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Course overview

An opportunity to work on modern or contemporary texts chosen to suit your particular requirements. This means you can form a deep, practical appreciation of one or two authors, and gain a taste of what life is like in a leading drama school for students on a full-time acting course.

The course is aimed at those with an interest in contemporary drama and who have some experience of performing.

Entry requirements

18+. Students below the age of 18 are not normally accepted. Entrance is by written application. Students should have some experience of performance and be prepared to present material in front of other students. There is no upper age limit.

Fluency in both written and spoken English is essential. Entry is by selection.

If, for any reason, the Course Director feels that you have not enough experience, you will not be accepted onto the course.

Nothing is quite the same as what I experienced at RADA.
James Mahone, 2019 Contemporary Drama Summer School student

Further information

Before the course

A script will be allocated to you by the Course Director approximately one week before the course begins detailing which monologue you will need to prepare. This monologue will provide the backbone of your time on the course.

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.

Mid-course, further texts will be assigned for you to work on a scene(s) with another actor(s) under the guidance of your acting tutor.

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 students. 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 and that you would like to avoid repeating.


Participants work in groups of approximately 14 led by a director, with support from a voice and a movement instructor. Tutors are drawn from the Academy's senior staff and directors along with distinguished guest teachers from the profession.

Visiting playwrights

In special evening sessions, playwrights will talk about their work and describe their experiences of working with actors and what they expect from them. These discussions will be preceded by RADA graduates performing excerpts from the guest writer's plays.

You will be able to question the writers and actors during and after the events.

Hours of work

Classes generally take place between 2 and 7pm. Some sessions each week may end later than this.

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.

University credits

We do not offer university credits.

In the case of students who are attending the courses at universities in North America (or elsewhere), it is a matter for each university or college to decide whether to include the Contemporary Drama Summer School as a part of their students' accreditation process.

How to apply

2021 dates are to be confirmed.

Terms and conditions

    What is the cancellation policy?

    Once you are accepted onto the course - you will receive full details of our cancellation policy.

    Once payment has been made, it is strongly recommended that all students insure themselves to cover the loss of fees in the event of illness, for which the Academy cannot accept any liability.

    Rules and regulations of the Academy

    All students must undertake to adhere to the General Rules and Regulations of the Academy. The Academy’s Director or Course Director shall, at their absolute discretion, have the right to terminate the course in respect of any student whose presence or conduct is in contravention of the same.

    Friends or other persons who are not officially enrolled are not permitted to sit in on classes, rehearsals or presentations.

    Students must understand, conform and adhere to the Academy’s Health and Safety Procedures and Policies.

    All students are expected to wear the correct and appropriate clothing for each class.

    Students are expected to maintain a professional standard of dress and hygiene at all times.

    Fees are non-returnable once a student has started a course.

    Photography or recording of any kind is strictly prohibited in the classroom areas without permission from the Academy’s staff.

    RADA does not discriminate against applicants on the grounds of sex, disability, ethnicity or sexuality. We welcome applicants from disabled people and offer places solely on the basis of potential and suitability for the course. The school is mainly housed in a newly-refurbished building which provides good access for wheelchair users.

    Decisions made by the Academy regarding the selection of instructors, the allocation of students to study groups, the material for that study group and any roles allocated are final and not open to negotiation.

    It is strongly recommended that students insure themselves to cover any medical or transport costs and loss of fees in the event of illness or accident for which the Academy cannot accept any liability.

    If, for reason of epidemic or national crisis, the Academy is compelled to close during the course, no fees can be returned or compensation be made for any period of tuition that may have been lost through the Academy’s inability to carry on its work.

    It is important to note that the Academy does not accept responsibility for students beyond the scheduled teaching hours on the RADA premises. These are Monday to Friday 9am to 6pm. Parents are therefore advised to ensure that adequate supervision of activities undertaken in the evening and at weekends is provided, as appropriate, during the duration of the course.