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To BA or Not to BA or How to Get Into Drama School Tickets

Including how to choose and work on audition pieces

Thinking about becoming an actor, or working in the performing arts? This one-day seminar will help you navigate your way through the 119 schools, universities and colleges and more than 500 qualifications on offer, so you make sure you spend your money wisely and get the course that suits you.

Led by highly experienced industry professionals, the seminar will show you how the admissions process works - acting courses audition three or four times as many students as they have places – and how to maximise your chances of success. And you can meet some working actors, and we’ll tell you what to expect when you get into the biz.

Suitable for aspiring actors, directors, designers, technicians and anyone thinking about a career in theatre, musical theatre, or a degree in the performing arts, the seminar will include:

1. What drama schools and performing arts universities have in common, and how they differ.

2. What you should expect from the course of your choice, and how to find out what previous students think about the course.

3. How the admissions process works

4. How to prepare for the admissions interview.

5. How to choose and work on an audition piece.

6. On graduating, what kind of work you can expect to be looking for, and how much you can expect to earn.

7. What employers are looking for, including why you need an agent and how you get one.

The seminar will be a mixture of short talks, panel discussions and demonstrations, with opportunities to question the tutors at every stage. There will be actors acting as stewards throughout the day who will be happy to chat.


Tutors will include:

Clive Duncan – Actor and from 2004-2014 Co-Director and Head of Acting at ALRA, the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts, London and Wigan.

Malcolm Raeburn – Pathway Leader Media Performance, Salford University, formerly Director of Admissions for the School of Performing Arts, and also an actor, writer and musician.

David Shirley – Programme Leader BA Hons Acting, Manchester Metropolitan University School of Theatre since 2004. David is also a writer, actor and director.

Chris Wallis – Director and Producer Watershed Productions, formerly Senior Producer BBC Radio Drama, Artistic Director Unicorn Theatre London, Associate Director Theatre Royal York

Janet Hampson – Casting director for ITV (Coronation Street), BBC1 (Citizen Khan), BBC2 (Hebburn), BBC3 (C-Bomb, Lunch Monkeys), and Sky (The Cruise, Little Crackers) to theatre (Bridging the Gap, Down the Dock Road) and film (Going to Mecca). She is also a guest tutor at LIPA and UCLAN. Janet trained as an actor.

Alex Priestley – Senior agent at PHA, which incorporates ICON and Rare Talent, a very successful Manchester-based theatrical agents. She trained at Salford Uni. You can check out her agency here:

Between them Clive, Malcolm and David have auditioned more than 50,000 applicants to their schools. Chris has directed more than 50 theatre productions and 250 hours of radio, and auditioned several thousand actors in the course of 35 years in the business. Janet and Alex have been in the business of choosing actors for more than 20 years. There will also be professional actors around at lunchtime with whom you can chat, and prospectuses for all the schools in the North West will be available to take away.

Where and when ?

The Waterside Arts Centre M33 7ZF is by the canal in Sale, opposite Sale Metro, and there is a car park with reduced fees for patrons on the other side of the canal, 3 minutes’ walk away. It’s 7 minutes by car from M60 Jct 6 or 7.

Sunday October 25th, doors open at 10am, seminar begins at 10.30 and will finish at 4pm. There is a café where tea and coffee will be available. Please bring a pack lunch. On signing up for the seminar we will contact you by email asking for details that will help us tailor the seminar to your needs, and we will send you a timetable and directions for the day in due course.

For further information please go to our website

If you have any questions please don’t hesitate to email or call Chris Wallis on 07973818298

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