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Course content


The MA Acting is an intensive one-year, advanced level conservatoire acting course. In keeping with Central’s tradition of innovation in actor training, it offers two specialist strands taught over an extended 42 weeks, with up to 35 hours per week of classes, rehearsals, seminars and tutorials. Successful applicants will be offered a place on one of the two strands.


The Classical strand follows the development of the theatrical art from its earliest ritual roots to the birth of naturalism:

> Greek Tragedy, Chorus and the Neutral Mask

> Clowning and Commedia dell’arte

> Shakespeare and the English Renaissance

> Stanislavski, the Method and ‘Realist’ Theatre.

The Classical strand draws on the hugely influential theories and techniques of the great French acting teacher Michel Saint-Denis, training the expressive body, voice and imagination. Working with some of the greatest dramatic texts ever written, students are asked to consider what they mean now, and how their 21st century reinterpretation and re-imagining still holds a ‘mirror up to nature’. Students are encouraged to understand the demands of both art and craft, as participants in, and practitioners of, the western theatrical tradition, through a course structure that examines, in chronological order, four key periods of innovation and transition.


All staff are well connected to industry. In the past few years, students have participated in a research symposium and worked on the stage

of Shakespeare’s Globe, performed at the Brighton Festival, made a film with Sir Donald Sinden at the Garrick Club, taken part in workshops with Hannah Miller (Head of Casting, Royal Shakespeare Company) and attended public lectures by Judi Dench, Vanessa

Redgrave, Michael Boyd and Declan Donnellan. Students from Canada and the USA have participated in the Conference of Drama Schools

Showcase in New York and LA, and all students participate in Central’s MA Acting showcase.


Through a combination of practical and written assessments, including a Sustained Independent Project and research presentation.

Visit the MA Acting - Classical page on the Royal Central School of Speech & Drama website for more details!






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