Qualification: Foundation
Course Length: 1 year full time

Foundation Programme in Acting

The Foundation programme in Acting aims to nurture and develop skills and techniques for those who either wish to train within a conservatoire or higher education environment in pursuit of a career within the creative industries, or for those who feel they are ready to try and enter the profession after a year of intensive training.

The Foundation Programme is both an innovative and intensive course led and taught by GSA’s highly experienced tutors and industry professionals. Graduates of the Foundation Acting programme have successfully gained places at: RADA, LAMDA, GSA, ALRA, LIPA, East 15, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Mountview, Central School of Speech and Drama, Arts Ed, Rose Bruford, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Manchester Metropolitan. Past Foundation Acting students have also gone on to successfully form their own theatre companies, become playwrights, directors, and film makers.  

The Foundation Acting programme is delivered over three teaching blocks/terms, focusing upon the rudiments of the disciplines required for the aspiring actor/artist wishing to pursue a career within the industry. Throughout each teaching block/term the programme focuses on the delivery of a diverse and extensive range of subjects including:

Students will study various acting techniques and the basics of practitioners including: Stanislavski, Sanford Meisner, Uta Hagen and Michael Chekhov. Students will investigate approaches and techniques both to acting and text analysis through the study, research, and rehearsal of scenes from a contemporary play and works from both the Naturalistic and American Realism movements.  

Preparation and guidance for the selection and delivery of contemporary and classical monologues required for Drama School auditions. Audition technique is taught in group sessions allowing each student the opportunity to study the work of their peers and also learn from each other’s feedback. At the end of Teaching Blocks 1 and 2 there will be mock audition sessions where the students will receive feedback from a panel made up of Drama School practitioners and industry professionals.  

A range of skills based classes are delivered within the programme. These will include:

  • Improvisation
  • Movement
  • Voice
  • Group Singing
  • Workshops and Masterclasses
  • Historical Dance for the Actor
  • Introduction to playwriting and directing

In Teaching Block 1 students will work on either a Contemporary, Naturalism, or American Realism play with an internal ‘work in progress’ showing of selected scenes at the end of this teaching block.

In the first half of Teaching Block 2 students will work with a guest Director on either a Contemporary, Naturalism, or American Realism play with an internal showing of selected scenes.                                                      

In the second half of Teaching Block 2 students will work on a one week Acting for Camera project with an industry professional, learning the basic camera techniques and skills required for further Screen Actor training.  Teaching Block 2 will end with the Writing and Directing project where the students will learn how to produce and develop their own work. Using a social, issue-based theme, students will write and direct monologues/scenes culminating in a small scale public performance. Issues explored previously have included Homelessness and Knife Crime.  

In Teaching Block 3 students will perform in a professionally supported Public Showcase (two performances) of work within one of GSA’s performance venues. 

The Foundation Programme is both an innovative and intensive course led and taught by GSA’s highly experienced tutors and industry professionals. Graduates of the Foundation Acting programme have successfully gained places at: RADA, LAMDA, GSA, ALRA, LIPA, East 15, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Mountview, Central School of Speech and Drama, Arts Ed, Rose Bruford, Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and Manchester Metropolitan. Past Foundation Acting students have also gone on to successfully form their own theatre companies, become playwrights, directors, and film makers.  

Students are offered support and guidance for the submission of applications to conservatoires and higher education institutions.

Workshops and masterclasses will be given by faculty from fellow conservatoires and industry professionals. Students will also have both group and one to one sessions. 

In Semester two, the students will perform in a professionally supported Showcase of work within one of GSA’s performance venues.

In Semester two, students will undertake an Acting for Camera project, learning the basic camera techniques and skills required for further screen acting training.

The Foundation Course in Acting at GSA provided me with the necessary skills required to achieve a place at a drama school, however, I quickly realised that the course isn’t just about the place on a BA. The creative freedom and flexibility of the syllabus provided such a tailored experience for our cohort and really allowed us to gain as much experience from the year as was possible in the relatively short time we had. We had the opportunity of working with external directors throughout the course which created a width of understanding of different styles of working and adapting to new approaches to text. I found this course to be hugely valuable and incredibly formative for me as an actor.

Ed Shamwana, GSA Foundation Acting Course Graduate 2020 (GSA BA Acting 2020-2023)

 

Programme leader Michael Toumey

2020/21 entry requirements

We do not require any further education qualifications and we can accept students aged 18 and over. Please bear in mind that if you are planning to progress to drama school or university after the Foundation Course you may need to have the necessary qualifications to meet their entry requirements.

GCSE English language and Mathematics at grade 4+ or above (or equivalent)

IELTS minimum overall: 6.5

IELTS minimum by component: 6.0

The Foundation course tuition fees are £10,100 for the academic year which have to be paid in 3 instalments: £3,000 upon acceptance of the offer (to be paid within two weeks of offer being made), £3,550 by 1st September and £3,550 by 1st January.

Please note that government loans are not available for this course.

Please note that the programme does not hold a TIER 4 Sponsor licence and hence we are unable to sponsor students who require TIER 4 visas

Auditions

For 2021 Foundation Audition Requirements please click here

Apply on this page once the Application Portal shows as being open.

Once you have completed the programme application form, you will be sent a link to book your audition online.

Successful candidates will be notified via email.

"The Foundation programme was the exact course I needed. Michael's clear explanations and method of teaching will stay with me forever. He has inspired me to work my hardest, know my worth and to keep on going in pursuit of my acting career" Charlotte Cross

"I have had a wonderful experience and learnt so much this year. Especially the many incredible techniques that I shall be able to take with me for the rest of my life." Tyler Moore

"I have learnt more about acting than i ever thought possible. Thank you for your patience and constant encouragement. This has been the hardest, at times frustrating, yet most exciting year of my life. Thank you for being a fantastic mentor." Jenny Adams

"Having Michael as a director came at a pivotal point in my actor-training. he instils in his company a real confidence in ability and respect for the work, which makes for an exciting and free rehearsal room, allowing his actors to be brave and take risks. I was able to go into my final year at drama school with a real understanding of a rehearsal room and belief in the work" Bradley Foster, GSA BA Acting graduate 2016 [currently playing Charles Darwin, The Wider Earth (2019 Olivier nomination]

 

"I cannot believe how much I have learnt and gained from this year. My creativity and confidence have developed in ways I didn't think were ever possible" Georgina Sinclair

"I have learnt so much about the subject, myself, and the British culture" Maysan Benjelloun

MOJO at Waterloo East

In August 2019 a group of Foundation actors created ‘Dogs Out Theatre Company’ and took their end of year showcase production of ‘MOJO’ by Jez Butterworth and directed by Programme leader Michael Toumey for a week long run at one of London’s premiere off West End venues- Waterloo East Theatre. The run was an amazing success, playing to packed audiences, and receiving an incredible reception.

What a production and what an achievement. ‘MOJO’ at the Waterloo East Theatre is a triumph by the GSA Foundation Acting Company. Talent and training perfectly combined. Congratulations to the cast, crew, and director/mentor Michael Toumey.’                                     
Professor Sean McNamara (Principal of The Guildford School of Acting.)