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Course overview

Explore contemporary plays from an actor's perspective in this rigorous and detailed course. Over two weeks you'll work on a modern or a contemporary text, chosen to suit your particular requirements. You will form a deep, practical appreciation of your own text, and a considerable understanding of the other texts being rehearsed in your group. You will then perform your work to the group on the final day of the course in an informal presentation.

You will experience what life is like in a world-leading drama school by participating in acting, voice, and movement classes, as well as individual tutorials in voice and movement. There will be some evening sessions in which you will observe rehearsed readings of new plays performed by RADA graduates, followed by a Q&A session where you can discuss the play and rehearsal process with the actors.

The course is aimed at those with an interest in contemporary drama and who have some experience of performing. The course is overseen by Lloyd Trott, Academy Dramaturg, and taught by RADA tutors.

What will I learn on this course?

  • Improve your understanding of characterisation, structure, and rhythm in play texts.
  • Build your confidence in your own imagination by answering questions in character from the rest of the class.
  • Support your integration of acting, movement, and vocal skills.

Entry requirements

  • Selection is by written application – you need to provide a personal statement detailing why you want to be selected for this course, and a reference from a tutor or performance industry employer who can recommend you as a suitable candidate. Applications are reviewed on an ongoing basis, but the majority of offers will be made in June 2024.
  • Participants must be over 18 and have fluent, confident use and knowledge of the English language. Participants must feel comfortable presenting material in front of the rest of the group.

Who is this course suitable for?

  • Professional actors wishing to refresh or further develop their skills.
  • Those with the ambition to become professional actors.
  • Directors and Teachers who are interested in exploring Contemporary Drama from a practical perspective.
Nothing is quite the same as what I experienced at RADA.
James Mahone, Contemporary Drama Summer School participant

Further information

Before the course

You will be allocated a script by the Course Director approximately one week before the course begins, detailing which monologue you need to prepare. This monologue will provide the backbone of your time on the course and the monologues are chosen with your own needs in mind. However, the development of the work takes place in a continuous, interactive process with other participants. You may indicate if there is a particular type of contemporary drama you would like to explore or if there are plays you know well which you would like to avoid repeating.

During the course

Initially, you will workshop your monologue with your acting tutor/director, before refining it in tutorials with movement and voice tutors, and, finally, presenting it at the end of the course. Each group is led by a director, with support from RADA voice and movement tutors.

Hours of work

Classes generally take place between 10am and 6pm. There will be some evening sessions in which rehearsed readings of new plays will be performed by RADA graduates.

Classes are not optional; you are expected to treat these as professional rehearsal calls. Punctuality is essential; a certificate, stating the minimum number of contact hours, is awarded on successful completion of the course.

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Course information

What are the Terms and Conditions of my booking?

You can read the full Terms and Conditions here.

Will there be anything I need to prepare before the course starts?

You will be allocated a script by the Course Director approximately one week before the course begins, detailing which monologue you need to prepare. This monologue will provide the backbone of your time on the course and the monologues are chosen with your own needs in mind. However, the development of the work takes place in a continuous, interactive process with other participants. You may indicate if there is a particular type of contemporary drama you would like to explore or if there are plays you know well which you would like to avoid repeating.

Is there any work to do outside of class time?

Yes – ongoing practice, line learning and research will be required outside of class.

What’s included in the fee?

The fee covers the cost of your tuition for the times advertised above and any materials essential to the course (and not specified here as materials you need to provide yourself). The fee does not include any meals or accommodation.

What materials or equipment do I need?

You need to wear loose clothing that you can move in freely.

I have a disability or access requirement – can reasonable adjustments be made?

We are able to make reasonable adjustments to our training where possible. Many of our courses are highly practical. Most involve movement and some may include work on the floor. You may also be asked to read from various texts. If you have access requirements and/or require more information on access and facilities in our RADA buildings, please email shortcourses@rada.ac.uk

Are there any funding or payment plans available?

There are no RADA Scholarships available for Short Courses. We cannot offer payment plans, and full payment is required to secure your place on a course.

Can RADA provide accommodation?

We are unable to provide accommodation for RADA Short Courses.

Please note that in the event of cancellation, RADA can accept no liability for any costs you may already have incurred; and we strongly recommend you purchase insurance cover for any travel or accommodation booked before the start of the course.

Will I get a certificate at the end of the course?

Yes. A Certificate of Completion is available for this course. Certificates are awarded to participants who had no unexcused absences or lateness and operated within the obligations laid out in the Terms and Conditions.

Does the course count towards University credits?

There are no University Credits associated with this course.

What is the attendance policy?

Our attendance policy can be read within our Terms and Conditions. 100% attendance and punctuality are expected for all classes.

How do I register for an in-person course?

You will be providing most of the information we need when you fill in your application form or information form.

On the first day of your course, you will be asked to arrive at RADA up to 30 minutes before the start of your first session, and you need to bring a copy of your passport, and, if applicable, evidence of your right to join a short course in the UK.