Writing for Performance and the Entertainment Industries

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Last updated on April 16, 2024 9:04 pm
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What you will learn

  • Specialised knowledge of histories, forms, and traditions of writing for performance and entertainment as well as the cultural contexts of innovative practitioners and practices within performance and entertainment.
  • A detailed understanding of key performance/entertainment components within the discipline, to include: ideational sources, body, space, image, sound, text, movement, environment
  • How to create effective structure within a scene, how to edit your scene, and think like a dramaturg/script editor; how to create effective character
  • Advanced awareness of the relevant market and distribution demands of entertainment industries
  • Developed advanced self-management skills to include working in planned and improvisatory ways, as well as the ability to anticipate and accommodate change, ambiguity, creative risk-taking, uncertainty and unfamiliarity
  • Creativity is most in demand soft skill for 2020 (LinkedIn Learning Report, 2020)
  • Diversification of skills base offers multiple jobholding possibilities, which increases income for individuals and spurs labour market (IZA, World of Labour, 2020)
  • Creative industries have had exceptionally high growth and high impact in the last 10 years, developing jobs for artists, musicians, film-makers, whose output, in turn, has increased tourism to the UK (NESTA, Feb 2018)
  • One in eight industries in the UK are within the creative industries, inc. architecture, film and TV, advertising, video games and software, heritage, design, music and publishing. (Creative Industries Federation)

Program Overview

Writing for stage, screen, you-tube and digital platforms, video games, performance poetry, stand-up comedy, installation and performance art, has never been more popular. The golden age of television has diversified to become the golden age of streaming, with Netflix and Amazon creating exceptional opportunities for new writers to enter the industry.

The MicroMasters® in Writing for Performance and the Entertainment Industries offers both an experimental and industry-relevant opportunity to hone your skills as a dramatist or performance artist across many genres, as well as preparing you practically for engaging successfully with the film/TV /theatre/digital media and industries.

You will receive world-class teaching from academics from the University of Cambridge as well as expert advice from writers and directors who have navigated highly successful careers. We will delve into themes across all performance genres, including: dialogue, narrative structure/story-telling, and character psychology. You will learn how to write outlines and story-bibles, how to pitch an idea to a producer, and how to present your work to the industry of your choice.

We want to build innovative writers who disrupt traditional performance practices and are professionally resilient in the market-place. This creative writing program will help you build your entrepreneurial confidence by our engagement with audience theory, performance theory, and anti-fragility theory. This course would suit those already working as professional dramatists/writers who wish to broaden their portfolio, as well as those involved in associated creative industries. Literary agents, editors, you- tubers, stand-up comics, performance artists and poets, and those involved in managing writers in the entertainment and media industries would all benefit from insights gained in this course.

The courses within the MicroMasters can be studied independently, but to gain the most from the course, we recommend following them in sequence. In particular Writing successfully for the stage: structure, plot and dialogue follows on from Finding your voice as a playwright: scenes, themes and characters.

For those interested in continuing onto a full Master’s degree at the University of Cambridge, this graduate level MicroMasters® offers the chance to experience the expertise of our dynamic world-class tutors, led by published playwrights Abigail Docherty and Fraser Grace, at a time and place to suit you. If accepted to the full program, following our normal application procedures, those who have studied the MicroMasters® in Writing for Performance and the Entertainment Industries will have completed 30 credits (15 ECTS) of the full 180 credit program.

The University of Cambridge has long produced famous performers such as Emma Thompson, Stephen Fry, Hugh Laurie and Rowan Atkinson. Our recent alumni includes Sara Collins and her award-winning novel, The Confessions of Frannie Langton.

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