Acting courses - Overview

“The core of theatre is the communion between actor and spectator”
“‘The main ingredients of theatre are the actors and the audience”

An opportunity to practice through performing to paying audiences in a professional theatre.

SELF KNOWLEDGE AND AWARENESS - actors use their ‘SELF’ as the tool of their trade and great emphasis is placed on developing the ‘SELF’. When they know themselves and their ‘dark corners’ -then can they begin to tackle their characters. Equal emphasis is placed on developing the technical skills, especially the voice and body -the actor's instruments. These two aspects together with the imagination will free the actor, so they can create another being, along the parallel lines of the playwright and also, equally important, recreate it in every single performance.

The art of the actor is that he acts with ease -with no apparent effort. Acting is thinking and feeling, allowing yourself to be ‘possessed’ by the character. This means a freedom in mind and body, so as to guide an audience through the characters thoughts, feelings and actions. To achieve this the actors’ minds must be free and uncluttered, the body and voice free yet disciplined to allow the actors’ imaginative and creative powers to serve the interpretation of the part and play.

A FOCUSED COURSE for those that require their time and money to be well used. Everyone at Court is aware that they all have something different to give -that they must take responsibility for their own input and training. We balance this individuality with the demands of ensemble. A frequently heard expression at Court is 'STOP ACTING': to have the courage to expose your inner self and follow the emotional impulses that a given situation encourages. Don’t be afraid of the audience - enjoy them - find the sheer joy of performance.

The training is split into three sections:
1) The skills/craft of the actor,
2) Using and expanding the skills/craft of the actor,
3) Professional experience.

The training's main thrust will be on these sections with the basic craft of the actor including acting, voice, movement, singing, scene study and productions predominant. The working knowledge gained in these runs in front of a paying audience is invaluable -a total hands-on experience, and an opportunity to build and increase your working skills as an actor. Plus the fact you will be seen continuously, in a professional London venue where your work will be taken seriously by agents & casting directors. You will leave with a working professional CV to hold you in good stead for your future career.

The person who will be interested in this course is mature minded with a need for intense training for the industry. They will use their time well, and wish to train with like-minded people in a professional company environment. They are committed and totally dedicated to their career. They are aware that it takes a life to train in theatre, but that Court’s way is a starting point, a springboard to their chosen career.

The ability to self-direct is an inherent part of the training as is self-awareness. The training has a thematic integral approach giving coherency, with specialist skills being introduced as required. Self Direct projects are produced each term. Great stress is also put on Singing and Dance as today’s Actor needs to be multi skilled.

Acting: Classes include Work on Self, Work on Role, Concentration, Imagination, the Senses, Maskwork for transformation and Characterisation, Character Behaviour, Relationships, Impulse Exercises, Actions-Object Exercises, Stage Craft and working actions studies.

Audition and Career Skills: Interviews, auditions, audition choices, sight reading, CV’s, photographs, Equity, Spotlight, Tax, Agents, Casting Directors, How To Get Work. A Casting Showcase for Agents & Casting Directors is presented each year.

Theatre Studies – The history and study of: Greeks, Shakespeare & Jacobian, Restoration, Eighteenth Century, Ibsen, Shaw, Chehkov, European, New Writing.

Play Analysis: Company members should be thinking creative beings who share in the process of making a play. They are part of an ensemble, working imaginatively on their contribution, diligently researching into period, society, politics and religion etc, so that both character and play are recreated. They need to appreciate that if theatre is to be an experience, it should reflect the human state; that a play develops from its period or is ‘fighting it’. The company must understand how theatre functions as a relevant force in our society -where it has come from and where it is going to.

Improvisation/Theatre of Storytelling: Learning is finding out what you already know. Doing is demonstrating that you know it. An eclectic input is encouraged from the group working from relaxation, concentration, imagination, to generate enthusiasm and absolute creativity. Using improvisation, physicalisation and our own life experiences to develop our potential for immediate, expressive theatre. Communication is the key. You should not be afraid to fail. Argue for your limitations and sure enough they’re yours. Improvisation is an important skill which the well rounded actor should acquire.

Voice: The voice reflects the person. When we increase physical and imaginative control of voice and language we open up unique vocal range. This supports the actor in creating character, in finding the rhythm of emotion and thought in text. You need a flexible and responsive instrument, to respond to differing demands of text, verse, the play and communication.

Movement Analysis: is a way and means to physical characterisation. The body must be an expressive and flexible tool to reflect the conflict and tensions within the character. The actor must be able to move within their space with assurance; to inhabit and project beyond; to inter-relate with people and objects on stage; to react with every fibre of their being to the demands of the thoughts and feelings of the character.

Singing and Musical Theatre: Singing is acting. The Singer’s job is to make singing seem the most natural form of communication. The song is the words coupled with the melodic shape. With a firm grounding of technique, this enables the actor to use the text to tell the story with confidence. Singing Showcases for Cabaret, Music Hall & Theatre in Education all enhance performance skills.

Other Disciplines Taught Include:

Stage Combat - Armed & Unarmed, including the British Association of Stage and Screen Combat (BASSC) exam
Acting for Camera
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