Three types of drama school student

Choosing to study a performance or theatre-related course at drama school can be a tricky decision. It’s often hard to decide whether it’s going to be the right environment for you, and which course will help you achieve your dreams.

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However, drama school offers so much more than you might expect; the nature of our courses mean you work closely with other classmates and with your tutors, and the studios and classrooms have been purpose-built for our students, which means you’ll feel part of a close-knit community. Royal Birmingham Conservatoire has courses for all disciplines, so no matter what your passion is, you’ll find something for you.

Do you love being in the spotlight and want to make a career out of storytelling on stage and screen?

If this sounds like you, our BA (Hons) Acting course is the perfect choice. You might think that to become an actor you need to be an extrovert or a demonstrative person, and sometimes it helps, but you also need to be someone that responds well to feedback, works well in a team, and meets every challenge with enthusiasm and flexibility.

You’ll need to be focused to thrive in such a challenging industry, and to get into drama school you need to be determined to reach that goal. We won’t sugar-coat it, there’ll be plenty of competition for a place at a drama school, but it’s good preparation for when you’re auditioning for that dream part against hundreds of others who want the same thing.

You also need to be ready to work hard; drama school often has longer working days compared to a university, so this not only means you’re prepared for hard work when you leave us, but you also get plenty of contact time with your tutors on a one-to-one basis. You’ll have rehearsal weeks where you work towards final productions in external theatres around the city, which will be available for the public to attend – giving you real-life experience of working as a professional actor.

We aren’t looking for the finished article in the students that join us, but for the potential to train and a willingness to work outside of your comfort zone on a regular basis. Studying at a drama school will allow you to apply the passion you have and learn the skills you need to express yourself, and discover how you can reach your full potential.

After all, drama school doesn’t make actors, it teaches you how to act. It’s your hard work that will make you an actor.

Are you practical, organised and a team player? Do you prefer to work behind the scenes and get hands on designing and creating?

Then you’d be an excellent Stage Manager! Our BA (Hons) Stage Management is perfect for people who love theatre, but would prefer to be behind the curtain running the show rather than in the spotlight.

A great stage manager is organised, accurate and an excellent team player; if this sounds like you, then we’ll guide and progress you through every level of a stage management team, before going out into industry to enjoy the countless opportunities that stage managers enjoy – graduates of our course experience 100 per cent employment or further study in the first six months after graduation.

stage manager blogYou’ll need to be creative, too. Whether designing sets and lighting, or producing props and costumes, you’ll enjoy seeing your designs come to life, as you and your team pull it all together for our Actors to use and work with during their performances. You’ll also create your own projects; examples include a paper installation where you’ll take over the main studio to create a life-size scene using only brown paper, cardboard and tape, or an immersive experience open to the public to participate in, where you’ll use your imagination to create a live theatre experience people won’t forget! Projects in the past have included live Cluedo and an escape room experience.

Being part of a drama school means you get lots of opportunities to work alongside our actors and directors on professional productions, staged both in our own facilities and in theatres all over the city. You’ll also take part in external work placements with theatres and organisations that give you in-depth experience of working in the industry alongside professional teams.

Do you want to make a difference in communities and beyond; creating original pieces to raise issues and help others through theatre?

If you’ve got a passion for making a real difference through the powerful medium of theatre and performance, and you’re someone who wants to use your talent to encourage social change, then our BA (Hons) Applied Theatre could be the right course for you.

You’ll enjoy devising stories and choosing the methods you use to tell them – whether that’s through dance, acting, music, spoken word, or song – it’s your choice, as you and your classmates are the writers, directors, producers and performers!

Stage management blogActors adopt a character written for them, but applied theatre professionals aim to identify a message that a particular audience need to hear about – whether it be in schools, hospitals, prisons, or out in the community – and find the best way of communicating that message through theatre and performance; creating your own original work and seeing how that encourages positive change.

The course attracts students that come from many different backgrounds, including acting, writing, dance, spoken word and musicians. The thing that brings them all together is their aim to create new projects that make a difference, have a purpose and make a positive impact.

Find out more about our Department of Acting