Academic classes are offered in the morning hours, Monday through Friday, at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland which is centrally located in the city of Glasgow with state of the art facilities and staffing. All scheduled field trips and theatre shows are geared to enhance the subject matter covered in our course work and to broaden the students experience in the areas of both Scottish theatre as it relates to religion in Scotland and Scottish Literature. Students are required to take a minimum of 5 units.
Our Theatre students will study Religion and Theatre with Donald Smith, Director of the Scottish Storytelling Centre, and Scottish Drama with RCS/Pepperdine alumnus Alex Fthenakis ('08).
English 380: Modern Drama: Scottish Theatre
Religion 301: Theatre and Religion in Scotland
Theatre 250/450: Play Production (for a selected group of students)
Theatre 150/350: Theatre Ensemble
Past Master Classes
Production Preparation and Rehearsal Process
There is a great deal of pre-planning that goes into producing the performance at the fringe. The playwright will conduct a one week workshop on the Malibu campus during the preceding spring break. This gives the playwright a chance to collaborate directly with the entire company, making adjustments to the final script, and advising the student designers and director on the technical and design specifications of the play.
The student designers and crew spend the week before departure creating scenery, costumes and gathering props and company supplies, preparing everything for international shipping. Once the company arrives in Glasgow the shipment is delivered to the RCS for use in rehearsals. The production rehearses seven days a week with continued collaboration from the playwright.
Since 2012 the program has commissioned a playwright from within the Scottish theatre community to write a new work. We have collaborated with Peter Arnott (2012) Why Do You Stand There in the Rain?, J C Marshall (2014) Forget Fire, and Lynda Radley (2016) title unknown. We aim to produce a piece that looks at social action and justice issues that are shared concerns between America and Scotland. Over the years we have examined the difficulties of migrants fleeing the Dust Bowl in The Grapes of Wrath, women survivors of the war in Bosnia with Eve Ensler's Necessary Targets, and the treatment of United States Great War veterans in Why Do You Stand There in the Rain?. The development of new collaborations with Scotland is an excellent opportunity for both Pepperdine and Scottish students to widen their training, broaden their cultural awareness, and establish international and professional connections.
Technical Rehearsals and Performances
We depart from Glasgow to Edinburgh with our scenery and costumes and are dropped at our lodgings. Since this usually occurs one day prior to our technical rehearsal, the technical theatre student's head to the venue as soon as we arrive to load in the props, scenery and costumes into the venue. The technical rehearsal is usually three hours in duration, followed the next day by a dress rehearsal, and then we open. A typical run is ten to fifteen days, usually without a day off. Publicity, or "flyering" runs are often made each day prior to and after the show to ensure audience attendance. There will be times in Edinburgh when we will attend events as a group but usually the company has time to attend shows that they are interested in seeing. With over 2,500 plays running at the festival during the month of August there are plenty to pick from.
Long Term Effect
In the words of various company members from 2014:
"Being in theatre, living in a place full of theatre, and indulging in a breadth of different theatrical cultures daily has been nothing short of enlightening. The vast expansion of possibilities has taught me to see the world. I've learned things I never knew, I've seen things I never thought even possible in theatre, or in life for that matter." -Mathew San Jose
"We must move forward with our lives and keep a little piece of Scotland forever in our hearts. Soon it will be time to take our new knowledge and experience and use it to motivate and inspire our work in the future." -Chelsey Maus
"I honestly think my experiences at the Fringe these last two weeks have been some of the most inspiring days of my life. I cannot convey how much I've learned. Theatre is alive and thriving and breaking through boundaries." -Natalie Hovee
"It is not our responsibility to push answers on anyone, but rather be genuine in our questioning and straightforward in our pursuit of truth." Madison Erceg
"If nothing else, you should see now that it's all possible." -Arielle Fodor