Theatre Design degree

(13 Posts)
Catminion Mon 26-Jun-17 08:08:28

DD is starting the Art Foundation in September. She is thinking of applying for a theatre design BA for the following year - she prefers not to do costume just theatre. I have my misgivings. Have any of you done this and would you recommend it if so? Many thanks.

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CuntyKitchen Mon 26-Jun-17 08:15:11

I haven't done that qualification but I can tell you that all but the most sought after designers get paid an absolute pittance. I'm all for careers in the arts, having had one for 20+ years, but theatre design? No.

If it's the 'creating another world' thing she likes she could consider art department work for telly, working up through the jobs to designer. Much much better paid.

Catminion Mon 26-Jun-17 08:22:51

Thanks CK that is pretty much what I thought. She loves theatre/opera hence preferring that to screen. I will keep gently plugging away at the alternatives.

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Traalaa Mon 26-Jun-17 08:36:58

TV art dept type work's hard to get into, but a theatre design start is just as strong a way in as any other. I'd say let her follow her passion. It's great that she has a plan. She might find she has a great career in the theatre, or she might not, but she'll still have a degree. In some ways it doesn't matter what that's in. A friend of mine's dd did a degree in dance. She was similarly despairing as she didn't think for a minute that her dd would end up as a professional dancer. She was right.. but... her dd got loads out of her degree, did well and is now working at a high level in arts admin.

CuntyKitchen Mon 26-Jun-17 09:46:28

Oh absolutely, nowt wrong with an arts degree, I'm just saying that if she's doing it specifically to go into theatre design as a career she might want to have a think about that career.

InLovewithaGermanFilmStar Mon 26-Jun-17 11:16:09

She needs to go to a really excellent place: Wimbledon has produced some amazing & successful theatre designers (my cousin went there, now runs her own production company, employng several other designers & art directors). She'll need to be flexible - the work in just theatre isn't enough to keep a mouse alive, but doing computer-assisted stuff, film, big events, outdoor events and so on.

BubblesBuddy Mon 26-Jun-17 12:08:12

The ROH has apprenticeships.


Catminion Mon 26-Jun-17 18:18:18

Thanks for your comments. While I agree she should follow her dream, I am not sure whether she should do a wider degree and keep her options open, then an MA if she still wants to do it. She is very good at painting and personally I think she should pursue that.

She is inclined to do a theatre design degree without costume design which narrows it even further. Most include it I think.

She is not interested in an apprenticeship sadly, but thanks for the suggestions.

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ScoobyDoosTinklyLaugh Mon 26-Jun-17 18:31:00

Quite a few of the people I'm in a studio with do Theatre Desig. They're top of there game in this part of the country and seem pretty skint. They also seem quite dependant on costume work as well.

It seems like a bit of a lifestyle choice, loads of hard work but they all seem happy but they aren't getting mortgages anytime soon.

ScoobyDoosTinklyLaugh Mon 26-Jun-17 18:33:36

Neither am I getting a mortgage anytime soon grin

parmavioletmartini Mon 26-Jun-17 18:38:50

It's very unusual for a theatre designer to not design costume as well as sets. Especially starting out.

A degree in theatre will not rule out moving into film/tv.

Quite a few friends in the industry all work very hard. Those who work in theatre earn a pittance compared to Those working for screen.

Wimbledon, central and welsh collage are all very good.

parmavioletmartini Mon 26-Jun-17 18:41:01

Sorry just read about her loving painting.
Get her to contact as many places as possible for some work experience with set decorators. That might help her decide, give a glimpse into the world.

Catminion Mon 26-Jun-17 20:37:29

Thanks all.
Parma good suggestion thanks!

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