The Devised Theatre Company is an auditioned course for artists aged 12-21 who want to refine their performance-making and devising skills. Students on this programme make original performance in which they write, direct, perform, and choreograph as part of the making process. Each session centres on the creative content made by the group of makers in the room, often influenced use stimuli from existing theatre texts or from the news to reimagine what role performance may have in peoples’ lives today.
Working within an ensemble of equally passionate, political, and artistic peers, you will be led by an experienced director and practitioner through creative devising theatre processes that culminate in a public performance. Through practical sessions and intensive rehearsals you will build on technical and creative performance skills and explore how to apply these and develop them further within a collaborative theatre making process.
Students on this programme come from across the world and this influences the ideas and outlooks within the group. What unites the company is a passion and commitment for devising new performances. 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:
- Develop your skills in how to make innovative, highly-creative, and impactful performance that helps highlight or change issues in the world today.
- Learn from artists who are both excellent teachers and actively involved in making professional performance, meaning they bring the most innovative ideas into the studio with you each week.
- Prepare yourself for application and audition for Collaborative and Devised Theatre degrees at drama schools and universities across the world.
- Collaborate with other artists across Drama, Dance, Production, and Film in our 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 the members of the Devised Theatre Company remain in the group until they reach 21 as we enhance the curriculum each year.
Applications for 2024/25 will open mid November 2023, the closing date is 20 May 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 email@example.com if you have any questions and we will be happy to help.
Across the year, our sessions are broken into the following sections:
Term 1: Devising Lab
Here you will deepen your knowledge of devising skills. It includes how to understand stimuli material, fuse artforms, refine your voice and movement skills, and stretch your performance skills into new areas for your personal creative practice.
In the middle of this term is a month of masterclasses led by industry experts in a diverse range of performance-making practices including dramaturgy, creative voice, scenography, and ecological movement. These aim to inspire you for ways you can create and build your toolkits.
Term 2: Reimagining a Classic Text
With our deepened skills, we explore a well-known text – such as plays by Arthur Miller, Timberlake Wertenbaker, or William Shakespeare – and rework it for a new audience today. Together, exploring the themes of that text, the Company will unite the present and the past to forge a new interpretation for the current socio-political moment. It involves research, rewriting, and blending it with other material found from performance and non-performance.
Term 3: Devised Performance Project
Incorporating all our skills developed over the year, we start with a blank slate and together devise a brand new piece of performance to be staged at our Youth Arts Festival. The rehearsals are led by the Devised Theatre Company, supported by your lecturer, and is the place to showcase your skills and passions in performance. What is created is down to the people in the Company and influenced by visual, material, spatial, technological, and environmental factors. Together, the Company will explore the question ‘what can performance say about the current moment”.
The Devised Theatre Company has two key performances in the year, and these will involve collaboration with other artforms in the Junior Conservatoire.
The session times are 1:30pm-4:30pm on Sundays during the term time (please note there may be the occasional additional rehearsal around performance dates).
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
Students on the Junior Conservatoire Devised Theatre Company will learn from a variety of expert staff throughout the year, who will work with you to develop specialist skills.
Teachers on the programme include
- Murray Wasson
- Nicholas Barton-Wines
Guest teachers on the programme include
- Ryan Hay
- Laura Bradshaw
- Ed McGurn
Many of our students go on to study at top UK Performing Arts/Drama Schools; Conservatoires and Universities such as:
- Royal Conservatoire of Scotland
- Royal Central School of Speech & Drama
- Oxford School of Drama
- Trinity Laban
- London Contemporary Dance School
- Rose Bruford College
- Glasgow University
We will support our students with whatever pathway they choose whether that be further study within the arts; academic study or work .
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 creating theatre, and to be able to discuss this with the panel at the audition. Applicants for this programme often have multiple artistic disciplines, such as playing or composing music, technical theatre abilities, or creative writing. These are all relevant and incorporated into the work the Devised Theatre Company creates.
We look for applicants to show passion for devising theatre and a desire to develop and progress to study at a higher education level or make performance professionally in the future. The panel will be looking for applicants who are generous when working with others, boldly creative, and are able to form connections and opinions on the stimulus material, and the stamina and curiosity to expand their skills in voice, movement, and theatre-making techniques. Simply put, we are looking for students who want to be the best creative they can be.
At the audition, we are looking to identify pathways for you towards your aspirations to develop your abilities in devised theatre. This may be through Junior Conservatoire, or through Short Courses at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.
Dates: Auditions will be held between the 5th -7th August 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 and performance, and a solo 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 physicality, voice, 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.
Sharing of Prepared Performance:
Together we will watch everyone’s prepared performance material based on one of the five stimulus sent to you in advance of the audition. In this part of the audition, we will be looking at how you’ve identified themes and ideas in the stimuli material you chose, and how you’ve connected these to the performance you make. We will also be watching to get a sense of how you use your voice, body, and other skills you have to communicate your ideas through performance. 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.
Following the central value of this programme that we make collectively and collaboratively, we will then discuss what you made with the group, and together identify strengths and areas we can develop together. We will be looking at the whole group for how you share and listen to others ideas, and your generosity and curiosity in this process.
We will then ask you to perform your piece again with an alteration. For example, this might be removing all the spoken words in it, or listen to some music and let that change how you present it. In this process we are looking to see how you play with new ideas and make bold changes quite quickly. 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 performer. We will want to hear your reflection on how the redirection changed things for you.
Preparing your Performance Material:
A few weeks before your audition date, we will send you a selection of about five different stimuli to choose from that will inspire the short performance you make. The workbook will contain full instructions and a number of prompts to help you make your short performance. Please select one of the stimuli we send you and prepare it for performance in the audition when you meet with us. We want you to perform this from memory and present it as if you were performing it for an audience. We will also ask you why you selected the stimuli material.
After the group section of the audition, we will speak to each applicant one at a time. This is an opportunity for you to discuss what you love about devising performance, your ambitions, your other interests and causes you’re connected to, and what you think you need to become a better theatre-maker. 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 Young Theatre Company programme so we will audition every student who applies on time.
When to apply
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 firstname.lastname@example.org
If you have any questions about the Junior Conservatoire or the application process, please don’t hesitate to contact us at email@example.com.
What to wear
You should come to class wearing clothes suitable for movement work, and which do not restrict the body.
What to bring
Please bring along bottled water to keep hydrated during rehearsals. You may also find it useful to bring a notepad and pen to take notes.
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
Devised Theatre Company fees for the year are £1,595
Devised Theatre Company fees for the year are TBC