Scarborough’s renowned Stephen Joseph Theatre (SJT) has partnered with CU Scarborough, Coventry University’s campus on the Yorkshire coast, to introduce a radical new BA (Hons) Acting degree.
Commencing in September 2019, the three-year course will train students in acting for stage, T.V. and radio as well as introducing them to various non-traditional techniques such as presenting, corporate role-play, vlogging and acting for gaming.
Created through an innovative partnership with a prominent regional producing theatre, the degree curriculum will enable regular visits to the Stephen Joseph Theatre, giving students the opportunity to gain experience of acting through masterclasses with the Artistic Director, associate directors and other freelance professionals. They will also receive mentoring by SJT’s staff on the inner-workings of a regional theatre including marketing, producing, fundraising, and technical and stage management. In their third year, students will have the opportunity to audition for the SJT to be part of a professional acting company.
In a bid to champion access for all, this degree will introduce a dynamic new auditioning process which will be free to prospective students, removing some of the early financial barriers experienced by prospective drama students.
Paul Robinson, Artistic Director at the Stephen Joseph Theatre, said:
“This exciting new course, with dynamic and free audition methods is aimed at the non-traditional actor for whom access to training may have previously been prohibitive.
“There’s been much talk about making access to acting training more affordable but we still see drama schools charging an average of £60/£70, and often more, for auditions. Our course will see the first round of self-taped audition speeches – on, for instance, a smartphone – allowing us to keep the audition process manageable, free and appropriate by employing the contemporary digital techniques that are becoming more and more a part of our standard industry practice.
While the acting and vocal training will be on a par with the best drama schools, there will also be training in radio and TV acting and presenting, corporate role-play, gaming, and even vlogging – all ways in which the contemporary actor can find employment.
This will be a forward-thinking, relevant curriculum. We have designed the course to reflect the contemporary acting world, not a stuffy one from a bygone era.”
We know that access to formal training has been financially prohibitive for many people and that has resulted in an industry that does not necessarily reflect the socio-economic diversity of our country. If we are serious about the diversity of the voices in our sector, then we need to address this at the earliest possible opportunity. Our partnership with Coventry University is borne out of a set of shared values around diversity and inclusivity. We will ensure that students receive the best possible training and that they will get the chance to see their future industry in action. Access to a working producing theatre will provide a level of insight often missing in formal training, it will allow students to identify innovative routes into the profession and begin thinking about the shape of their careers earlier.
Kay Fraser, Interim Associate Pro-Vice-Chancellor of CU Scarborough, said:
“We want to train actors in the broadest possible skillset to market themselves as professionals and increase their chances of employment after they graduate.
“We’re delighted to be partnering with the Stephen Joseph Theatre to design and deliver this course: the values of our organisations are really aligned when it comes to putting the student first.”
For more information on the SJT/CU Scarborough BA (Hons) Acting please visit: www.coventry.ac.uk/cus/acting