Student Guide to Drama Education

Welcome to the Student Guide to Drama Education 2023-24!

If you’re reading this, it’s likely that you’re either considering further education in the wide-reaching theatrical disciplines or you’re supporting students who might be on this path. While it can be an exciting time, choosing which direction you want to go in or working out how to advise students can be slightly overwhelming. Drama school or university (p4)? On-stage or backstage? And that’s before you even decide which institutions to apply to, work out how to secure financial support (p5) or prepare your portfolio or performance for audition!

This guide is designed to give you all the information you need to start thinking about this pivotal time of life and the application process involved. Whether it’s testimonials from students who have undertaken a wide variety of courses (pp7-16), advice on choosing monologues or speeches for audition (p20) or an introduction to alternative training options such as foundation courses (p18), we’ve hopefully answered any questions you might have and suggested a few things to start thinking about.

We’ve also got an array of features from our team of expert writers on further education in the theatre industry. Andy Johnson looks into the changes in audition procedure since Covid, suggesting ways applicants can adapt for the rise in self-tapes and online workshops (p24). Drama & Theatre’s assistant editor Hattie Fisk meets Billie Bowman, star of the UK tour of Heathers Billie Bowman and a recent Musical Theatre grad from Arts Ed, to hear all about what a career in musical theatre actually looks like (p28). Susan Elkin visits the team behind Young People in the Arts, a not-for-profit organisation providing networking opportunities for young arts professionals at the start of their careers (p31), while I met Wendy Frost, Wolverhampton University’s PGCE Drama Subject leader, to find out more about the route to becoming a Drama teacher (p27).

To round out your preparation, we’ve also provided an encyclopedic guide to the books and plays you might want to familiarise yourself with as you embark on this exciting journey.

Whatever you decide to do next, we wish you all the best!

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