Drama is 50!

In the autumn of 1968, John Rudlin opened the doors of a radical new Department of Drama here in Exeter. 50 years on, we continue to thrive and are developing plans for our next half-century and beyond!

We're delighted that autumn 2018 marks our 50th anniversary. The Department is one of the largest in the UK with 24 permanent members of staff and over 400 students. Drama at Exeter is now an internationally-renowned centre for research and teaching, with practice still firmly embedded at its core. Ranked 1st for Drama in The Times & The Sunday Times Good University Guide 2018 , our teaching grows out of our wide-ranging research interests, and we provide a supportive and high quality environment for learning.

To mark this very special year we have launched this crowdfunding appeal in order to enhance our offer and improve the student experience.

Our priorities going forward are:

1. Deepen our connections to the creative industries

The creative industries are a cornerstone of UK plc. Today, our staff work in regular, close collaboration with industry partners (through research, impact and public-engagement activities), and this informs our day-to-day teaching. We want to build on this - to allow our students to benefit more directly from some of the most talented figures in today's creative industries.

2. Supporting tomorrow's theatre makers from the get-go

Exeter's Department of Drama has a long and respected history of nurturing some of the UK's best and most ambitious theatre makers, including established companies as well as those currently on the rise:

Forced Entertainment | Theatre Alibi | Punchdrunk | Still House | In Bed With My Brother

We are committed to supporting our emerging graduates, through initiatives such as our T3 Festival, which encourages and supports students creating new work beyond the curriculum, the RAW platform (working in partnership with regional venues) and the Department's Graduate Company Scheme. We are constantly improving and reinforcing our support in this area.

3. Building international partnerships

We want our students to benefit more from the Department's research partnerships with key international partners such as the National Institute of Advanced Studies (Bangalore, India), the Eugene O'Neill Theater Centre (USA) and the University of British Columbia (Canada). And to seed their own meaningful international partnerships in relation to their own practice and research.

4. Supporting the future of the discipline and recruiting the best students

These are not easy times for the arts in education. There were 14% fewer GCSE Drama students in 2017 than in 2012, and this has had a knock-on in terms of both FE and HE. We want to work more closely with colleagues across the Drama education sector, in order to support the future of the discipline and to sustain our ability to recruit.

Can you help?

We’re looking for support towards these priorities and all donations of any size will help to enhance drama education for future generations of students. Donations of £2 and monthly donations also help to deliver specific improvements for students’ learning, research and practice.

  • £50 could cover the cost of a creative producer's travel to attend a RAW emerging arts showcase event
  • £100 could support a focus group meeting with A-level Drama teachers to focus on discipline advocacy and student recruitment
  • £250 could cover, or contribute to, the cost of a Post-Graduate international travel bursary to visit an international partner connected to a student's own research
  • £500 could contribute significantly to the appointment of an annual visiting industry fellow - providing targeted enhancement to the student experience, for example through mentoring, MA practice, giving keynote lectures and/or masterclasses, and raising the Department's profile within the creative industry sector

Collectively, all gifts can be transformational so please give what you can.

Thank you.