BLACK BRITISH THEATRE

BADA’s four-week Black British Theatre course provides an overview of contemporary Black British theatre and performance. Play texts by major Black British Writers such as Roy Williams, Winsome Pinnock and debbie tucker green, will be analysed from social and cultural contexts framed by theories of identity, representation, nationalism, race, gender, sexuality and class.

There will be twice-weekly theatre trips to watch performances at venues such as The National Theatre, Bush Theatre, Arcola Theatre and the Royal Court Theatre. There will also be visits to places of relevance to broaden the contexts of the course, such as The Black Cultural ArchivesTalawa Theatre Company, The V&A Museum, and a theatre-focused tour of London by Black History Walks.

The work of the course is evenly divided between academic work in the classroom and practical work/masterclasses in the studio.

Sign up for our Black British Theatre mailing list for news, announcements, and application reminders.

  • This course provides an overview of Black British theatre by tracing the social, cultural, intellectual and political developments that have come to define the theory, practice and aesthetics of its practitioners. The course will interrogate how Black people have been represented on stage by White writers before plays by Black theatre practitioners began to gain greater visibility on the British stage. Early work by C.L.R James’ The Black Jacobin will introduce the student to the anti-colonial aspect of Black British writing. The course will then trace the concerns of early black writers of the seventies like Mustapha Matura and Michael Abbensetts up to the writers of the present day.

    We shall analyse key texts that exemplify representations of the Black British experience against notions of Britishness. We shall draw out the confluence of influences from Africa, the Caribbean and the United States and immigration trends to illustrate the diasporic, hybrid nature of Black British theatre and how these influences shape identity and representation through the lens of multiculturalism. The course will map the dominance of writers of Caribbean descent post-Windrush to the growing visibility of writers of African descent. By doing so, the course shall expose students to seminal writings on British culture and history with which to contextualise the plays that will be studied.

    A practical component of the course will introduce students to contemporary practitioners including, writers, actors, directors, artistic directors through workshops and talks. Apart from theatre visits to see relevant plays, students will visit sites of interest including The Black Cultural Archives, The George Padmore Institute, The British Library, The V&A Archive, The National Theatre Black Plays Archive, Talawa Theatre Company.

  • This course presents an exciting opportunity for students to learn about and experience Black British theatre and performance. We will analyse key playtexts that dramatise the Black-British experience as well as identify their dramaturgical and aesthetic underpinnings. There will be visits to places of interest and to performances that will support our understanding of the environment in which these plays are developed. We shall invite key professionals to shed light on their practice and to offer insight into the practicalities of working in the British theatre industry.

     

    Oladipo Agboluaje
    Course Director, Black British Theatre

    Black British Theatre is a new four-week course running in June/July ‘22. BADA is so delighted to be adding this to our wide offering of programs. Students will study in London at BADA’s home base in Gloucester Gate in Camden, offering a unique opportunity not only to explore all that the theatre has to offer in this world-renowned city but the ability to investigate the diverse history that has made London what it is today. Students will have some of the most influential and exciting instructors that will bring a richness and depth to this course.

     


    Eunice Roberts
    Dean, British American Drama Academy

  • Applications for Black British Theatre are now open. Review the information and form (below) and submit your application by February 2, 2022 to be considered for the Summer 2022 program.


    Your application for Black British Theatre will include:

    • Application Form
    • Proposal (approximately 500 words): Tell us why you would like to attend this course.
    • Academic/Professional Recommendation: Please ask a faculty member or professional contact to submit a recommendation letter on your behalf via this link: http://www.bada.org.uk/bbt-rec

     

    All applicants will receive an admissions decision by March 25.


    When you are ready to apply, fill out the embedded application form below, upload a PDF copy of your personal statement, and click Submit. You may also access the application form by clicking here.


  • The course will run in June 2022:


    Key Dates 2022

    4th June Arrive in London
    5th June Orientation
    6th June Course starts
    1st July Course ends

    Sample Weekly Schedule

    Schedule subject to change depending on the availability of guest artists and theatres’ performance schedules.

    Week I
    Saturday
    Sunday
    Monday
    Tuesday
    Wednesday
    Thursday
    Friday
    MORNING
    PARTICIPANTS
    ARRIVE
    ORIENTATION
    ACADEMIC
    (3 Hours)
    ACADEMIC
    (3 Hours)
    ACADEMIC
    (3 Hours)
    ACADEMIC
    (3 Hours)
    ACADEMIC
    (3 Hours)
    AFTERNOON
    FREE
    ORIENTATION
    STUDIO
    (3 Hours)
    MASTERCLASS
    (2 Hours)
    STUDIO
    (3 Hours)
    MASTERCLASS
    (2 Hours)
    STUDIO
    (3 Hours)
    EVENING
    FREE
    FREE
    THEATRE TRIP
    (3 Hours)
    SITE VISIT
    (3 Hours)
    THEATRE TRIP
    (3 Hours)
    SOCIAL EVENT
    (Optional)
    FREE

  • Classes include
    • Contexts of Black British Theatre: explores the social contexts of Black British theatre and performance from the Renaissance to modern times. We shall look at how a number of crucial moments such as immigration from the West Indies and from Africa, the Brixton Riots and the MacPherson Report on policing have shaped the Black British experience and the representation of this experience on the British stage.
    • Female Narratives: interrogates the works of contemporary female Black playwrights and black female theatre companies. We shall look at their concerns, influences and performance styles as distinct from their male and white female counterparts.
    • The Dual Heritage Experience: looks at the work of writers like Mojisola Adebayo and Lynette Linton to understand how the experience of Britons of dual heritage is explored in their work.
    • African-British Narratives: explores the growing presence of black playwrights of African descent like Inua Ellams and Bola Agbaje. It shall look at how these writers and Black African-led theatre companies like Tiata Fahodzi and Utopia theatre are influencing the definition of what it means to be Black British.

    Work Expectations
    In addition to in-class acting and academic work and out of class preparation, participants will submit and present additional work drawing from the theatre visits, site visits, Masterclasses and in-class conversations.

    • Theatre Reports (8 total)
    • Research Project

  • Oladipo Agboluaje (Course Director) is the author of several plays including, Early Morning, The Christ of Coldharbour Lane, The Estate, Iyale – The First Wife, New Nigerians, Immune, The Hounding of David Oluwale and Here’s What She Said To Me. Awards include the Alfred Fagon Award, The Pearson Award, the Peggy Ramsey Award and an International Research Centre Fellowship, Berlin. He is a fellow of the Royal Literary Fund and Treasurer of the African Theatre Association (AfTA). Oladipo has been writer in residence at The New Wolsey Theatre Ipswich and the National Theatre. He is a member of The Fence, an international group of directors, dramaturgs and playwrights. Oladipo has taught African Theatre, Post-Colonial Theatre, Black British Playwriting and Creative Writing at Goldsmiths University of London, City University and University of Greenwich.

    Other faculty to be announced.


    Schedules permitting, we will be joined by the following artists for workshops and masterclasses during the course.

    Ola Animashawun is one of the most significant figures in new writing. As an artistic associate of the Royal Court, Ola established the influential Young Writers Programme which he ran for 10 years. Ola is also an associate and mentor for Theatre Absolute, Eclipse Theatre, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama and Belgrade Theatre. Ola is also a patron of Script Yorkshire and Graeae Theatre. Ola runs the dramaturgical service Euphoric Ink. He is the National Theatre Connections Dramaturg.

     

    copyright Aaron Imuere Kwame Kwei-Armah is an actor, playwright, artistic director and cultural commentator. He is the Artistic Director of the prestigious Young Vic Theatre. In his previous post, he was Artistic Director of the Baltimore Center Stage. Kwame is the author of several plays including, A Bitter HerbHold On, Big Nose, Elmina’s Kitchen, Fix Up,Statement of Regret, Let There Be Love and Seize The Day. Elmina’s Kitchen was the first non-musical play by a Black British playwright to be staged in the West End. As a director, Kwame directed Marley (which he also wrote), Soul: The Stax Musical, Things of Dry Hours, Tree, Changing Destiny, among other plays.  Kwame initiated the setting up of the Black Plays Archive which is housed at the National Theatre Studio.

     

    Chino Odimba has written for stage, radio and TV. Her stage plays include Unknown Rivers (Hampstead Theatre), Princess and the Hustler (Eclipse), and Black Love (Paines Plough). She is a winner of the Channel 4 Playwrights Scheme and has been shortlisted for the Alfred Fagon Award and the Adrienne Benham Award. Chino is the Artistic Director and Chief Executive of the leading British-African theatre company, Tiata Fahodzi.

     

    Roy Williams is one of Britain’s foremost playwrights. He is a recipient of several major awards including the George Devine Award, The Evening Standard Award for Most Promising Playwright, The Olivier Award for Best New Play. Since the mid-1990s, Roy’s plays have received critical acclaim for their uncompromising dissection of the Black British experience. Plays include: Lift Off, The No Boys Cricket Club (Theatre Royal Stratford East, 1996), Clubland (Royal Court, 2001), Sing Yer Heart Out For the Lads (National Theatre, 2002), Fall Out (Royal Court, 2003), Sucker Punch (Royal Court, 2010) and Death of England (National Theatre, 2020, with Clint Dyer). Roy has written several scripts for radio, TV and film.


  • We welcome applicants at the undergraduate and graduate level as well as those who are not currently enrolled in educational programmes. Applicants aged 18 must have at least one year’s experience away from home to be considered for this course.

  • The 2022  Black British Theatre Program fees are: $7,250

    Program fees include tuition, all excursions (theatre trips, site visits, museum admission and tours, etc.), required books/scripts and accommodation while on the course.

    All fees are payable in US dollars. Please contact Helen Ainsworth at  hainsworth@bada.org.uk should you wish to settle the fees in UK Sterling so that an appropriate rate can be agreed.

    On acceptance, in order to hold their place, applicants will need to pay a non-refundable deposit of US$500, which is deductible from the fees payable.


    Please note, in addition to the fees payable to BADA, participants are responsible for:

    • Roundtrip Airfare to the UK
    • Meals
    • Insurance
    • Spending money

    BADA suggests that if you are offered a place on the programme, you should then seriously consider the benefits of taking out a fee protection plan. If for any reason, including related to the COVID-19 pandemic, you cannot start or complete the course, insurance could, depending on the specific cover of your policy, alleviate if not eliminate your financial loss. More information about Fee Protection Insurance can be found in our Refund Policy document on our Policies page.

  • Facilities

    BADA’s Black British Theatre course takes place in an historic Crown Estate building in one of London’s most prestigious residential areas which is home to a number of national embassies and ambassadorial residences.

    Inside BADA you will find a full range of facilities including 6 teaching spaces, each named after a different playwright, a Library, a collection of recorded performances, and a private Green Room for participants to relax or study in-between classes.

    There are also designated computer and printing facilities for participants and wireless internet connection available throughout the building.

    BADA is located beside the beautiful Regent’s Park, perfect for walks between classes and springtime picnics. BADA’s location offers easy access to the theatres in London’s West End and it’s only a short walk from Camden Town, famous for its bustling markets, coffee bars, health food stores, art house cinemas and distinctive shops.

    BADA also lies close to Primrose Hill (home to many actors, directors, writers and other celebrities) and the perfect place to get a panoramic view across London.

  • London – The Stay Club Kentish Town The Stay Club Kentish Town is located just a few blocks from the Kentish Town Underground station on the Northern Line and bus lines offering direct transportation to BADA and all central London Locations. It is a 12 minute walk to the world-famous Camden Market and a 20 minute walk to Hampstead Heath, a large and ancient park that contains spectacular views from one of the highest points in all of London.

     

  • BADA is not an accredited US institution; we are unable to provide academic credit for the course.

    With its intensive workload, 88 contact hours and 40 further unsupervised work hours, this program has a suggested credit equivalency of two 3 credit courses, in line with other programs BADA runs. You will finish the program with a portfolio of work, and the course director can provide a written assessment for your home institution.


    Classroom and Coursework breakdown by hours

    88 Hours of contact time

    Classroom time – 60 hours
    Masterclasses – 16 hours
    Visits & Tours – 12 hours

    XX hours of unsupervised work

    Theatre Trips – 24 hours
    Report on each theatre show we see – 8 x 2 = 16 hours