Technical Theatre & Live Events
Our Technical Theatre and Live Events course prepares young people to progress into the stage, theatre and live events industry.
This free, full-time, post-16 course is underpinned by the Pearson BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Production Arts Practice (Technical), worth the equivalent of 3 A'levels.
This is a 2 year course.
Want to work in live sound, lighting, projection, and visual FX for theatres, festivals, live events and shows? Interested in lights and lasers, sound systems, pyrotechnics, smoke machines, automation?
At BOA Stage and Screen Production we place significant emphasis on work-readiness, project based learning and industry collaboration, and our purpose-built curriculum has been designed in collaboration with major UK industry partners to ensure our students are genuinely work-ready when they leave us. The Technical Theatre and Live Events course at BOA Stage and Screen Production academy is much, much more than the BTEC course alone, it is a passport into the industry.
Students at BOA Stage and Screen will undertake a sequence of live industry projects, working with major partners such as the PRG and the Old Rep Theatre, choosing roles, attending relevant workshops and classes, executing their duties, and keeping a journal and e-portfolio as evidence. For example, every year our Year 13 students run the major Xmas show at the Old Rep Theatre, and Birmigham Pipeline Festival in the CIty Centre.
The content of the journal and e-portfolio is regularly assessed against the BTEC Level3 Extended Diploma in Production Arts Practice (Technical), worth the equivalent of 3 A'levels.
Students will achieve the Foundation Diploma (worth 1.5 A’levels) at the end of their first year of study. They will then have the option to ‘top-up’ their BTEC to an Extended Diploma (worth 3 A’levels) in their second year of study.
This means students leave equipped with the qualifications, credits, experience and professional network they need to progress directly into the industry, or pursue further studies at the very best universities.
WHAT WILL I STUDY?
This pathway covers the following specialisms for theatre, live events and studio production:
- Lighting design, operation, maintenance
- Sound design
- Sound engineering
- Visual Effects
- Capture (video/motion)
- Stage management
This pathway enables you to choose your own learning route. This could be in design, technical or management production roles or a combination of different roles from different areas. You are not required to study all the subject areas outlined above.
This course provides learning experiences through which you will develop a wide range of skills required within the production arts sector. Through practical exploration and real-life performance and film projects, you will develop and hone specialist design, creative, technical and management skills required to work successfully in this industry.
HOW WILL I LEARN?
You will develop essential industry knowledge and skills through a number of exciting projects led by industry professionals and Academy teachers. You will collaborate across pathways at BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy and will work closely with our sister school, BOA Creative Digital and Performing Arts Academy. You will work with directors, performers and other members of the production team to produce live performances, events and studio projects.
You will be assessed through practical work on a variety of production projects and will be required to carry out coursework as part of your programme of study. Coursework is set in a variety of different ways at BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy. For example, you may decide that developing a website is the best way to showcase your skills. Other options for assessment could include an e-portfolio, presentation, video log or podcast. There are no formal written exams on this course.
Over the duration of your studies you will build a multimedia portfolio and logbook that tracks all of your experiences, roles and projects, and evidences your outcomes. You will reflect on how successful you have been and ear-mark those experiences which have been most useful. At key milestones throughout the course your portfolio will be assessed by authorised assessors based at the academy.
HOW IS THE COURSE STRUCTURED?
Foundation Year (Year 1)
Production Arts Skills Development
In this module you will develop a range of production skills and techniques. The areas in which you choose to study could include; set design and set construction, digital scenery, lighting design and operation, sound design and engineering, stage management and visual effects. You will carry out a number of roles on a variety of projects.
The Production Arts Industry
In this module you will take part in a range of sessions where you will explore the productions arts industry. This module will provide you with a thorough understanding of different roles within the production arts and how they work together as a team. As part of this module, you will explore current industry practice and procedures. You will explore employment opportunities that are available to you and will develop an understanding of the trade unions that will represent you should you go on to work professionally within the creative industries.
Extended Year (Year 2)
Personal Production Arts Profile
In this module you have the ability to choose production roles based on your specific areas of interest. You will create work that reflects your individual career goals. You will refine the skills developed in the foundation year modules and will explore ideas in your specific role. You will develop an individual project and will then create promotional material to use for your own progression into employment and will explore networking opportunities.
Collaborative Production Arts Project
In this module you will collaborate with others to produce all the required elements for a live or filmed event in your individual production role of choice. You will work professionally and autonomously in your role and will demonstrate your ability in planning, designing, organising, collaborating and communicating to realise a full-scale production. In this module you will demonstrate the refined skills and knowledge developed in previous modules throughout the course.
WHAT CAN THIS LEAD TO
We have chosen to deliver the BTEC level 3 Foundation/Extended Diploma in Production Arts Practice because the BTEC Level 3 Diplomas are widely recognised by industry and universities alike as the ideal vocational training route into technical stage and screen careers.
Students who graduate BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy with this qualification will be well equipped to pursue careers in creative production and related disciplines.
Following successful completion of their course students may choose to transition straight in to full time employment in entry-level specialist roles, or they may choose to secure a higher apprenticeship or even go on to university.
Direct to Employment
The content, structure and assessment of this qualification have been developed in consultation with teachers, employers, professional bodies and academics to ensure that the qualification supports progression to higher education and, should learners choose to enter employment directly, that it is appropriate and consistent with current practice.
There are many, many careers working in theatres and live events across the UK, and Birmingham is a central hub. The industry is crying out for young people who are work-ready and well-trained.
University and Higher Apprenticeships
The Extended Diploma, equivalent to three A Levels, is a two-year, full-time course that meets entry requirements for learners who want to progress to higher education courses in production arts areas before entering employment.
Careers in the Technical Theatre and Live Events industries can take many different forms. Technical staff and crews tend to work freelance, whereas management and production teams are either permanent or on fixed term contracts. In the world of marketing and social media, specialists tend to work to a service level agreement, whilst others are permanently employed by an organisation or signed up to an agency. Salaries range across the whole spectrum, driven by the specialist skills required, the responsibility of the role and the production budget.
Ultimately, the variety and excitement of a career in the theatre and live events industry is second to none, but of course making connections and building a robust professional network is key. That is why we ensure every student graduates BOA Stage and Screen Production Academy set up with a freelance portfolio, a number of professional production credits, and key connections in the Birmingham industry network.
Here are some examples of professional roles and careers in a few of the key departments involved in bringing a production to reality: