This flexible six-month course offers the foundation for a wide range of options, whether it be further training – joining alumni such as Tom Baker and Rosalie Craig – or just testing the water. Paul Vale explains how to win a place
Once again, The Stage is collaborating with Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance to provide a full scholarship for its Acting Foundation course. The full-time course provides 30-plus hours of contact teaching per week and is valued at £8,500. The six-month course is designed to equip students with the training and techniques demanded of applicants to full-time BA courses and many of its graduates move on to further education in drama. Course director Pat O’Toole explains the range and flexibility of this course.
“The vast majority have aspirations to go on to further training. Whether that’s drama school, university or film school. The rest will go into the industry because they’ve had existing experience. Many of them already have a first degree. Some have already been working in associated fields in the industry or have completely different careers and really want to just put their toe in the water. So it’s a broad church, in as much as this foundation course is not just aimed at getting people into drama school.”
Last year’s winner was William Bunting, who moved from his home near Southampton to start training at the Sidcup venue.
“Rose Bruford has been a really nice step up. I’ve been out of education for a while, so have just been getting into the swing of things – the intensity and the commitment – and getting that focus and physicality rolling again. I’m loving the change.”
Rose Bruford has a worldwide reputation for producing some of the greatest talent in the theatre and film industry, including Tom Baker, Gary Oldman, Katie Brayben and Rosalie Craig. The college offers four acting foundation courses in Brighton, Edinburgh and Belfast but The Stage Scholarship is attached to the course in Sidcup, Kent. Here, students train in a variety of disciplines including Stanislavski and Meisner techniques, as well as being provided with all the preparation they may need for further vocational study.
When it comes to the audition process, O’Toole offers some insight as to what the panel is looking for in an applicant.
“It’s not always necessarily incredible raw talent. I know that sounds a counterintuitive, but we look for enormous passion and a commitment to want to learn and understand about the craft of acting. We want people who are ambitious in terms of learning about themselves and about the industry. So we demand a huge amount from them in terms of professional and personal discipline.”
As the yearly schedule was being planned, the date for auditions was to be on May 16. At the time of going to press however, this may have to change due to the coronavirus pandemic. In order to alleviate this problem, O’Toole has put plans into place to allow applicants alternative access.
“It seems very likely, the way things are going, that this audition will not take place. I am offering everyone the opportunity to send in an audition or monologue by video and I will talk to people via Skype initially. I think it’s too much of a risk getting young people to move all over the country for auditions.”
Course: 20-week Acting Foundation (Sidcup)
Educational level: Post school
Number of scholarships offered: One full
Value of scholarship: £8,500
What costs are covered? Fees
Where is the school? Sidcup, DA15 9DF – 25 minutes from Central London by train
Likely audition date: May 16, although this is currently subject to change
How to apply: Register for the Acting Foundation course in Sidcup at bruford.ac.uk stating that you wish to be considered for The Stage Scholarship.