About Certificate of Higher Education in Theatre Arts
The Certificate of Higher Education in Theatre Arts aims to provide a foundation in acting and prepares students for further study, either at East 15 or other acclaimed acting schools. The intention is to help create actors who will have an intellectual as well as a vocational life in the theatre. It provides a sound foundation in theatre and film history, introducing students to concepts and mechanics behind each.
The Certificate aims to demonstrate to students the relationship between theatre and other art forms, in addition to the cultural context which gives each era its distinctive identity. It is a highly-focused exploration of acting techniques. This includes (on a practical level) movement, dance, music, improvisational skills and acting. Overall, it is an intensively practical scheme, normally consisting of 30 hours of contact teaching per week. Students are regularly taken to performances of theatre, music and dance, as well as visits to art galleries, exhibitions, films and important sites (such as castles and historic houses) which represent the spirit of their age.
The Certificate of Higher Education in Theatre Arts provides a broad cultural and practical education, preparing its students to enter full-time training in theatre in one form or another, either at East 15 or other schools. It intends to give students confidence, motivation and an understanding of the art of theatre so is suitable for students on a ‘gap year’, for overseas students seeking an introduction to theatre, and for UK students wishing to enter full-time training for the theatre.
Throughout the three terms, students undertake a number of compulsory modules. These cover audition technique, movement and dance, voice, singing and contextual studies. During the first term, additional acting modules encourage students to explore imaginatively through various means of communication and learn about the roots of theatre. The term culminates in an assessed studio-based show to a small invited audience of staff and students.
Acting modules in the second term explore classical texts and characters (eg Elizabethan, Restoration and Jacobean). Students begin to establish approaches to textual analysis and are introduced to the use of improvisation. Again the term culminates in an assessed studio-based show to a small invited audience of staff and students.
An acting module in this final term brings together all the work over the last year. The course then culminates with two showings at the Corbett Theatre.
After East 15
At the end of the year, some students will be offered places on one of the acting course at East 15. Many students are also accepted at other drama schools or at university drama departments. A key component of the course is helping and training students to choose and prepare scenes for audition purposes.