We are pleased to be able to share our new .Short Courses for 2017 with you, and also wanted to share some of the feedback we have received.
Young Actors Summer School & Shakespeare Summer School
I am currently studying Drama and Theatre Practice at the University of Hull. I've been acting for the majority of my life in school productions, young people’s theatre and musical theatre. In summer 2014 and 2015 I was fortunate to be able to attend the RADA Young Actors Summer School. Each year we spent four fantastic weeks learning what it was like to train as an actor at RADA, working on subjects as diverse as stage fighting, dance, vocal technique, singing, devising theatre and Shakespeare. I met loads of people from all over the world, all with their own experiences and ideas and all of us with a huge love of theatre.
The courses made me realise that this is what I want to do with my life – to act! And to study at a world-renowned school. I didn’t think it could be any better: the staff and senior students who taught and mentored us were kind and collaborative, but focused. They made the weeks just fly by, leaving us wanting more.
In summer 2016, after completing A levels, I was able to study on the four-week RADA Shakespeare Summer School. I’ve always been in love with Shakespeare’s language and his plays. The tutors’ love of all things Shakespeare helped deepen my own appreciation of text, action, and Shakespeare’s use of language, symbolism and his understanding of what it means to be human. Over the four weeks we worked in four companies on the text, action, fighting (including swords – scary!), production, voice technique, song and dance (our pavane and galliard were spectacular).
Over the three years, each of the courses has had a great impact on me personally. I have gone on, with confidence and a RADA-provided ‘tool kit’, to study roles which I would never have thought I could ever play. That’s the thing about RADA – they teach you that there are no boundaries and no limits to what you can achieve, only the limits you place on yourself. The staff and helpers have been so kind and helpful and are happy to share experiences and help you to get the most out of your time at RADA.
If you are able to take part you will be inspired by some great people and their shared love of theatre and Shakespeare. Initially you can be over-awed by the place – all those famous names over many years – but early on you realise that everyone really is on your wavelength, and you end up immersed in the place. If you are lucky you will make friends with like-minded students and tutors from all over the world.
I would recommend RADA to anyone with a love of the theatre, whether or not your goal is to be a performer. The brilliant collaborative atmosphere, awesome tutors and the fantastic friends just waiting to be discovered, make it an unforgettable experience. You do not need to have a lot of experience, just a love of performance and theatre.
Contemporary Drama Summer School
I participated this past summer in RADA's Contemporary Drama Summer School, under the direction of acting instructor Vivian Munn, movement coach Sue Mythen, and voice coach Salvatore Sorce.
It was an absolute honour to be in the presence of the combination of these three instructors, with the passion and sheer amount of expertise they brought. Each instructor complemented each other wonderfully, as the instruction in each component came together to help us in preparing our monologues, which were presented on the final day of class.
Truly, the RADA summer course has been one of the most enriching and encouraging experiences of my life. I felt deeply encouraged, and when I did not believe in myself, or where I had doubt, the instructors assisted in guiding me towards a better direction. The approaches taught, whether they were in acting, movement, or voice, were completely new to me, but in just two weeks I was able to grasp basic concepts on which I can continue to build. I think this is the very strength of RADA's summer courses: although they are short, the classes are so well taught and so thorough, that you leave with a new understanding on which you can continue to build and grow. I also felt that the instructors genuinely cared about our progress as actors, which was refreshing.
Putting the experience of the summer course into words is difficult, as words cannot accurately begin to portray how important an experience this was for me. However, what I can say to future students is that it is never too late. Whether you are in the later stages of your life, or whether you have never done acting before and you are fresh out of high school, the RADA summer course will always be open to those who wish to learn about this amazing craft. Furthermore, the friendships and support networks built in the course of the two weeks are some of the most cherished friendships I will ever have.
Shakespeare Summer School
After spending 20 years pursuing my passion for acting, I needed a break from the ‘industry’. I was becoming bitter and disappointed and knew that if I kept at it my feelings would soon challenge my love for the art form. I left acting.
Three years ago, my need for theatre and acting could no longer be ignored (can it ever truly be ignored?). I decided the time had come to return to that which I love. The first order of business was to start studying again, which I did here in the States. It was while studying I learned of RADA’s four-week Shakespeare Summer School. Long story short, in June I had my first day at RADA. Although scared and nervous, I immediately knew that I was ‘home’.
The curriculum for this programme consists of everything an actor interested in Shakespeare, experienced or not, truly needs: monologue classes, court dance, clown, mask, movement, voice, singing, stage combat, master monologue and scene study.
What immediately stuck me was the expertise and compassion of the instructors. Their remarkable support was something very, very rare indeed. Each one became involved in their students’ needs and abilities to grow, always challenging but with never a harsh word. I can remember at the end of one monologue I was in tears, not because of the beautiful text but because of the powerful yet gentle, loving guidance that I was afforded to get me where the text needed to go. For me, this was the perfect learning environment in which to grow and come into my own.
Four weeks later I left RADA with not only a greater knowledge of Shakespeare but far greater confidence and ability. Yet more than that, and something I didn’t expect to gain from RADA, was a very strong sense of who I am as an actor and the confidence to never shy away from that.
At the risk of sounding like an advert, if you’re trying to decide if a Shakespeare Summer School at RADA is for you, two very simple words express it best: DO IT. Your passion will be forever grateful!