Intimacy on Set and Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts have announced the launch of the world’s first degree in Intimacy Practice.

The two-year course has been developed with leading Intimacy Practitioner Ita O’Brien, in conjunction with O’Brien’s company Intimacy on Set. Mountview is working with the University of East Anglia as its validating partner.

O’Brien pioneered the role of Intimacy Practitioner having first started to develop best practice in Intimacy at Mountview in April 2015, invited by Meredith Dufton – who was Head of Movement at the time – and has since worked with the top production companies and organisations including the BBC, Netflix, Amazon, Apple TV, Channel 4, HBO, Sky, ITV, the National Theatre and the Royal Opera House, amongst many others.

Intimacy on Set invited Mountview to collaborate and launch this new course as a response to the growing industry demand for Intimacy Practitioners and to help build and support professionals in this increasingly crucial role. The formal nature of this training recognises the development of the industry and reinforces Mountview’s place as a global innovator in the training of actors, directors and creative practitioners.

Ita O’Brien, Intimacy Practitioner and Founder, Intimacy on Set, said: “I am delighted that we are today launching the world’s first training in Intimacy Practice at MFA level, and specifically with Mountview where I taught movement some years ago. Intimacy Practice is a young profession, and whilst awareness of its existence has grown considerably in the last few years, deep understanding of good practice is missing. To ensure we develop a profession which can proudly grow with excellence we need to be able to train talented individuals who can navigate the both physical and emotional journey that each actor will go on, and can responsibly and safely deliver the intimate content as envisioned by the director, the storytelling and each character. Intimacy On Set are leaders in this field, whose skills and rigorous training demonstrate best practice, our goal is for our bespoke guidelines to be adopted by the industry worldwide advocating for safe, fair and dignified work for everyone. This world first with Mountview, will help ensure we can do this.”

Sally Ann Gritton, Principal of Mountview, said: “We are proud that Mountview is spearheading this important industry development by offering formal Intimacy Practice training at MFA level. Our course will grow an expert network of practitioners, ensuring the provision of safe rehearsal and performance practices and encouraging further research in this area. It is an especially proud moment for us, given that much of the early development of this work was done in our own studios within our Movement Department together with Ita.”

And, Professor Zoe Butterfint, Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor of Partnerships & Apprenticeships at UEA said: “UEA are very proud to be a validating partner for Mountview, our first and longest standing partnership. Our relationship continues to grow and thrive year on year, and we are incredibly excited about the innovative new Intimacy Practice MFA. We look forward to the first cohort of students studying towards the award in September 2023.”

Intimacy on Set and Mountview’s Intimacy Practice course is a two-year Master of Fine Arts degree and is the latest addition to a suite of highly specialised training programmes at the school. The course will prepare students to enter the industry as Intimacy Coordinators for film and visual media, Intimacy Directors for theatre and live performance, and Intimacy Pedagogues for teaching in education and in the profession. The course is made up of a combination of taught modules, a dissertation and placements, the latter two taking place in the second year of the course.

Applications for September 2023 entry open today.

Image Credit: Petra Curtis


Pippa Considine

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