This full-time ten-week foundation course is aimed at anyone over the age of 18 who is interested in improving their acting skills and abilities.
You will have the opportunity to experience at first hand, the life and culture of a world-class drama school.
Entry is through audition and no qualifications are needed to apply. We are looking for students who have a love of dramatic art, an intention to play and a thirst for artistic perfection.
Students will be taught through a mixture of practical performance projects and masterclasses. You will have the opportunity to learn acting, movement, voice, dialects, singing, improvisation, stage combat and scene study techniques. A trip to a local theatre is included within the course and following this visit students will take part in a critical review of the performance.
If you have a love of acting and a commitment to learning new skills and techniques, this hands-on professional course may be for you.
Acting, Movement, Voice, Singing, Improvisation, Stage Combat, Dialects, Scene Study, Audition Techniques, Performance Projects & Masterclasses.
For the past 70 years Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has trained successful actors and actresses in stage, film and recorded media.
Our alumni include Sir Daniel Day Lewis, Sir Patrick Stewart, Jeremy Irons, Naomie Harris, Olivia Colman, Amanda Redman, Faye Marsay, Miranda Richardson, Mark Strong, Patricia Routledge, Gene Wilder, Theo James and many more.
“The foundation week has provided me with everything I needed and more to continue pursuing a career in acting. With the variety of classes and the impressively high quality of teaching I now not only have the confidence to go on to more drama school auditions or other productions but have also gained a valuable insight into life inside one of the top drama schools. Rigorous, exciting, challenging and fulfilling. I highly recommend this course to anyone who is looking to find their feet in the world of theatre”
“I’m so grateful for what you have taught me. Now I’ve become more competent and credible because I can speak English clearly and have a good command of my voice. RP is always a plus —- a big plus! I’m still working on voice, RP and phonetics everyday since the course ended.”
“What I’ve learnt from BOVTS is greater than I expected. I felt so lucky to have met these teachers. Some are the best I’ve ever had. Extraordinary quality of teaching in a perfect environment helped me learn not only faster but more effectively. I’ve developed so many good habits. It was a time worth spending. It was just 10 weeks but it was a big leap.
Thank you again Gary for offering me this opportunity.”
“I am indebted to the extraordinary support, commitment and talent of the wonderful teaching staff at BOVTS during the 2018 Summer Foundation Course. I have been challenged and inspired – both personally and professionally – to reach higher, work harder and to believe in myself as an actor, to own what I do. In a culture of respect, care and commitment, I have been given the skills I need to move forward in my acting career, to invest in my future as a performer. I have spent ten weeks surrounded by passionate people – staff and fellow students – who have encouraged me to grow and to take risks; this immersive experience has been both powerful and positive. We even managed to have some fun with the hard work!!
I leave with lasting friendships, a heap of great memories, renewed self-belief, a new ‘tool kit’, a deeper love for the craft and the knowledge that it was definitely worth coming all the way from Australia for!”
“The BOVTS Summer Foundation was so brilliant! It was so in depth and every single tutor was incredibly knowledgeable as well as having so much care for each student. I learnt so much about every aspect of Acting and no corners were cut, it was such a supportive environment allowing us to experiment, take risks and learn – I truly feel set up for the next step of my career, whatever it may be! I really recommend it to anyone who wants to pursue a career in theatre – it really shows you the ropes and inspires you.”
“The 10 week foundation course was more than I could’ve imagined it would be! I came away having learned so much and with lasting friendships with people all over the world. The course really puts you through your paces with lessons in everything you need to set you up for future auditions/careers and the intensity and supportive environment just makes you learn and absorb everything faster. I’m so grateful to have had the opportunity to get expertise from such amazing teachers and my confidence just grew in leaps and bounds over the course. It’s an experience I will never forget and I will take the lessons I have learned from BOVTS with me to all my future auditions. Thankyou BOVTS Foundation! ”
“I can’t recommend this course highly enough. A really thorough, well structured course. I had a wonderful time. After 10 weeks of study with the school I feel clearer-headed and more confident as a young actor pursuing a career in the arts. Every aspect of training is explored and whether it be voice, singing or movement each disciple has something unique to offer us as actors. My favourite class was clown and improvisation. I found being a clown a few mornings a week such great fun. I think it is a very special practice and taught me things about myself in a very gentle way. This course is a must!!”
“Watch any great film or performance with superb, truthful acting and you’ll usually find at least one of the acting team was trained at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.
The school provides a uniquely nurturing family atmosphere that helps to propel you to get every last ounce out of whatever endeavour you’re embarking on. I completed the BOVTS foundation course in Summer 2018. The tuition and support I received was unlike any teaching I’ve come across. The quality and vast content of the course, covered a huge range of performance skills, with such generosity and intensity that I came away from each aspect with a level of confidence I couldn’t have imagined. All of the teachers are noted experts and give of their time, experience and expertise with such imagination and infectious passion that you cannot help but be changed by the experience and develop a wide ranging performance toolkit to launch you into whatever your next step may be. I can’t recommend this course highly enough.”
“BOVTS Summer Foundation Course is a rare find. No. It is unique! Ten weeks working hand in hand directly with Heads of the Departments and industry professionals, learning from the core’s staff of one of the most celebrated schools in the UK – it is doesn’t exist anywhere else. This course was more than I ever expected, I gained a family of passionate, loving, supportive people dedicated to helping you to become the actor that you want to be. Course program is covering every aspect of the modern day actors development: Movement, Voice, Speech, Dance, Dialect, Improv, Stage Combat, Singing, Acting, Audition, Stage Craft – providing you with life-changing tools, knowledge and skills allowing you to keep developing and improving your technique long after you left the school. BOVTS Summer Foundation Course gave me a chance to open new doors in my personal and professional life. BOVTS is a true Theatre School.”
“As someone who’s looking to be a writer and a director in the future, rather than an actor, I wasn’t sure how much I’d be able to get out of a course like this. However, I’ve learned far more about story telling, character and stage craft than any writing course I’ve ever been on.
It’d been quite a while since I had done any acting so I was quite nervous to jump back into it. It very quickly became apparent that I needn’t have worried. The tutors on the course are all masters at their respective crafts (You’d hope so at such an institution) and the ease in which they weened people out of bad habits, brought new ones in and opened our minds to new approaches to acting was astounding. In particular Andrew Normington and Gary Owston, whose passion for Shakespeare and the human voice respectively was infectious and reminded me why I fell in love with the craft in the first place. Again, masters of their craft. Some drama schools dogmatically stick to and only teach one particular method or style of acting. The foundation’s course’s approach was much more holistic, allowing us students to take what we need from a breadth of different practitioners, techniques and styles, recognising that each individual will have need their own set of acting tools.
Sure there were moments when we were chided, but only because each tutor was so acutely aware of the potential each student had and what each of us could be capable of. A point proven by the immense improvements we all saw in each other as the course went on, far more than I was expecting. And sure it was exhausting, but so is the industry this course hopes to prepare you for. You cannot have training without challenge and the course certainly provided it.
I was expecting to feel like a bit of an imposter in the hallowed labyrinthian halls of the Old Vic, but very quickly I realised that it’s a home more than a school and anyone who steps through those doors is treated like part of the Old Vic family, you were always there and you belong. I’m grateful to everyone who made my time there so rewarding, especially Gary Owston who ran the course and made everyone feel completely at home and welcome.”
Mon 8th July to Fri 13th September 2019
Daytimes – Mondays to Fridays
It is one of BOVTS’s own range of non-accredited certificates.
Students who complete this course receive a BOVTS Short Course Certificate.
The course takes place at the Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. The School is a recognised centre of excellence in drama training. We are a member of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama (www.cdd.ac.uk).
The building itself is situated in the beautiful village of Clifton, near Clifton Suspension Bridge and overlooking the Clifton Downs. The School has recently had new buildings added to the site. We have two new large studios, new shower & changing rooms and improved utility spaces.
Each class has a maximum of 12 students. Numbers may increase for any lectures and masterclasses.
The course follows the same pattern as the current 2 and 3 year vocational courses.
The classes include: Acting, Movement, Voice, Singing, Improvisation, Stage Combat, Dialects, Scene Study, Audition Techniques, Performance Projects & Masterclasses.
All of the staff on this course are highly skilled, industry professionals. The core staff are members of the current tutors on the main school courses.
Auditions begin in early January.
For your audition you will need to prepare and perform 2 speeches and an unaccompanied song. One Shakespeare monologue in verse and a modern speech written after 1960. Each individual piece should not last more than 2 minutes and all three should also contrast with each other.
The School operates an equality and diversity policy. As part of the Conservatoire for Dance and Drama, the School is committed to selecting, training and supporting students, regardless of ethnicity, gender, disability, age, sexual orientation or religion. Applicants to Conservatoire schools are chosen solely on the basis of their talent and potential to develop the skills required for their chosen profession.
As part of the course there will a visit to a local theatre. A discussion will follow the theatre visit. You will be able to voice your opinion and debate the pros and cons of the performance.
We are looking for dedicated people who have a love and respect of dramatic art, a strong commitment to learning new skills and techniques, and a responsibility to conduct themselves in a professional manner.
We will treat you with respect, care and courtesy. We will wholeheartedly endeavour to instruct you in the skills, techniques and experiences that will help you further your career.
The Bristol Old Vic Theatre School has the feel of a ‘small family business’. The people who work and learn here feel that they are part of a community rather than an institution. We try very hard to create an environment that is safe, exciting, creative, professional and productive.
The course fees are £5,500 payable in advance.
There are no scholarships for this course, students are expected to pay for the course from their own funds.
The School does not provide accommodation but we do have a digs list available to you.
Fill in the form below and email to the head of the course – [email protected]
Or print the form and post to:
Foundation Course, FAO: Gary Owston, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Downside Road, Clifton, Bristol, BS8 2XF.