As you might already know, a number of the popular Lifelong Learning programmes at Bristol University are being axed at the end of the summer this year following the university’s reaction to a cut in Government funding. Unfortunately this includes the classes and courses run by the Drama department, which will be a great loss to the theatre scene in the Bristol area, with many local actors and directors having passed through their doors in the past.
As a direct reaction to this, Gary Owston of Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and Tristan Darby, director of Bristol-based company Theatre Raconteurs have joined forces to create South West Acting Courses (SWAC).
Every class will be led by industry professionals and Drama School Tutors, and are aimed at actors with all degrees of experience, including seasoned professionals, those contemplating full time drama training or those simply wishing to explore a serious interest in the craft of acting. The first series of day long acting Masterclasses start on July 11th, and will include classes in Shakespeare, Vocal Technique, Accents & Dialects, Acting in Reality, Singing and Audition Techniques. Each class is strictly limited to 16 students in order to focus on high quality teaching and will subsequently require a high level of focus, dedication and commitment to learn from all who attend.
With enquiries and bookings already coming in fast, the pair are already developing plans for more classes and short courses to start at the end of the summer.
SWAC co founder Tristan commented ” It is a huge shame to the area that the University is closing it’s doors on such a valuable, well received local resource for actor training. It is the belief of both Gary and myself that in order to create a more thriving home-grown theatre scene, it is vital that there is widely available ongoing resources for actors and practitioners to further develop their craft and learn new skills.”
He added “We have started this venture together through a shared belief in the potential of Bristol to become a driving force for positive change in standards of training and development outside of London. Our aim is to cater for those who are preparing for a life in the arts, those who are currently performing in the local theatre scene, and those who have completed their drama training, either in Bristol itself or elsewhere and are currently forced to commute or move to London due to lack of local training, work and face to face creative social networking”
bq. “Bristol already has a vibrant scene, but still holds the potential to create much more locally based work. I think I read somewhere that there are around 600,000 people who live within a twenty minute drive of central Bristol alone. It is astounding that in the South-West we have such a struggle sometimes to fill relatively small spaces in comparison to this figure, and my personal hope and aim is that through facilitating face-to-face creative networking and helping to raise the level and availability of training and development in the area through SWAC, we can help in our own small way to stimulate further growth in the region”
For more information on SWAC and their current range of Masterclasses, you can visit their website www.sw-actingcourses.com or contact them via email