It will build practically and intellectually upon the
insights I have gained during my undergraduate degree and as a young writer.

This Masters programme is composed of three elements which blend critical and creative
practices in order to develop a self reflexive approach to writing for the stage. The first
element focuses on different approaches to structure, and attention to format, which will be
necessary for the continued development of my own writing. The second part ‘Media, Form
and Genre’ explores the challenges of writing for different mediums through practice-based
seminars. The third element is a thesis which combines the practical and theoretical skills
acquired and implements these in my own writing. My objective is an original work for the
stage, supported by a critical analysis examining the processes and practices of playwriting: I
am interested in examining the construction of masculinity among young working-class men,
the emergence of gang culture and how such cultures breed violence and intimidation. The
course culminates in a public performance of an excerpt from the original stage play in front
of an audience of invited theatre practitioners. This will provide a public platform for my work
with the opportunity of professional scrutiny.

Undertaking an MPhil in Playwriting Studies will provide me with the time, space and creative
support to develop further my writing skills and practice. It will increase my critical
understanding of dramatic form and will challenge and develop my own writing style. The
course draws on the expertise of theatre practitioners, whose role is, crucially, to prepare
candidates for the rigours of pursuing playwriting as both art and employment. Most
importantly the course is designed to bridge the gap between amateur and professional
writing offering the ideal environment in which to further my talent. This MPhil in Playwriting
Studies is a vital step toward my ultimate goal: a professional career in playwriting.

Word count (note: this should be no more than 500 words): 473