Real world experience for MFA(CP) students

Master of Fine Arts (Creative Practice) Theatre students will get an authentic stage experience as they conceive, plan, pitch and present their works at BATS Theatre.

A recent memorandum of understanding with BATS Theatre means the theatre will host the MFA(CP) Theatre season in February 2019, where nine students will take on a major role in a creative project as the culmination of their year-long Master’s programme.

Theatre Programme Director Dr Lori Leigh says the students will have access to BATS artists’ resources and present their work in one of BATS’ professionally equipped theatres. “This will provide not only a valuable learning experience for the students, but also foster creative networking and showcasing of Victoria University work to the larger community.”

In programming Victoria’s MFA(CP) Theatre season, BATS Programme Manager and Co-General Manager Heather O’Carroll says the theatre is embracing its kaupapa, which is to provide a supportive, professional and accessible venue that fosters the development of practitioners, audiences and New Zealand performance work.

“BATS is always looking for opportunities to further pathways for arts practitioners between study and practical application of that learning within a professional industry setting,” says Heather.

“And next year is BATS Theatre’s 30th anniversary as a leading developmental theatre, so we are very pleased to be kicking off 2019 with this exciting partnership.”

The students are currently in the planning stage of their projects—some focusing on producing, others on directing, writing or design. The works include presentations of scripted plays, Shakespeare, devised work, adaptations of New Zealand novels and Pasifika work. Dr Leigh says many projects are investigating critical questions of identity, culture, gender and the nature of art and performance.

“There are some fantastic new voices emerging. I am very excited by this new collaboration and confident it will take the students’ work to a higher standard.”

Find out more about the Master of Fine Arts (Creative Practice)