What goes on at The Oxford School of Drama?

Kate Ashcroft from The Oxford School of Drama talks Trinity College qualifications, professional acting and alumni Wildcard Theatre.

What goes on at The Oxford School of Drama?

Hi Kate! Tell us about your role at The Oxford School of Drama and a bit about the organisation itself. 

I am the Head of Marketing and Development for The Oxford School of Drama. The school trains actors for the stage, film, TV and radio.

What do you offer to young people?

We offer three courses. Two are full time courses: A Three-Year Course and a One-Year course, which train actors for the profession. The third is a Six-Month Foundation Course aimed at students who might want to go on to full-time training to be an actor, as well as those who may be taking a gap year prior to going to university and want to learn more acting skills.

What activities are most popular for young people?

I think a lot of young people aspire to be actors – we only accept 3% of those that apply to us. It’s a tough profession and you need to be well trained, creative, dedicated and determined to make a success of it.

Could you give an example of a recent project you have run, and the impact it had?

At the heart of our training is the belief that our actors will be the future of the industry. We tend to attract students who are creative and entrepreneurial and don’t just sit around hoping the phone will ring.  

Alongside high-profile actors such as Claire Foy, Babou Ceesay, Kiran Sonia Sawar, Charity Wakefield, Lee Boardman a lot of our graduates are writing and presenting their own work nationally and in London, at theatres such as Soho Theatre, Hampstead Theatre, the Royal Court. 

Three years ago, a group of our graduates established their own theatre company, Wildcard. This summer their production, Electrolyte, received several awards and huge accolades at the Edinburgh Festival and will soon begin a national tour.  We are all very proud of what they have achieved.

Have you seen any change in the industry over the last few years? Is it positive or negative?

I think the industry is always in flux. Certain types of actors are in demand one year, others the next.  But what is always valued is actor of the highest quality.

We accept students solely on the basis of their talent and potential to succeed, they do not require any academic qualifications. Furthermore, they can access a grant through the Dance and Drama Award Scheme to attend the school. This means that we attract a wide diversity of students and this is a great strength of the school.  

All our students are ambitious, determined and courageous and have a training which develops their creativity and flexibility to meet the current demands of the industry whether it is on stage, screen or radio.  

Do you run Arts Award or offer a Trinity College qualification?  If so, what do you offer and how can young people get involved?

We offer a Level 6 qualification in Professional Acting to students on our Three-Year Acting Course and a Level 5 qualification in Professional Acting to students on the One-Year Course

Where can people find out more about the work you do?

www.oxforddrama.ac.uk

Header Image Credit: © Sarah London

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