London’s Royal Central School of Speech and Drama is to introduce a new course for adults with learning disabilities from next year.
The one-year Performance Making diploma will be launched in January 2014 and is being developed in partnership with Access All Areas, a theatre company for people with learning disabilities.
A total of 45 students over three years will be provided with scholarships. Each year two students will be fully funded while the remaining 13 pupils will pay only £350 towards their tuition fees.
Funding for the 15 annual scholarships has been provided by research and education charity the Leverhulme Trust.
The course will include teaching about how to create devised pieces and solo performances and will culminate in a public show at Central.
Nick Llewellyn, artistic director of Access all Areas, said: “This is a fantastic partnership with such a prestigious drama school. People with learning disabilities have a history of institutionalisation and prejudice of what they can achieve.
“This new diploma course, with thanks to the Leverhulme Trust, creates a life- changing opportunity for 15 people each year to access professional performance training. Not only are we developing access and inclusion for a marginalised group of adults but we are paving a way for public perceptions to be challenged and hopefully eradicated once and for all.”
Applications for the course are being accepted until October 28.