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Study drama at the University of the Free State

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Study drama at the University of the Free State | News Article

Do you want to be exposed to all aspects of the performing arts, from acting, theatre-making, and technical aspects of the theatre to filmmaking and arts entrepreneurship?

Prospective Students in the BA Drama and Theatre Arts Programme

Prospective students in the BA Drama and Theatre Arts programme at the UFS can look forward to a comprehensive education that covers all facets of the performing arts. This includes acting, theatre-making, technical aspects of theatre, filmmaking, and arts entrepreneurship. From the very first year, students are given opportunities to participate in a variety of productions, ranging from theatre for young audiences and physical theatre to experimental, classic, contemporary plays, and comedies.

During the first two years, students engage in a broad curriculum that provides a solid foundation in all areas of the performing arts. In the third year, they can choose to specialise in fields such as acting, theatre-making, film studies, design, or technical theatre. The state-of-the-art theatre and film facilities at the UFS offer a significant advantage to the students.

Kayla Barker spoke to Dr Thys Heydenrych, the Programme Director of Drama and Theatre Arts at the University of the Free State, about what prospective students can expect. Listen here: 

Career Opportunities for Drama and Theatre Arts Graduates

Graduates of the Drama and Theatre Arts programme at the UFS have a wide array of career opportunities available to them. The diversity of the programme prepares students for various roles within the entertainment industry, including professional stage, industrial theatre, television, and film. They can pursue careers as actors, dramatists, directors, or producers. Many UFS alumni work as technical staff at festivals and companies, with some even managing technical aspects for multiple theatres.

Additionally, Drama students can opt to pursue a Postgraduate Certificate in Education (PGCE), allowing them to become teachers in Arts and Culture or Dramatic Arts. There are also opportunities for further academic advancement through postgraduate degrees such as the BAHons, MA, or PhD in Drama and Theatre Arts, as well as BAHons or MA in Film and Visual Media.

The UFS Drama and Theatre Arts programme is not only designed to prepare students for employment, but also to empower them to create their own work opportunities. Students are encouraged to think beyond traditional employment roles, and to consider themselves as future employers within the industry. This entrepreneurial mindset is a critical component of the educational philosophy, aiming to equip students with the skills and confidence to innovate and lead in the performing arts sector.

“You will also learn many skills within the various disciplines in the Faculty of the Humanities that will support your future career. A qualification in the Humanities is well respected worldwide, and people with this type of qualification form the backbone of society. Certain programmes have been developed to train you for a specific career, while others will equip you with skills needed for various positions.” – Prof M Masoga, Dean of the Faculty of the Humanities

Visit Drama and Theatre Arts for more information.

Involvement in the Vrystaat Arts Festival

Thys Heydenrych, acting as departmental liaison between the Vrystaat Arts Festival and the Department of Drama at the University of the Free State (UFS), plays a crucial role in ensuring the seamless integration of the department's resources and expertise with the festival's activities. Heydenrych and his team are responsible for a wide range of preparations, including ensuring that all venues are ready, stages are painted, technical equipment in the theatres is functioning flawlessly, and other miscellaneous tasks. Their goal is to ensure that every aspect of the department contributes to the success of the festival.

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