An increase in contemporary and innovative topics is at the heart of plans to reposition Flinders University’s Drama offerings and confirm its Bachelor of Creative Arts as the premier dramatic qualification in South Australia and amongst the most respected such qualification in the nation.
Acting Vice President and Executive Dean of the College of Humanities, Arts and Social Sciences Professor Peter Monteath says a revitalised vision for drama at Flinders will be crafted from an independent review conducted during 2020 which involved input from staff and students, as well as industry.
“Our next step is to further consult with our community to determine what elements of the report we will accept, and how to reshape our course to achieve our ambitions,” Professor Monteath says.
Professor Monteath says in order to elevate the calibre of dramatic teaching and equip graduates to be leaders in their crafts there will be a temporary pause in the BCA drama intake for 2021, creating space for the course to be redesigned.
“In addition to traditional pursuits in areas such as acting and production, we’re seeking to introduce specialities in contemporary and emerging fields, such as digital development, motion capture, and voice acting for games.
“There are elements we want to retain but in a different form – and drama is one of those. We will continue our commitment to our existing student cohort, but will pause the intake for 2021 to enable our new design to be determined and applied fresh in 2022.”
Professor Monteath says the review reflects necessity and opportunity. “There has been considerable and prolonged disruption across the dramatic arts, with the COVID-19 pandemic creating hitherto unimagined challenges across the sector.
“It’s a clarion call to us and our students, underscoring the need for our graduates to be furnished with a wide suite of skills to ensure they are able to navigate the fast changing creative landscape and achieve their ambition and their contribution. We want our graduates to be not just employed but to be the most sought after in their fields, and our new approach aims to ensure that is the case,” Professor Monteath says.
“As creative industries evolve there will undoubtedly be an increase in demand for skilled practitioners in these new artistic pursuits, and Flinders aims to deliver,” Professor Monteath says.
Professor Monteath says Flinders is seeking to amplify a range of career applications such as performance making, mainstage theatre, television production, drama teaching, digital and interactive performances, and cross-discipline and collaboratively devised pieces.
In particular, this vision would support South Australia’s ambitious plans for its games industry to be global leaders in Post-Production, Digital and Visual Effects, an area in which Flinders is already developing a world leading reputation as evidenced by its exceptional performance in the global ‘Rookies’ Awards, in collaboration with CDW Studios.
The vision would reorganise staff to provide better balance between learning and research, with more manageable workloads and contact time.
“As our vision takes shape into 2021 we can look forward to a richer array of learning options, strongly focused on innovation, delivered flexibly, and with increased connection with established and emerging industries to give Flinders drama students an exceptional learning experience,” Professor Monteath says.