Michael Carklin is the Course Leader for the postgraduate MA Drama and the Academic Manager for Performance. After living, studying and teaching in South Africa, his homeland, he joined the university in 2000 and has continuously welcomed students onto the MA where his interests and professional experience in applied drama, inter-disciplinary drama, theatre in education, devising and directing make him a valuable asset to the course.
‘Drama wasn’t always something that I aspired to do, though I’ve always loved going to the theatre and watching performance. My initial inspiration was to go into journalism and I undertook an undergraduate degree in journalism and media studies, but I discovered that drama was something that I had great passion about. When you consider things like drama, journalism and media, it’s very much about expression, telling stories, understanding human relationships, social relationships among others. I think theatre and performance is a powerful medium for understanding and commenting on the world, in particular the world and our society.’
‘On the MA Drama course at USW, we interpret drama broadly. This could include performance art, physical theatre, autobiographical performance etc. There is a whole spectrum of different areas to explore. Of course, drama includes acting, but the point about our course is that it is not solely focused on acting or actor training. It offers the opportunity to explore in practice (and beyond in things like reading and writing) what we call ‘performance practices’ which include theatre practices, applied drama practices etc..’
‘The course is based at our Cardiff Campus, in the ATRiuM building, which is also the base of the Faculty of Creative Industries. It’s a melting pot, with students studying a range of different creative disciplines and there’s ample opportunity to create and collaborate on work with students of other disciplines. One of the MA modules involves inter-disciplinary study across the faculty. Cardiff itself is really important because there’s a thriving arts industry and community here with lots of opportunity to experience and engage in different kinds of theatre. Cardiff is also a very student-friendly city with a large student cohort, due to the presence of three universities.’
‘One of the most exciting things about the MA Drama at USW is that we have students coming onto the course from various stages in their professional career or academic career and some of the best years are when we get students from different backgrounds, energies, experiences and interests. You don’t have to have an undergraduate degree in a drama or performance-related subject. Previous graduates have come onto the course with degrees in science, sociology etc. and have adapted well to the course and its content.’
‘If anybody is interested in doing the MA Drama here at USW, I’m really happy to have a conversation. You can come and visit the campus, I can show you around and we can have a chat. I’m equally happy to have a phone or Skype conversation, answer any questions you have and give you more details on the modules and the course.’