The Pathway To Acting With A Drama Foundation Programme

Tue 24 Oct 2017 < Back to listing


If you want to be prepared to succeed in the competitive and creative field of acting, a foundation programme in drama can help you get on the right track.

CSVPA foundation programme students are trained for drama school success

As any young, aspiring actor knows, the entertainment industry is incredibly competitive, and there is no art form for which this is truer than acting, whether on stage, television, or film. The competition facing actors does not begin on the job market; rather, it starts as they compete with their peers for admission into training programmes.

In a recent webinar, Rachel Ellis, Head of Drama at CSVPA, outlined the process students need to go through to gain admission into an acting training programme, and how a drama foundation course can help.

What Does the Educational Pathway in Drama Look Like?

There are two main pathways that students can take in their postsecondary acting training: drama school and university drama or theatre degrees. According to Ellis, the main difference between drama school and university programmes is a respective emphasis on practice and academics.

“Drama school is centred on practice-based, highly regarded professional conservatoire training,” she says. “In training at drama school, you’re much more directed, but likely to be taught by actors and directors who have worked in theatre, film, and TV. At university, you’re taught more by academics who are studying and researching in the area of drama.”

What to Expect From Drama Programme Auditions

All top drama programmes will require some form of audition from students. Auditions can be conducted in one-on-one formats, workshops, or group auditions, depending on the course. They will also likely require students to prepare different types of speeches or musical numbers. “Students need to have a good repertoire of speeches for this process,” says Ellis. “The schools are looking for contrasting speeches to really show who the student is and what they can perform.”

Auditions for drama school test students’ skills and attitude

Ellis also emphasised the importance of students learning to ‘sell themselves’ with confidence, saying, “students have to get very good at talking about themselves, and their achievements so far, and why they want to study the craft at a particular school,” especially if the audition includes an interview component.  

How Foundation Courses in Acting Can Help You Prepare for Drama School

The drama foundation programme at CSVPA is based on intensive, conservatoire-based training that explores many components of acting including voice, movement, phonetics, singing, theatre dance, and more.

“Our teachers have attended drama school and university performance courses, worked as actors and directors, and formed their own companies,” says Ellis. “Their instruction gives the students a wider understanding of the craft as an actor, and of themselves.”

Ellis says that tutors speak with students in the drama foundation programme in detail about their drama school ambitions, helping them to find schools that are a good fit for their needs.

Students are also given weekly one-to-one attention from tutors, which increases as auditions approach. This includes guidance in choosing speeches, technical skills development, dealing with Shakespeare, audition stress, and confidence building, as well as mock auditions for real industry professionals. “All our tutors have experience in the industry and are incredibly supportive,” Ellis says.

CSVPA’s intensive training includes training in all elements of acting, including movement

How CSVPA Drama Foundation Programme Graduates Progress

For graduates of CSVPA’s foundation programme, the pathway in drama is often one of success. Our students have progressed on to many excellent drama schools and university programs in the UK, Europe, and America, including RADA, the New York Film Academy, the Fourth Monkey Company, and the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama.

Ellis explains that careful leadership makes success easier for CSVPA students. “Students are going to need to stand, be original, be creative, and demonstrate that they’re highly disciplined and totally positive,” she says. “In order to develop all of those skills – to walk into that audition room – they need a good guide. I feel that at CSVPA, that’s what we are there to provide, to guide them into that process.”

Are you ready to pave the foundation for your acting career?

Contact us at CSVPA to book an audition day for our foundation courses in acting!


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