Meet the Course Director of BA Applied Theatre, Glenn Noble

Glenn Noble is the Course Director of our BA (Hons) Applied Theatre course. Find out what makes Glenn love his job and read about his top tips for students joining the School of Acting.

What did you study at University?

I studied Drama & Theatre Studies in Liverpool, but the course was largely taught by English teachers, so wasn’t particularly practical, so I supplemented my drama course by taking in as many professional workshops and short training courses at the Hope Street Project, originally part of the Everyman Theatre – this is where my creative practice was ignited.

What are your hobbies and interests?

I have always been a keen musician writing, recording and touring in bands, and I bring all of this to my theatre-making too. I’m also a bit of a vinyl records and comic-collector nerd, and I love watching films. I am a big fan of Miyazaki and Studio Ghibli movies. Most recently my youngest daughter has further opened up the world of Japanese Anime to me – and Manga! So obviously time with my kids is also a huge ‘hobby’.

What is the philosophy of your course?

It is all built around learning by doing. Students gain all of the skills and understanding to become Theatre Makers, and Applied Theatre practitioners and they do that largely by experiencing real-world projects, engaging with current practitioners, working in the community and arts sector, and making their own work.

What’s your favourite thing about working at the Royal Birmingham Conservatoire?

As I’m sure many of my colleagues would agree – it’s the people that make the place. We have a really lovely, passionate talented team of highly-skilled tutors here, and the students and graduates that work at RBC and across the region, mean that we have a brilliant community of practice here in the Midlands to come and join.

How would you describe the School of Acting?

Energetic, focussed and fun. There’s a real atmosphere of industriousness around the school and you’re always aware of the wide range of projects going on at once by the number of students rehearsing everywhere and anywhere around the buildings.

Why might students want to study your course?

Because it's an excellent course for people interested in career paths within performing arts and education, with all the benefits of a conservatoire style teaching/training and professional practice. It is a contemporary and applied theatre-making course, so a mixture of studio-based performances with real purpose, and theatre in non-traditional spaces, so that covers Theatre in Education tours and Community projects and plays (outdoor and site-specific), combined with in-school and Youth and Community participation projects.

What can students look forward to most when starting their course in September?

Meeting a whole brilliant bunch of new creative, passionate fellow students, who even though they don’t know it yet, will be the most important people in your life for the next three years – and possibly beyond. From this community of practice, you will find that new projects will emerge, new partnerships will form and some may lead to graduate initiatives and even new companies.

How can students prepare for university now?

Try to get to see live work, theatre, outdoor performance, dance and physical theatre, puppetry and mask work – see as much as possible! And read. Read (good) newspapers and watch the news to learn about what is going on in the world and where the stories are that need telling…

Where will students mainly be based in their study time and what will their learning environment look like?

Even in the first year, our course mixes up sessions in classrooms, drama studios and out in the community, with visits to companies and real-life projects. Across the three years an increasing proportion of the course takes place in the community, and students have a lot of say in exactly where, because it will depend often on their area of interest.

Can you give us five top tips for students joining the School of Acting in September?

  1. Clear the space in your life. Our degree can be very ‘full-on’ if you commit fully to all of the possibilities, and it is really hard to combine it with lots of other activities.
  2. Embrace difference. We always get a wide range of students from different backgrounds on our course, with different skills and passions, and that is a real joy, and a huge bonus when it comes to theatre-making.
  3. Explore the city – make connections. Birmingham is a great place to be a student, and there is a lot going on, so get involved.
  4. Look after yourself. Get fit, stay healthy, and be kind to yourself. You will enjoy your time here much more if you are fit and well and wide awake in the mornings!
  5. Make the most of everything. You only have this time once, and the students we see thriving most here are those who grab every opportunity going.


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