Why Study Theatre?
One question I am often asked is why I chose to study theatre at University. Some people see theatre as a “useless” degree, while others wonder why I chose a University course instead of a drama school or just trying to get into the industry from the bottom up. I also know of several friends who have had to argue with their parents to convince them that a theatre degree is worth doing, or who were unsure if the degree would be right for them. Therefore, I thought I would share my views on the benefits I’ve found of studying theatre at Warwick and some of the things myself and my friends are going to do after our degree.
One of the advantages of studying theatre at Warwick is the range of modules offered by the department. While the modules on offer vary from year to year, generally the department gives a mix of theoretical and practical modules, meaning the students can pick their own pathways and tailor the degree to their own preferences. This also means that we get to try out a range of different theatre-related activities, both those relating to the industry and those that are more academic. For example, in my second year I took practical modules, such as one in community work, alongside theoretical modules, such as one in postwar theatre. Taking this mix meant that I could try out a range of things and work out what I enjoyed, letting me explore my interests in theatre.
Another advantage of the course is that the degree is in theatre and performance studies, meaning the course looks at both the study of theatre and at performance in other contexts. This makes Warwick a unique place to study theatre, as it opens up other research areas that you might not find on other similar courses. I have found over the course that I love the performance studies aspects of research, and am currently thinking of pursuing this beyond the course. Therefore, Warwick has the advantage of offering a wider range of academic opportunities as you can study more than on other similar courses.
Alongside the course, Warwick has a really strong student theatre scene, boosted by occasional opportunities to work in the Arts Centre. This benefits people interested in working in the industry after graduation, as alongside acting and directing opportunities there are also often roles available in areas like marketing, set design, producing and more. Being able to try out a range of roles in these low-pressure shows means that people can discover what they enjoy, as well as what maybe isn’t for them. These opportunities can also open up future career opportunities, as I know people who have got into masters degrees in areas like producing and set design after working on student productions. Therefore, these drama societies boost the theatre degree experience and open up even more opportunities beyond the course.
All in all, Warwick is a great place to study theatre. The mix of theoretical and practical modules means that you can gain experience in a wide range of areas, opening up more pathways after University. The societies also boost these opportunities, giving practical experience in a low-pressure environment in a range of different production areas. Even beyond theatre, the skills learnt in these modules and activities can be applied to different work areas, giving more options after graduation. Overall, I have found the course incredibly enjoyable, and am excited to see the range of things my coursemates get up to in the years to come!