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About East 15 Acting School

Country the United Kingdom
Number of courses 12
Year founded 1961

East 15 have now launched their Vimeo Channel.

One of the UK's most innovative acting schools, East 15 has been training actors, producers, directors and theatre technicians for stage, TV, film and radio for more than 50 years.

About East 15

East 15 was founded by Margaret Walker in 1961, informed by her experience and work with Joan Littlewood's famed Theatre Workshop. East 15 is one of the few drama schools in the world to have grown out of the work of a professional theatre company, and this relationship with the real world of theatre remains as part of the mission of the School.

In September 2000, East 15 Acting School merged with the University of Essex, opening an exciting new chapter in the history of both institutions and offering new opportunities to students. Some £2 million has been spent on new buildings and facilities at East 15 since the merger and a plan has been developed to extend some of East 15's provision to the University's new state-of-the-art campus in Southend-on-Sea.

East 15 alumni

East 15 has produced many fine actors, directors, teachers and designers, taking on leading roles in international theatre, television, film and radio as well as heading and creating theatre companies.

In Britain, theatre companies such as The Royal Court Theatre, Bush Theatre, Theatre Royal Stratford East, Live Theatre and Manchester Library Theatre have been headed by East 15 graduates. Groundbreaking companies like Orchard Theatre, Bruvvers, Lumiere and Son, Hull Truck, Spare Tyre, Footsbarn, Women's Theatre Company and The Half Moon have been created by East 15 graduates.

Recent East 15 graduates have gone on to take prominent roles in major movies like Harry Potter and the Goblet of Fire, Hannibal Rising, Miss Potter and Bridget Jones: The Edge of Reason or taken leading roles in US TV films like Four Minute Mile - The Roger Banister Story with Christopher Plummer and The Untitled History Project - 9/11 with Harvey Keitel.

Other alumni of East 15 include actresses Alison Steadman and Annette Badland, Coronation Street star Jenny Platt, playwright April de Angelis, artistic director of The Bush Theatre Mike Bradwell and director Stephen Daldry, who was nominated for an Oscar and a Golden Globe for his feature films The Hours and Billy Elliott.

The Loughton Campus

The Loughton Campus is just twelve miles outside of London and on the east end of the Central line of the London Underground. Facilities at the Loughton Campus include rehearsal spaces, a dance studio, a radio room and screening room, and the Corbett Theatre which provides an excellent resource for student productions.

Offered at the Loughton Campus are two postgraduate programmes, accredited by the National Council for Drama Training and therefore allowing graduates automatic entry into Equity, the actors' union, the MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Acting and the MA/Postgraduate Diploma in Acting for TV, Film and Radio. Both programmes culminate in a showcase performance in a major West End theatre for agents, casting directors and film, television, and theatre directors.

Undergraduate programmes at the Loughton Campus include BA Acting (accredited by the National Council for Drama Training which allows graduates automatic entry into Equity), BA Contemporary Theatre, FdA/BA Technical Theatre Studies, FdA/BA Specialist Performance Skills (Stage Combat) and a Certificate of Higher Education in Theatre Arts.

The Southend Campus

The Southend Campus is on Southend High Street and adjacent to the train station where journey times to London take just 50 minutes. Facilities at the Southend Campus include rehearsal studios with panoramic views across Southend, performance spaces and media production resources. The School has recently purchased a former church in Southend, with the aim of converting it into a theatre for students to use.

Offered at East 15's Southend Campus are two postgraduate programmes, the MA/MFA in Theatre Directing and the MA/MFA in Acting (International).

Undergraduate programmes at the Southend Campus include BA Performance Studies and Popular Culture, BA Physical Theatre, BA World Performance and BA/FdA Community Theatre.

Scholarships and Bursaries

East 15 has scholarships to distribute to outstanding students whose work and potential is of a high calibre but are having problems in meeting their study costs.

Each year, East 15 is allowed to nominate its students and graduates for major competitive scholarships that are only open to UK drama schools with NCDT accreditation. For an seven times in eight years, an East 15 student has won the prestigious Laurence Olivier Bursary of £7,500, which is open to second year drama students attending an accredited drama programme.

East 15 students and graduates have also won top radio prizes for three years in a row. MA student Trevor Cuthbertson was runner-up in the 2005 BBC Radio Carleton Hobbs Bursary award which resulted in a role for him in the BBC Radio Rep; this award was then won in 2006 by BA Acting student Paul Richard Biggin, which allowed him to join the BBC Radio Rep for a year. In 2007 graduate Lloyd Thomas won the BBC RADIO Norman Beaton Fellowship (a massive competition open to students on non-accredited programmes) which allowed him to join the BBC Radio Rep for a year.

In 2007, East 15 graduate Anniwaa Buachie was awarded the Alan Bates Bursary, beating off tough competition by students from Bristol Old Vic, Italia Conti, LAMDA and RADA to win the prize. She collected her award and prize money of £2,000 from actress Fiona Shaw at a ceremony at the Actors Centre in London.

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International Study Visa

As an international student you may require a valid visa to study at East 15 Acting School. Read more about the requirements in our Guide to the United Kingdom International Student Visa Requirements.

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