Acting Course

The Acting Course that acts as a complete education

Our Sixth Form Acting Course provides a unique opportunity to develop skills and techniques in a dynamic, exciting and professional environment.

Whether a pupil hopes to be an actor or wants to develop a career in the wider Performing Arts, the Acting Course provides the personal, technical and artistic training to help them achieve their goal.

The course is wide-ranging and realistic, providing the best possible chance of success in a market that is notorious for being unpredictable.

On the Acting Course, each student is nurtured and individually guided in their progress. This allows them to grow and develop confidence and maturity. The Drama Course encourages them to think – to have an opinion and to push their own boundaries wherever possible.

Giving pupils a chance to act on their dreams

The Acting Course is designed to allow pupils who want to be actors and pursue a career in the theatre, to fully explore and assess their potential. It allows them to develop a deeper understanding of the Performing Arts, and a commitment to the world of the theatre and acting. The Acting Course also encourages innovation, instills self-confidence and prepares students for life after school.

'I simply had to write to say what an inventive, life-affirming and joyous piece of theatre it was. I went home feeling on top of the world - cheery and optimistic (even though financial markets around the world are collapsing about our ears!) A heartfelt thank you - Ed is having the time of his life!'
A Tring Park School parent

The two-year course, undertaken in the Sixth Form, includes classes covering:

  • Voice
  • Classical and modern text
  • Physical theatre
  • Movement for actors
  • Acting study
  • Improvisation
  • Dance
  • Singing

Productions

Recent productions have included Brecht's The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, Durenmatt's The Visit, and Wertenberger's Our Country's Good.  Each year the Drama Department also produce a 5-day Festival of Contemporary Theatre with a different play each day of the week and in which students perform some of the most challenging material.  Recently these plays have included One Flew Over the Cuckoo's Nest and Equus.

BTEC in Performing Arts

The BTEC Subsidiary Diploma in Performing Arts (QCF) is a vocational qualification, equivalent to one A level, which is accepted as a valid qualification by UCAS into university drama or performance-related courses.

Students learn by completing projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands. As well as learning about the employment area of the performing arts, students develop the skills they need to start a career.

Students might consider the BTEC qualification if they wish to pursue Performing Arts to a higher level and/or if they would like an A level equivalent that is a vocational-based qualification with continuous assessment as opposed to a formal exam. It is however a rigorously assessed course and students will be required to organise their time appropriately in order that they can read around the subject and research the many different topics covered.

Students will study 6 units over the course of the two years which may include:

  • Performing to an Audience
  • Contemporary Theatre Performance
  • Developing Physical Theatre
  • Applying Acting Styles
  • Auditions for Actors
  • Film and TV Acting

This Subsidiary Diploma is equivalent to one A level so a student should choose it alongside at least two other A levels or equivalents to enable the UCAS points required for university.

Hands-on experience on stage

A strong theatre company ethos is fostered as part of the Acting Course activities, and students participate in a variety of performances throughout the year.

Many students on the Acting Course take part in the National Student Drama Festival, attending workshops and debates at this week-long, world-renowned celebration of theatre and live performance.

Theatre skills, film skills, acting technique and dramatic theory

Staff who lead the Acting Course have both professional teaching and extensive performing experience and students are encouraged to learn both acting technique and dramatic theory.

Development of extended theatre skills is highly encouraged as part of the Acting Course, and pupils learn costume making, set, lighting and sound design.

We also make good use of the Acting Course's excellent film and editing equipment. All pupils on the Acting Course benefit from screen acting lessons and workshops. Pupils in the Upper Sixth produce a short film, including all elements of production, filming and editing.

'I don't usually email after plays that I come to see, but I really honestly loved ‘Socks'. It was fantastic - the feeling, I can't explain. I think it's fantastic that not only did the Acting Course students create it, but that they were given the chance.'
A Tring Park School parent

Getting budding actors ready for the real world

Towards the end of the Acting Course, we provide extensive industry classes covering:

  • Application preparation
  • Personal statements
  • Audition repertoire

Physical fitness is important for the actor and pupils are streamed according to their dance ability, attending movement or dance classes daily.

Theatre in Education

In the first term of the Lower Sixth, Acting students produce a TiE performance, which is taken to local schools and community groups. This provides students with first-hand knowledge and experience of this particularly challenging form of theatre. Recent shows have included a musical project and two original plays.

For more information please email Edward Applewhite, Director of Drama or Tel. 01442 821663.

 

Alumni

Jessica Brown Findlay

Downton Abbey Winter’s Tale (film) Jamaica Inn The Outcast (BBC drama) Victor Frankenstein

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