New Forum Established to represent Drama School Training
Following the closure of Drama UK last autumn, the newly formed Federation of Drama Schools (FDS) will be launched on 13th June 2017.
Primarily established to enable prospective students to identify high quality, intensive, vocational training for performers, directors, designers and technicians, the new organisation is committed to exploring ways of sharing best practice in teaching and learning; enhancing equality, accessibility and diversity in recruitment; and maintaining very strong links with various parts of the industry in which trained students will find employment.
With twenty member institutions, the Federation of Drama Schools brings together all of the major schools that were formerly members of Drama UK.
All member schools demonstrate a commitment to the organisation’s vision and core principles*, including intensive contact hours, limited class sizes and teaching by highly experienced, professionally active staff.
‘This will be a forward-looking and dynamic organisation’, states Leon Rubin, Chair of the Federation. ‘Our aim is to facilitate the delivery of vocational training of the highest quality, so that graduates from these schools are well equipped to serve the industry of today, as well as to lead and shape its development in the future’.
Committed to equality of opportunity and diversity in all its forms, the Federation of Drama Schools will host regular meetings of member schools with a view to sharing best practice, innovating research and liaising with the industry. Member schools include the following:
Academy of Live and Recorded Arts (alra), Arts Educational Schools (ArtsEd), Birmingham School of Acting, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, Drama Centre, London, Drama Studio London, East 15, Guildford School of Acting, Guildhall School of Music and Drama, Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts, LAMDA, LIPA, Manchester School of Theatre, Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts, Oxford School of Drama, Rose Bruford College, RADA, The Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, The Royal Conservatoire Scotland, The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama.
This is a very exciting moment for us all and we look forward to working together to ensure that future generations of students acquire the skills and expertise necessary to pursue sustained and rewarding careers in all areas of the performing arts.
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Core Principles for Training
A defining feature of all members of the Federation of Drama Schools is the commitment to the highest quality training that is situated within a conservatoire ethos. Students in these schools benefit from the strong links and collaborative partnerships that member institutions have established with the industry and the professional environments in which graduating students will eventually secure sustainable employment as performers, directors, technicians, designers and other related professions.
The core principles and essential characteristics of training in these schools include the following:
- A primary focus on the development and assessment of rehearsal, production and performance skills that are commensurate with the professional standards required of the theatre, broadcast and media industries.
- The provision of a teaching and learning environment that is rich in performance and technical/production opportunities and in which public performances realise and sustain the highest professional standards.
- The selection of all students through an appropriate audition/interview process in which the vocational/conservatoire values of the provision are clearly reflected and communicated at each stage of the application procedure.
- An intensive teaching and learning environment involving a strong emphasis on the importance of the whole team; high levels of staff/student contact hours; rigorous and exacting rehearsal and production schedules and regular feedback.
- An emphasis on the training, development and assessment of the practical, intellectual, physical and emotional skills of students in an environment that is enabling, supportive and empowering and in which classes are taught predominantly by experienced, professional practitioners.
- A sustained track record of success, over a significant period of time, of producing a high number of professional performing arts practitioners.
- Strong professional links with industry that enables students to work with a range of visiting professionals as well as a culture that encourages and supports staff to sustain and develop individual artistic and professional profiles.
- A commitment to equality and diversity in all forms.
- A commitment to preparing students for a sustainable career in a rapidly changing professional environment.