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The Essentials Guide

Introduced by Kate Ashcroft, Executive Director of The Oxford School of Drama.

The Guide was created by The Oxford School of Drama with the assistance of The English National Ballet School, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Central School of Ballet, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, London Academy of Music and Drama, Northern Contemporary Dance Theatre, Royal Academy of Dramatic Art and the Royal Ballet School.

For seriously passionate and determined 18 year olds who have an ambition to pursue a career as an actor or dancer, the myriad of training choices on offer can be more of a curse than a blessing. Should they go to a university and get a degree, so they have a qualification to fall back on if their dreams aren’t realised? Should they go for a course at an independent drama school, which may or may not offer a degree, or a drama school that is part of a university? Even the funding available to students varies from course to course and can range from just £1,275 to over £12,000 a year; some attract student loans, others grants; some provide funding for students who already have an undergraduate degree, others not.

The Essentials – a guide to vocational training for Actors, Dancers and Technicians has been written to try to help students identify the essential elements of a truly vocational course.

It was launched to members of the industry and MPs in June at The Prince of Wales Theatre by Henry Goodman, Caroline Langrishe, Thelma Holt and Charity Wakefield. Other supporters of the Guide include Alan Ayckbourn (playwright), Marianne Elliott (director), Celestia Fox (Casting Director), Trevor Jackson (Casting Director, Cameron Mackintosh), Anne McNulty (Casting Director, Donmar Warehouse), Hannah Miller (Casting Director, RSC), Adrian Noble (director), Alan Rickman (Actor), Jeremy Sams (director), Wendy Spon (Casting Director, The National Theatre).

The Guide is free. You can either download a copy of The Essentials Guide or you can obtain a hard copy by sending an A5 stamped addressed envelope to: The Essentials Guide, The Oxford School of Drama, Sansomes Farm Studios, Woodstock, OX20 1ER.

The Essentials Guide was funded through the Beacon Innovation Project programme run by the Learning and Skills Improvement Service.




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