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 Archives, Talawa 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. It appeals to a wide range of applicants from the undergraduate to the graduate level and to professionals at any stage in their career.
The analytical modules will be taught by academics, directors and writers from the field of Black Theatre Studies. The practical element, which makes up for half of the course will be taught by directors, writers and dramaturgs, along with practitioners from the productions seen in the twice weekly visits.
The practical elements and analytic work will complement and feed into each other, building on and bringing together the various elements.
Although there is no direct actor training offered, as an area of study it will build on any actor’s training.
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This course presents an exciting opportunity for participants 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.
Dean of BADA
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.
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 Jacobins 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.
Applications for Black British Theatre are closed.
Sign up for our Black British Theatre mailing list if you would like to be notified when applications open for the Summer 2023 session.
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 2023 applicants will receive an admissions decision by March 25.
The tentative dates for 2023 are:
Key Dates 2023
2nd June Arrive in London 4th June Orientation 5th June Course starts 30th June Course ends
Sample Weekly Schedule
Schedule subject to change depending on the availability of guest artists and theatres’ performance schedules.
- Contexts of Black British Theatre led by Oladipo Agboluaje: 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 led by Chinonyerem Odimba: 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 led by Oladipo Agboluaje: 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.
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
Other faculty to be announced.
Schedules permitting, we will be joined by the following artists for workshops and masterclasses during the course.
The course is open to everyone.
This course appeals to a wide range of applicants from the undergraduate to the graduate level and to professionals at any stage in their career. Applicants aged 18 must have at least one year’s experience away from home to be considered for this course.
Although there is no direct actor training offered, actors are encouraged to apply as this area of study will build on any actor’s training.
The 2022 Black British Theatre Program fees are: $7,250
* Should you wish to arrange your own accommodation for the duration of the course then the reduction in the course fee will be $2,000. We do however need to receive confirmation that you intend to make your own arrangements by 3 April 2022. We cannot guarantee that rooms can be made available should a later decision be made to take up the offer of accommodation booked through the course.
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 firstname.lastname@example.org should you wish to settle the fees in UK Sterling so that an appropriate rate can be agreed.
The course fees are due as follows:
31 March 2022 $500 non refundable deposit 3 April 2022 Either $600 or confirmation that accommodation is not required* 20 April 2022 $3,100 15 May 2022 $3,050 (or $1,650 if booking own accommodation)
Fees become non-refundable on the due date.
Please note, in addition to the fees payable to BADA, participants are responsible for:
- Roundtrip Airfare to the UK
- Spending money
Black British Theatre Program Refund Policy
A deposit of $500 is required on acceptance, which is non-refundable. The balance of fees payable fall due as stated above and become non-refundable on those dates.
If the program is canceled by BADA due to circumstances beyond our control, all fees, with the exception of the application fee, will be refunded. BADA accepts no responsibility for personally incurred expenses such as flights or pre-booked ground transportation.
Fee Protection Insurance
BADA suggests that, if you are offered a place on this program, you should seriously consider the benefits of taking out a fee protection plan. If for any reason you cannot start or complete the course, insurance would alleviate if not eliminate your financial loss.
Various insurers offer Fee Protection Insurance; BADA does not recommend one above another nor does BADA recommend a particular type of coverage.
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.
The Stay Club Camden
The Stay Club Camden is located in the heart of Camden, one of London’s most vibrant neighborhoods. Directly across the street is the world-famous Camden Market – a collection of over 1,000 shops, stalls, cafes, and food purveyors. There are also a large number of restaurants, cafes, and grocery stores in the area immediately surrounding the Stay Club.
BADA’s premises are just a fifteen minute walk and nearby Tube stations at Chalk Farm (5 minutes) and Camden Road (10 minutes) will whisk you to the West End and all that Central London has to offer in only 15 minutes. Hampstead Heath, a large and ancient park that contains spectacular views from one of the highest points in all of London, is about 25 minutes away on foot.
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
40 hours of unsupervised work
Theatre Trips – 24 hours
Report on each theatre show we see – 8 x 2 = 16 hours
Please visit our Covid-19 page for information on protocols and mitigations currently in effect at BADA.