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  Part-Time Foundation Course - 17+ years  
The Actors’ Workshop part-time Foundation Course
Getting into Drama School has never been so tough

With the rise in uni fees, and the availability of student loans for most of the drama schools, more and more students are competing for the 300 yearly places at accredited colleges. To beat the odds (currently about 1:5000) you need thorough professional preparation and an insider’s understanding of the audition system.

The Actors’ Workshop is the only part-time Foundation Course in the South-West which guides you through the whole process – from choosing the right drama schools all the way to the final recall. We have a proven record of excellence: every year more than 80% of our students are offered BA/MA places at top drama schools.

As working actors/singers/dancers ourselves, all our teachers understand the changing demands of the profession and know what the colleges are looking for from year to year. We are dedicated to helping you put together the right ‘package’ so you can achieve your personal best.

Choosing the Right Colleges

Every college has a unique perspective with individual areas of excellence. We help you find the ones which match your skill set.

Personal Statements

Forget the formula you might use for university: a personal statement for drama school is a very different animal! We know what they are looking for and help you stand out in an incredibly competitive arena.


Finding the right speeches can be daunting. We know which ones are overdone, how to negotiate the college lists and how to pick the right ones for you. Our extensive library of modern plays and our detailed knowledge of Shakespeare and his contemporaries are excellent resources.


For acting, you may need an unaccompanied song; for musical theatre, you will need to focus equally on your songs and your speeches. Expert and appropriate vocal coaching (Estill-based) is one of our great strengths. We will teach you how to avoid the clichés and perform a song that is as technically accomplished and truthful as your speeches.


Are you ready and prepared for the routines they will throw at you? We make sure that you are.

All the Extras

From audition and interview technique to devised pieces and theatre reviews, we are there to prepare you, helping you understand what works and why. Our extensive alumni network (we have ex-students in practically every accredited drama school in the country) is also available to you for advice and support.
College Foundation Course Schedule

The College Foundation Course at The Actors’ Workshop is held on Wednesdays from 4.00 to 10.00pm, on Thursdays 6.30 – 8.30pm and on Sundays from 10.00am to 2.00pm at our new base in Factory 8 on Upton Road in Bedminster, Bristol. In addition to the core course, almost all students also take part in extra dance and singing, and attend our unique industry Masterclass series on Saturdays.

The Course runs from September to June and culminates in a professional Showcase for representatives from UK drama schools, agents, casting directors and the public. For this year's dates please refer to the 'When and Where' page link at the top of this page.

4.30 to 6.00pm Singing
7.00 to 8.30pm Voicework, physical warm-up, impro, games.
8.30 to 10.00pm Intensive monologue coaching/any other work needed

6.30 to 7.30pm Bodywork/Pilates for actors
7.30 to 8.30pm Stress management for auditions

10.00 to 12.00am Monologues/Stage Movement
12.00 to 2.00pm Technical Skills/Scene Study

Cost £2500 (that’s £6 per hour!) payable in ten monthly instalments of £250

The Actors' Workshop Showcase
Students also have the opportunity to take part in our professional Showcase at the Tobacco Factory Theatres.

Theatre-in-Education Tour
After our showcase in June, we collaborate with Gathering Voices  gatheringvoices  to devise an innovative performance piece for children, which we then tour around inner city primary schools at end of June/early July. This professional project is hugely popular – both with schools and with our students.

Due to overwhelming demand, entry to The Actors’ Workshop’s part-time Foundation Course for 2020 - 21 is via audition. Please email us  to apply.
  NEW ! Online Foundation Course 2020/2021  
he Actors’ Workshop Online Foundation Course
NEW! All the essentials for those not based in Bristol

Over the years, students have moved to Bristol from all over the UK, Europe, Australia and the USA to train with us. In our new, straightened times, we recognise that this is not always possible any more.

Although there is no substitute for working together live in the studio, Covid-19 has forced us all into a paradigm shift in the way we teach, inadvertently opening up new perspectives. During lockdown, we have not only shown that we can successfully deliver the core of our foundation course online but have become ever-more creative in the ways we are developing this. With virtual learning becoming the new normal for many, our new online course will streamline all the key components of our studio course, bringing the same curriculum, expert training and support to a much wider demographic.

How it Works

The Actors’ Workshop’s Online Foundation Course for 2020/2021 is a pared-down version of our hugely popular studio-based offering, which includes all core classes and also optional extras such as online masterclasses, extra 1-2-1 coaching and occasional weekend intensives – all without the need to move to Bristol. Unlike our studio-based course, our online offering will not include a showcase or theatre-in-education tour. Weekly hours are shorter (8 contact hours a week instead of a minimum of 10.5) as is the duration of the course (September 2020 to May 2021). That said, it includes all the basics you need to succeed at audition, based around a rate of just £6 per hour.

Online Course Breakdown

Our Online Foundation Course at The Actors’ Workshop will comprise 8 hours of live online classes each week plus resources and email support. Just like our studio course, it will offer intensive training in essential skills with a particular focus on Shakespeare and audition preparation.

Weekly timetable is as follows:

4.00 to 5.00pm Movement
5.00 to 6.00pm Voice
6.00 to 7.00pm Scene Work

Friday – 4 hours
3.00 to 4.00pm Warm-up, impro, devising
4.00 to 5.00pm Technical Skills
5.30 to 7.30pm Small group monologue coaching

Bonus Hour Weekly stress management for auditions session

Cost £1800 (that’s £6 per hour!) payable in nine monthly instalments of £200

Entry to our online Foundation Course is by audition.
Please contact us for further information. 
The Actors' Workshop - Annual Showcase 'The College Course gave me the technique to handle professional
auditions and the right speeches and songs to succeed.'
Cellen - Graduated from GSA,now on National Tour of
Jesus Christ Superstar

'I seriously wouldn’t have done it without you. If it wasn’t for the College Class,
it would be another gap year for me ! You’ve made such a difference in my life.'
Joe - Scholarship at Mountview

'A million thank you's. I owe you EVERYTHING !'
Peter - Places at Bristol Old Vic, Royal Welsh, Mountview and
Rose Bruford

'I would not have achieved this without Clara and the team ! Fantastic !!!'
Emily - Graduated from LAMDA

'Thank you for your amazing help and support. I really could not have got to where I am without you. I miss the College Class terribly !'
Siobhan - Graduated from ArtsEd

'I would never have pursued (and achieved) my dream without your splendid teaching and loving encouragement. You are heroes !!'
Hannah - Royal Academy of Music Post-Grad MT course

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he Actors' Workshop - Annual Showcase
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