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Deaf Performance Skills

Weekly Class for Adults



This course, led in partnership with Solar Bear Theatre Company, offers D/deaf or hard of hearing students the chance to work on acting and performance skills. It aims to develop technique and expertise in storytelling through a theatrical language that incorporates British Sign Language, spoken and visual language.


Contact us to join this class – 0141 270 8213



This course, led in partnership with Solar Bear Theatre Company, offers D/deaf or hard of hearing students the chance to work on acting and performance skills. It aims to develop technique and expertise in storytelling through a theatrical language that incorporates British Sign Language, spoken and visual language.


Contact us to join this class – 0141 270 8213

Course outline

Deaf Performance Skills 2017-18

We will be exploring different techniques over the year. These will include:

  • Body technique: Physical warm-ups, exercises on characterisation and expressivity
  • Devising: Creating, developing and sharing own theatrical work
  • Voice work: Breathing, relaxation and vocal exercises
  • Visual Theatre: Storytelling, VV and characterisation techniques
  • Theatre History: Culture, context and practical examples of styles/genres
  • Script work: Textual Analysis, translation and rehearsal of scenes.
  • Show: Selection, rehearsal and performance of work to an audience.

Financial support

We are able to offer scholarships to some applicants for our BSL courses. Please contact for more information.

Agnes Allan Bursary

Agnes Allan was a teacher, passionate about inclusion, and this bursary scheme exists to offer support to students to participate in the performing or production arts.

The Agnes Allan Bursary provides some support to students who may require financial assistance to take part in a short course in dance, drama, music, production or screen.

Anyone who wishes to take part in our Lifelong Learning courses and faces a financial barrier can apply for bursary support to help meet the cost of tuition fees.

Applications are now closed for the Agnes Allan bursary.

If you have any questions about the application process please contact us on 0141 270 8213 or and we will be happy to help you. You can also download a FAQs document here: Agnes Allan Bursary FAQs

James McAvoy Drama Scholarships

Bafta winning and Golden Globe nominated actor James McAvoy is committed to nurturing the creative potential of young Scots who experience barriers to access and participate in drama at RCS Lifelong Learning.

James is a graduate of the BA Acting programme at RCS and Patron of the Junior Conservatoire of Drama. The Glasgow-born actor has funded the new James McAvoy Drama Scholarships to enable young people to experience the world-class drama training at RCS as he did.

The scholarship aims to support applicants who would otherwise find meeting the cost of tuition fees at RCS a barrier to accessing pre-Higher Education drama training at the Royal Conservatoire.

The application criteria is as follows:

  • The applicant must be applying for a drama short course at RCS. These courses can be found on the website and can include weekly classes for young people, drama credit rated short courses, drama specialist intensive weekends, summer schools and new company or blended learning experiences. It does not include any course where the subject specialism is dance, music, production or screen. If you would like to clarify whether the course you are interested in is eligible, please contact Lifelong Learning using our contact details below.
  • The applicant must be aged 25 or under at the time of application, and must be able to provide proof of this status.
  • The applicant must be resident in Scotland at the point of application, and must be able to provide proof of this status.

How to apply for support from the James McAvoy Drama Scholarships:

  • All applications should be made online. Please click on the link to apply.
  • Your application must be submitted before you apply for a Lifelong Learning course.
  • You will be asked to provide supporting documents with your application. These must be submitted within five working days of your application being received.

Applications are now closed.

If you have any questions about the application process, or require support in accessing our application form in an alternative or accessible format, please contact us on 0141 270 8213 or and we will be happy to help you.

Our Frequently Asked Questions for the scholarships can be downloaded here: James McAvoy Drama Scholarships FAQs


  • The scholarship is intended to meet the cost of tuition fees only at RCS. The costs of travel, subsistence or accommodation are not eligible.
  • There is no restriction on the number of times you are able to apply providing the course applied for is different each time and funds permitting.

The James McAvoy Drama Scholarship has been established to help young Scots who live in challenged communities or circumstances to participate in the drama learning and teaching at RCS.

However, RCS Juniors and Lifelong Learning also benefits from the Agnes Allen Bursary scheme, which exists to support other young people and adult learners who might find affording tuition fees a barrier to participation.

Applicants to the Agnes Allen Bursary scheme can be at any age or stage in their development, from anywhere in the world and their interests can be in dance, drama, music, production or screen.

We accept applications all year round and you can find out more about the Agnes Allen Bursary here.

Drama at 60 Scholarship

The Drama at 60 Scholarship supports talented performers and producers of theatre, film and television gain essential skills and experience as they work towards formal training.

This scholarship offers up to three promising theatre or screen practitioners up to £1,000 to invest in a range of training activities at the Royal Conservatoire. The focus in 2016/17 will be on digital creativity as part of our New Digital Creatives scheme.

The deadline for applications for Drama at 60 Scholarships for 2017/18 is Tuesday 30 June 2017.

Before applying please read the Drama at 60 Scholarship Guidelines 2016.

To apply please send your CV, a short biography, a one-page application statement and a letter of recommendation to

Entry requirements

This open access course is suitable for anyone aged 17+ who is d/Deaf or Hard of Hearing who uses British Sign Language or English.




Preparing for your course

Please come to class wearing loose, comfortable clothing and flat shoes, and bring a bottle of water with you.


Mark Stevenson

Mark works as a Lecturer in Acting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He is passionate about his craft, having studied at the RCS (or RSAMD as it was then) and having worked as an actor in the industry. He teaches across several programmes, including the BA Performance and BA Acting degrees for whom he also directs projects. He was part of the original design team for the BA Performance course and co-teaches on the pre-HE Deaf Theatre Skills evening class.

With his long-time collaborator, Katya Kamotskaia, Mark has published research on several Russian practitioners, has translated several plays and has directed work internationally.


Jonathan Lloyd

Jonathan is Creative Director/CEO of Solar Bear, a pioneering Glasgow-based theatre company whose work celebrates the creative possibilities of inclusion.

He is a theatre director and writer, specialising in new writing and work for young people. He was Associate Director at Soho Theatre for nine years, where he set up and ran the company’s education and outreach programme. He was Artistic Director at Polka Theatre, one of the few theatres in the UK dedicated to work for children and young people, from 2007-2013. Before joining Solar Bear he was Artistic Director of Pegasus Theatre, Oxford.

As a theatre director, he has directed 14 plays at Pegasus and Polka Theatre and many new plays at Soho Theatre and others including freelance work at the Bush, Donmar Warehouse, Barbican Pit, Birmingham Rep and Gate Theatre. Most recently, he has directed Toby Whithouse’s Executioner Number One at Soho Theatre, and a schools tour across Oxfordshire of Ali Taylor’s Under My Skin, for Pegasus Theatre.

Jonathan was a fellow with the Clore Leadership Programme 2005/06, a board member of Deafinitely Theatre and in 2016-17 he was Cheltenham Festivals/First Story’s Writer-in-Residence at Severn Vale School in Gloucester.

At a glance...

Deaf Performance Skills Tuesdays, 6.30pm–8.30pm 20180619 316

Term dates and tuition fees

Tuition fee for full year is £540 which can be paid in instalments.

Term 1: 5 September –12 December 2017 (excluding 17 October)

Term 2: 9 January – 20 March 2018 (excluding 6 February)

Term 3: 24 April – 19 June 2018 (excluding 22 May)


Promotional Offers

We offer a selection of promotional offers from 25% off the overall tuition cost for current undergraduate/postgraduate students and staff, to 10% off when two summer schools are booked at the same time.

View a full list of promotional offers here. Contact to request your code prior to booking a course.

Who is this course for?

This course is for people who want to:

  • learn new performance skills
  • explore theatrical ways of telling stories
  • develop as an actor
  • gain experience of improvising
  • learn how to read scripts in English
  • use BSL in performance


Further training

If you are interested in Deaf Theatre Skills, then you may also be interested in our other drama courses, such as:

Drama for Beginners

Acting 1

Performance Company

Contemporary Performance Skills

This course is a good foundation for the BA Performance in British Sign Language and English undergraduate degree.

Additional Information

What people are saying about this exciting new partnership:

“Solar Bear is delighted and proud to be working with our partners at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland to establish formal pathways into the profession for young deaf actors. Together, we are confident that our training programme will result in new and ground-breaking opportunities for a new generation of deaf actors and audiences alike. Our shared vision will reflect and celebrate Scotland’s cultural diversity by ensuring that talented young deaf people have access to quality training opportunities at the highest level.”
(Gerry Ramage, Artistic Director, Solar Bear Theatre Company)