About BA Acting
BA Acting is accredited by the National Council for Drama Training, which allows graduates automatic entry into Equity, the actors' union. BA Acting offers a step-by-step process that begins in the first year by introducing students to the basic methods and theories of acting technique in small groups, then culminates in a final professional preparation year in which students perform full-scale productions to public audiences.
BA Acting provides a thorough preparation for a career in acting and aims to develop each individual student’s talent, extending existing skills in voice and movement for professional life.
The first year curriculum covers acting, voice, singing, movement and contextual studies. Students explore their own creativity through work focussed on co-operation, responsiveness to others and the ensemble, fostered by group-shared experiences. Acting begins with objective self-assessment, development of observational skills and imagination. Re-creating through observation, research and improvisation is the basis of much of the learning. First-year work ranges from individual character study through to larger community based projects. The first year culminates in a large scale Living History Project, in which students live the lives of others through periods of conflict around and across the Loughton Campus.
The second year offer a journey of maturation. The focus of study moves from improvisation to text, and from the examination of self to the exploration of character and emotional life – psychologically, physically and vocally. The progression throughout the second year integrates technical skills into the work as a whole. Students start to build their characters independently, adapting to the differing demands of production and director, allowing them to take responsibility for their own creative work. Students experience a wide variety of challenging roles: from the emotional upheaval of the plays of American realism, through nineteenth-century naturalism, to exploring the textual and psychological complexities of Shakespeare’s work. Additionally, students break the ‘fourth wall’ in Victorian Music Hall, a Brecht cabaret and Commedia dell’Arte.
The third year requires students to address the demands that they will meet in the professional theatre. Students undertake a wide variety of plays to extend their performance repertoire. The choice of plays is tailored to the needs of the individual group as far as possible. All productions demand research, improved skills and commitment, with a particular emphasis placed on the work of the company as an ensemble of actors and the full contribution of each company member.
By the end of the year, students will have attained the professionalism that will equip them for the highly competitive career of acting. Special professionalisation workshops take place in the final year, through which students are introduced to various aspects of the professional world which awaits them. Students are also given experience of working with radio, film and television. Additionally, students undertake a showcase performance of scenes, which is presented in a major West End theatre for an invited audience of agents, casting directors and film, TV and theatre directors.
After East 15
Graduates of BA Acting regularly appear in stage, film, TV and radio productions throughout the world. They are known, and often cast, for their boldness and daring as actors.