The cat's finally out of the bag! I've been accepted to the Royal Central School for Speech and Drama in London, UK for their MFA in Writing for the Stage and Broadcast Media program. But, like most people my age contemplating continuing education, money is a huge obstacle in taking a step like this. Any contribution of any size (even $10!) would help make this incredible opportunity a reality.
For international students, scholarship options are very limited, and unfortunately, I did not receive additional assistance from the school. And so, I am swallowing my pride and asking for help.
The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama has been ranked as the top drama school in the UK by the Complete University Guide for 2018.
The Arts, Drama & Music League Table, in which Central ranks 3rd overall, provides rankings of the specialist colleges and conservatoires that do not appear in the main University League Table.
Alumni include: Harold Pinter, Judi Dench, Carrie Fischer, Nick Payne, Kit Harington, and more. See full alumni list by clicking here.
It's also cheaper than most US grad school programs! In fact, it is around half the cost of NYU after translating currencies.
Why this program?
MFA writers will be expected to produce two ‘calling card’ scripts and to develop a plan for professional development. MFA students are offered extended and sustained script development support, and will be expected to develop professional ties and work closely with members of the related industry to establish themselves as professional practitioners.
In the second year of the course, students are encouraged to specialise in one or more fields, building on the first year of teaching. The MFA second year widens the opportunities to practise knowledge within a context and framework where pertinent questions can be asked, protocols tested and new structures suggested. Students will be expected to undertake tutorials and occasional seminars.
Within the 1,200 hours of the second year of the MFA, students will complete two full-length dramatic texts in the medium of the writer’s choice, an accompanying critical reflection and a portfolio comprising, for example, relevant supporting material taken from the writer’s journal, any treatments the writer may have produced, a plan for professional development, indication of professional contacts developed whilst on the course, and a report on any attachment activity that may have been undertaken whilst doing the project (e.g. if the student attended meetings in a theatre literary department).
How does this play into your professional goals?
During my tenure as the Manager of Creative Affairs at the Dramatists Guild of America , I have had the incredible opportunity of meeting and working first hand with playwrights I grew up admiring. The Guild has also afforded me the ability to study under some of them as one of the inaugural students of the Dramatists Guild Institute . In addition to expanding my creative skills, the balance of playing an administrative role in an organization that has fostered my total development has proven both enlightening and invaluable. I feel my voice as a writer coming through more clearly each day on the page. The Guild is a place I love dearly; it has opened my mind to both the practical considerations and creative elements required to be a working dramatist in the theatre.
I feel that it is time to make the leap toward a career with writing at the forefront. I have long wished to return to education and achieve mastery. Since my undergraduate course of study in theatre was a general theatre arts degree with a performing concentration, it felt essential for me to patiently consider what type of program would be most advantageous before pursuing a commitment to graduate study. In the past several years, it has become abundantly clear that I am ready to apply my time and energy to improving my writing and expanding skillsets and professional connections that might assist me in being successful as an artist.
$10,000 is neither roof nor floor. The truth is, any contribution of any size will be a humongous help.
This is only a portion of the amount of money that I'll need in total to complete this education after housing, tuition, text, travel, and visa costs. I will do the best that I can to work whilst I'm in school, and am cooking up some plans (I have been consistently employed since I was fifteen years old and am no stranger to hard labor), but the visa restrictions make things more difficult.
August 1st: Hope to have most of the money I need. This is when the Visa Application process will begin, and when I'll need to start preparing Rocko to leave.
September 1st: Will need money to make deposit on new apartment, etc.
Course begins first week in October; tuition due.
Thank you for any support you can muster; it more appreciated than you know.
- Aurin Squire
- Matt and Sheila Cowley
- Chandler Dean
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