The Acting programme at Junior Conservatoire is designed specifically for young people who aspire to train in Acting at further and higher education. It is an intensive training that equips students with the skills, knowledge, and assurance as a performer to an appropriately high level across four years for application and audition at degree level.
The programme has four levels which build students from a strong foundation to a broad and nuanced skillset across voice, movement, and ensemble skills. As the cohort progresses through the levels, the classes, projects, workshops and performance opportunities advance in complexity and depth. Take a look at the Programme Structure page for a further look at the summary of each level.
Students on this programme come from across Scotland and the North of England and each share a passion and commitment for Acting. Not only is Junior Conservatoire a place to develop your skills; it is also an opportunity to grow your network of creative, likeminded peers on a similar journey to you. We regularly work with other artistic disciplines at Junior Conservatoire and share performance trips together.
This is the programme is right for you if you want to:
- Take your skills to the next level across voice, movement, and a range of acting techniques for stage, film, and audio acting.
- Learn from artists who are both excellent teachers and actively involved in the industry, meaning they bring the most innovative ideas into the studio with you each week.
- Prepare yourself for application and audition for BA Acting and Drama degrees at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, and other institutions.
- Collaborate with other artists your age across Drama, Dance, Production, and Film in our large performances throughout the year.
Entry to the programme is through audition only, and we aim to support a range of experiences in this process. We accept a limited number of students each year to ensure we give each student significant attention towards their personal development as artists.
The programme runs from August to June each year, and there will be four levels of study available depending on your age, ability, and experience.
Applications for 2024/25 will open mid November 2023, the closing date is 18 March 2024.
Join us for our Open Days click here to note your interest and we will be in touch with further information.
Please contact us by email at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have any questions and we would be happy to help.
The programme concentrates on developing the craft of acting for all students as the progress through the four levels. Level 1 is for younger performers who show great potential, and Level 4 is for those who have significantly developed skills and are moving towards their applications for degrees. The level that students enter is decided at audition by the panel and Drama Coordinator.
Progression through the programme is decided through continuous observation and successfully meeting the learning outcomes for each module. We work closely with students to support them to excel throughout each module.
The following summary of each level is for indication only. We continually monitor and adjust the curriculum to ensure our programmes are innovative, current, and continue to appropriately stretch our students.
This year is about setting strong foundations for the cohort. We explore ensemble skills to develop how we work creatively together as actors. The is followed by modules in voice and movement skills to strengthen the links between our voice, bodies, and emotions to develop our core acting abilities ahead of the ensemble performance at the end of the year. This performance is the opportunity to bring together all the skills developed over the year to a perform a highly-creative and ensemble piece on one of our four stages at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Students in this level tend to be aged 12-15 years.
At this level students take their foundation skills and significantly broaden them across a range of different contexts. The year begins with intensive modules in movement and text to explore how we use our bodies to create nuanced, dynamic characters. These skills are then applied to recorded media: film and audio. For film, each student learns techniques to scale their performance for camera before they appear in a short film. This is in collaboration with Junior Conservatoire Film students. Actors also work in the recording studio learning how to perform for voice over and radio plays. The year then culminates in applying their skills for Shakespeare performance at our annual Youth Arts Festival in June.
Level 2 students tend to be aged 14-16 years.
Students in this level focus on deepening their broad range of skills for performance. The year begins with a devised project creating a show for young audiences aged between 4 and 10 years old. This is a highly creative project in collaboration with Junior Conservatoire Production students and focuses on exploring the how we use our voices and bodies to tell dynamic stories. This theme continues into a module that draws on Stanislavski and Grotowski acting theories to perform realistic, truthful, and dramatic scenes. This transformative module draws down on all the skills covered so far to ensure all our performances have specify and honesty. This is then applied to scenes from a modern classic Realism text – such as A View from the Bridge or A Streetcar Named Desire – for a dynamic and moving production that demonstrates the high level of skill in the cohort.
At Level 3, students tend to be aged 15-17 years.
At this level, students will be working on their applications for colleges, universities and drama schools. We offer a significant level of audition prep that includes masterclasses in interview technique, confidence, and online auditions. This culminates in a mock audition with members the BA Acting audition panel for The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. Level 4 students then work closely with two guest directors. The first is for our Winter Show, which includes close collaboration with Junior Conservatoire Musical Theatre, Dance, and Production students. The second is an extensive project performing a full play selected for the cohort by the Drama Coordinator and director. In this module students apply their skills to developed across the whole programme to present a full-scale production at the Youth Arts Festival in June.
Students in this level are usually aged 16-18 years.
Throughout each level we invite guest artists and masterclasses for students to participate in, as well as performance trips and, occasionally, external opportunities when they arise.
The Junior Conservatoire of Drama is the national centre of excellence for training young actors and preparing them for further study.
- Study in Scotland’s national conservatoire, one of the world’s top 10 performing arts education institutions
- Perform for public audiences within RCS venues
- Learn technical movement, vocal skills, script analysis and characterisation choices
- Participate in masterclasses with visiting industry professionals, RCS lecturers with many years of conservatoire-level teaching
- Receive regular feedback reports to ensure you are getting the most out of the programme
- Casting opportunities for professional jobs
- Free tickets to all RCS productions
Teachers on the programme include
- Nicholas Barton-Wines
- Daniel Cameron
- Liz Carruthers
- David Wood
- Lydia Davidson
- Sarah Miele
- Ed McGurn
- Tom Cooper
Guest teachers on the programme include
- Andy McGregor
- Martha Leishman
- Helen Mackay
Over the last five years, we have had many students go on to study Acting and Drama at top schools and universities such as:
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- Guildhall School of Music and Drama
- Royal Central School of Speech and Drama
- Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama
- Rose Bruford College
- Manchester Metropolitan University
- East 15
- Glasgow University
- Queen Margaret University
We will support our students with whatever pathway they choose whether that be further study within the arts, academic study, or work.
We want to make the performing arts as accessible as possible.
Anyone who faces financial barriers to participate in the Junior Conservatoire can apply at any time, whether at acceptance to a course or during the course, for a bursary or scholarship.
Please take the time to refer to this bursary and scholarship criteria.
For anyone who requires a bursary or scholarship please email JuniorsDDPF@rcs.ac.uk and you will be sent an application form.
We will try to support as many students as possible to attend the Junior Conservatoire training and therefore may not be able to cover full student fees.
These funds are currently supported by the generosity of individuals and charitable trusts including:
- James McAvoy Drama Scholarship
- Agnes Allan Bursary
- Bill and Margaret Nicol
Entry to Junior Conservatoire is by audition only, and progression through the programme is decided through continuous observation and successfully meeting the learning outcomes for each module. We work closely with students to support them to excel throughout each module.
We do not ask for any formal entry requirements. We expect all applicants to have some experience of acting or performance, a demonstrable passion for Acting, and to be able to discuss this with the panel at the audition.
The panel will be looking for applicants who are generous when working with others, boldly creative, and are able to form connections with the characters in their speeches, and the stamina and curiosity to expand their skills in voice, movement, and acting techniques. Simply put, we are looking for students who want to be the best performer they can be.
At the audition, we are looking to identify pathways for you towards your aspirations to develop your abilities in Acting. This may be through Junior Conservatoire, or through Short Courses at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Dates: Acting auditions will be held between the 2nd -5th April 2024.
We aim for all our auditions to be in person at one of the campuses of The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
The auditions consist of two parts: a group workshop, a solo audition where you perform your prepared speech and have an interview with the panel.
Participants will participate in a 1 hour workshop. This consists of a range of games and creative tasks that use your skills in improvisation, collaboration, and connecting the activities to learning points in the artform.
In this part of the audition, we are looking at your ability to work creatively and generously with others, share and listen to ideas, and articulate how what we are doing together links to Acting.
- Performance of the monologue you selected from the workbook we sent you.
- We will then redirect this performance to try it in a completely new way to see how you make quick, bold, creative choices.
A few weeks before your audition date, we will send you a selection of about 20 speeches to choose from. Full instructions will be provided with the workbook. Please select one of the speeches we send you and prepare it for performance in the audition when you meet with us. We want you to perform this without the script, and present it as if you were performing it for an audience. We will also ask you why you selected the speech.
As you perform your monologue, we will be looking to see how you use your voice and body as the character to get what they want from the people they are talking to. We will be able to see the choices you’ve made and it will give us an insight into your current skillset and where we can support you further.
We will ask to see the speech in a completely different way. This is because we want to see how you work quickly, creatively, and boldly. Sometimes this redirection will make things trickier for you as it might feel a bit unnatural, or sometimes it will help make things easier for you as an actor. We will want to hear your reflection on how the redirection changed things for you.
This is an opportunity for you to discuss what you love about acting, your ambitions, and what you think you need to become a better actor. We are just as passionate about performance as you, so feel free to ask us questions too.
Throughout the interview we will be getting a sense of what we think you need to develop, what you already do, how committed to drama you are, and whether you have the stamina, drive, and passion yet to train intensely at Junior Conservatoire each week.
We want to ensure everyone has an opportunity to apply for the Junior Conservatoire Acting programme so we will audition every student who applies on time.
When to apply
Application for entry to the Junior Conservatoire Acting programme in August 2022 are currently open.
All applications should be completed online and there is an audition fee of £45. If an applicant is applying for multiple courses they will only need to pay one audition fee. If you need financial support to pay for the audition/s fee please contact us at email@example.com
All auditions for the Junior Conservatoire Acting programme will be held betweeen 3-7 April 2023.
If you have any questions about the Junior Conservatoire or the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Term Dates (2023/2024)
Student induction- Sunday 20th August 2023
Term 1 starts – Saturday 26th August 2023
Mid term break- 14-27th October 2023
Term 1 finishes- Friday 15th December 2023
Term 2 starts- Saturday 6th January 2024
Mid term break- 10th-16th February 2024
Term 2 finishes- Friday 29th March 2024
Term 3 starts- Saturday 13th April 2024
Term 3 finishes- Friday 14th June 2024
Acting Fees for the year are £2995
Acting fees for the year are TBC