Drama Summer School
The Guildhall School of Music & Drama is one of the world’s leading conservatoires. Former acting students include Dame Eileen Atkins, Orlando Bloom, Daniel Craig, Daniel Evans, Joseph Fiennes, Rhys Ifans, Sarah Lancashire, Damian Lewis, Alistair McGowan, Ewan McGregor, Ben Miles, Fay Ripley, Clive Rowe, Simon Russell Beale, David Thewlis, Hayley Atwell, Jodie Whittaker, Dominic West, Freddie Fox and Ben Schnetzer. The School maintains its high standards through the expertise of its tutors and directors, who have strong links with the profession.
The Guildhall School is situated in the City of London adjacent to the Barbican Arts Centre, which houses two theatres, a concert hall, cinemas and galleries. It is also within easy reach of West End theatres, the Royal Festival Hall, the Royal National Theatre and Shakespeare's Globe on the South Bank, Sadler's Wells Theatre and Tate Modern.
Our two Drama Summer School courses each offer three weeks of stimulating and inspiring training in acting. We invite participants from all over the world: some may have various levels of acting experience - including those wishing to be introduced to the craft of acting and those who have already had some acting experience.
Both courses include class work or workshops with many of the School's core staff including Wyn Jones (Director of Acting), Patsy Rodenburg (Head of Voice), Wendy Allnutt (Head of Movement), Martin Connor (Head of Acting Studies) and Eliot Shrimpton (Head of Academic Studies (Drama)). Students work as an ensemble in groups of not more than eighteen.
Comments from Summer 2014
‘An inspirational course!’
‘The place is so full of love, light and creativity.’
‘Challenging and supportive.’
‘Great for me as an actor and amazing for me as a person.’
‘A wonderful, liberating experience.’
‘I’d do it again in a heartbeat.'
Acting in Shakespeare & Contemporary Theatre
Three weeks of intensive tuition, workshops and rehearsals. Students have craft-based classes for half of the day; for the other half they work as an ensemble with a director to explore short scenes from Shakespeare and a contemporary play, investigating the texts through group exercises and improvisation. The aim is to demystify Shakespeare and commit to truthful acting in modern drama. The course concludes with a presentation of work-in-progress to students and staff (not open to the public), which may take the form of a workshop or open class.
Acting in Musical Theatre
Three weeks of intensive tuition, workshops and rehearsals. Students have craft-based classes for half the day; for the other half they work as an ensemble with a director and musical director on a project exploring a selection of scenes and songs. This will involve some musical staging but the focus of the course is upon the craft of acting within the context of song. It concludes with a presentation of work-in-progress to students and staff (not open to the public), which may take the form of a workshop or open class.
Craft-based classes and workshops for both courses include:
- Acting - using exercises that explore some basic techniques of acting*
- Voice - developing techniques that are fundamental to interpretation and vocal health
- Movement - exploring actors' movement based on Laban and Litz Pisk
- Improvisation - employing exercises that illuminate character and truth
- Character Mask - developing a physical approach to character
- Combat - an introduction to safe, controlled stage fighting
* Please note that the Drama Summer School does not include the techniques of Lee Strasberg or Sanford Meisner.
Two visits to attend performances in London theatres are included in the fees of both courses.
A certificate will be awarded to all candidates who attend and complete the course.
- applicants must be 18 years of age or over on the first day of the course. Unfortunately, this is something for which we can make no exceptions.
- a fluent standard of English is essential.
- applicants are required to sustain high levels of physical and mental stamina in order to manage the long hours and the intensive collaborative nature of the Drama Summer School. Due to the content of the work undertaken, which may include adult themes and material, successful applicants will be required to demonstrate high levels of maturity whilst on their chosen course. The Guildhall School reserves the right to withdraw any student from the Drama Summer School if they are found to be in breach of the School’s Code of Conduct, or their behaviour is such that it seriously impedes the progress of other students.
Dates (applicable for both Drama Summer School courses)
Monday 20 July to Friday 7 August 2015 inclusive
Schedule: Monday to Friday from 9am to 5pm (approximately) with some evening activities; weekends are free.
The Acting in Shakespeare & Contemporary Theatre and Acting in Musical Theatre courses have the same fee (which includes theatre visits). Accommodation and meals are not included in the course fee; however, the affordable rates are highly competitive for central London accommodation.
Course fee - £1950
Deposit (of which £400 is non-refundable) - £650
Accommodation (bed and breakfast) - £836
Accommodation (bed, breakfast and evening meal) - £1036
Unfortunately, we are unable to offer any bursaries or grants for the Drama Summer School. However, two assisted places are available to applicants with low incomes from selected London boroughs - see here for further details.
As both courses take place simultaneously, you may apply for only one course. Demand is high, so you are strongly advised to apply early.
Online applications will open on Wednesday 12 November 2014 at 12.00 noon.
There is no audition, interview or reference required for the Drama Summer School. To help us decide whether our courses would be suitable for you, it is important that your Personal Statement is as comprehensive as possible on the application form.
In order to support full and diverse participation in our summer courses, and as places are not offered on an applicant’s individual merits, we offer the same number of places to men and women. If there are no spaces left you will be placed on a waiting list.
We will contact you with the result of your application and, if you have been successful, we will send further information about how to make your payment.
Deadline for applications: Friday 8 May 2015.
Deadline for deposits: two weeks after date of offer.
Final deadline for full course fees payments: Friday 8 May 2015.
Final deadline for all outstanding payments: Friday 29 May 2015.
Full course fees (and accommodation and meals, if requested and available) are payable if your booking is made within two weeks prior to the application deadline.
Please DO NOT send any payments with your application form.
Sundial Court, the School’s Halls of Residence, offers student accommodation and a restaurant serving only pre-booked breakfasts and evening meals. The residence is located in the centre of London and is a few minutes' walk from the School. Local amenities, including supermarkets, bars, restaurants and two underground stations, are all within easy walking distance. The student self-catering rooms are all single occupancy with shared shower room, toilet and kitchen facilities. Bed linen, towels, kitchen utensils and crockery are provided. Sundial Court also has a launderette, communal TV lounge with satellite TV and 24-hour on-site security.
It is recommended that students take out insurance cover, including cover for theft and the loss of fees in the event of illness or accident. For international students who require assistance finding an insurance company you might try www.students-insurance.eu/.
Should you wish to use your participation in the Drama Summer School as credit for a university or college course you are undertaking, this would be a matter for you to agree with your current institution. Unfortunately, we are unable to offer assessments.
A discretionary refund of fees can only be issued if written notification of cancellation is received by Friday 8 May 2015.
Both courses are suitable for beginners and improvers; they are not advanced courses for professional actors.
Photographs by Laurent de Montalembert and Max Narula