In the first year of your training you will work on developing a strong foundational technique in the craft of Acting, Singing and Dance. You will be given the opportunity to perform several times a week and gain feedback by staff and other industry professionals to help develop your artistry.
Acting lies at the heart of every good Musical Theatre Performance. In your first year at Associated Studios you will learn how to build your understanding of how to reach your acting potential. You will do this through working with Directors, Voice Teachers, Writers and Actors/Acting Practitioners who will use a range of classes and techniques to help you discover how to harness the power of drama.
Areas of Work Include:
- Text Class: Including work on the seminal classical and contemporary playwrights which may include Shakespeare, Chekov, Ibsen, Arthur Miller, Tennessee Williams, Pinter and David Hare.
- Acting Technique: Looking at the approach of practitioners such as Stanislavski, Uta Hagen, Stella Adler, Stanford Meisner and Mike Alfreds. You will create a tool-box of techniques you can draw on to create a truthful performance.
- Heightened Acting: Working on non-naturalistic drama styles such as panto and ‘stage combat’, allowing you to explore the wide range of styles you will encounter in your career.
- Monologues: You will explore how to choose and perform monologues suitable for acting and musical theatre auditions.
- Self-Tapes and Screen: With a screen director, you will learn the technique of effective self-taping for auditions and the concerns of the actor for screen and film work.
- Voice classes: Voice work includes learning the basic techniques of the actors voice such as: Resonance, Articulation, ‘Forward Placement’, Breath Control and work on RP and General American accents.
- Scene Study: Putting your technical skills into practice, you will work on scenes from set plays with a director.
Singing and Music
The study of singing and music is fundamental to developing into a professional Musical Theatre Artist. The first year is about understanding your singing voice and building the strength and flexibility required to perform 8 times a week. You will also develop your versatility for approaching different styles of Musical Theatre from ‘legit’, classical MT and Operetta through to Contemporary Musicals and Pop/Rock. We find it essential for all students to be given regular 1-to-1 Singing Technique training to supplement your normal class work. You will work with a number of Musical Directors, Singing Teachers, Directors, Movement Directors, Vocal Coaches and Composers.
Areas of Work Include:
- Vocal Technique: You will build the vocal, physical and mental strength, flexibility and stamina required to succeed in the competitive singing industry, through establishing a rigorous practice regime.
- 1-to-1 Singing Technique: Work individually with a singing teacher on a regular basis throughout your training.
- Repertoire: Learn how to find appropriate songs from across the breadth of the Musical Theatre genre. Understand how to cut and present sheet music required for professional auditions. Associated Studios takes pride in alumni having audittion ready repertoire folders, appropriate to the amny demands of the industry.
- Vocal Performance: Work with Musical, Movement and Acting Directors to develop your individual performance by acting through song.
- Audition Technique: Working with Musical Directors, Agents and Casting Directors you will gain greater understanding of the techniques behind successful singing auditions, including how to cut for 32-bar auditions. Audition ettiquette will be discussed and practiced.
- Musical Theatre History: You will learn the history of the rise and development of Musical Theatre. This will allow you to contextualise your work effectively and build your working knowledge of Musical Theatre writers, composers and styles.
- Performance Confidence: Work through the common problems of anxiety and lack of confidence in a safe, nurturing environment.
Dance and Movement
Building your understanding of dance and movement will underpin the physical work required for the other disciplines. We stream our dance classes to allow you to work at the level suitable for your current experience and skill. Dance classes aim to bring you up to the standard required to successfully audition in a ‘dance call’ in the current musical theatre industry. As well as undertaking work to condition your body to be at its peak fitness, you will learn to use your technique to adapt into different dance styles and genres, learning how to connect your acting to your movement and vice versa. You will work with a range of Dance Practitioners, Choreographers, Stage Combat Directors and Movement experts on a wide range of classes to give you a rounded experience throughout your training.
Areas of Work Include:
- Dance Technique: You will work on a range of dance techniques from Ballet to Jazz and Contemporary Dance. Building your language of the body and how to use it.
- Musical Theatre Routine: Working with choreographers and current West-End performers, you will explore the different styles and genres of dance and movement within the world of Musical Theatre which may include work inspired by choreographers and practitioners including: Agnes de Mille, Bob Fosse, Gene Kelly, Michael Bennett, Jerome Robbins, Twyla Tharp and Matthew Bourne. You will have weekly audition dance masterclasses in which you are taught a current show routine by a professional choreographer.
- Laban: Using the work of practitioner Rudolf Laban you will learn how to analyse movement and use his language to create a greater understanding of your movement and space.
- Movement Practice: You will build your strength, flexibility and stamina by using body conditioning practices which may include: Cardio, Pilates, Yoga and Alexander Technique.
- Please note that all students on a 2 Year Course will have their progress monitored and will be assessed at the end of their first year, to ensure that they are of a suitable standard to continue onto the second year.
In your second year of training we will consolidate your technique and continue to build on the work completed in Year 1. Your focus will be on developing as a ‘connected’ performer. This means being able to integrate the separate disciplines of Singing, Acting and Dance into one seamless practice in performance. You will identify and work on your own areas of weakness as well as building upon your strengths to solidify your artistry. You will also continue to build on your entrepreneurship and your audition technique and portfolio.
You will focus on using the techniques you have practiced from year one and putting them into various different dramatic situations and contexts required of the modern actor. Using texts from different periods you will look at how to apply your technique efficiently and methodically. You will also learn the connection between the actor and the director in the rehearsal room and how to get the most out of that relationship.
In your second term you will perform a whole play or large sections of a play in a performance space with an invited audience.
Throughout the year there will be an expectation of growing independence and autonomy. This will require you to create your own daily practice routines to warm up, exercise, learn and analyse your acting work.
In your final year show you will work with a Director for an extended rehearsal period taking up the entire final term, in a professional rehearsal process for a full-scale production.
The focus in Year 2 comes away from core technique and moves onto application of technique. You will explore the various styles within Musical Theatre, Pop/Rock and other CCM genres. Using this material you will explore how to use your technique to create accurate, detailed, truthful journeys through the year. You will also learn more about Music Theory and how to gain greater insight from the composer and lyricists, which will inform your artistic choices as a rounded and integrated Musical Theatre performer. You will look at your acting techniques and how to best integrate them into your singing at all times and, how to use the approaches you learn in acting to influence the decisions you make regarding resonance, vocal quality, articulation and breath use. Throughout the year there will be an expectation of growing independence and autonomy. This will require you to create your own daily practice routines to warm up, exercise, build on your core technique, improve your sight singing/harmony work and, make creative artistic choices within your own performance and repertoire work.
Continuing to grow from your development in Year 1, the second year is about pushing your personal limits within dance. You will be expected to work faster and more accurately in classes. The details you achieve within various styles of Dance and Movement will be looked at more closely and worked on. You will be required to pick up auditions routines more quickly, allowing you to compete in Musical Theatre auditions on the West End. You will also explore your own body and develop a greater sense of your personal movement identity and what styles suit you and your casting. You will look at how to connect your understanding of Dance to your work in Acting and Singing and how your movement influences your overall performance. Throughout the year there will be an expectation of growing independence and autonomy. This will require you to create your own daily practice routines to warm up, exercise, build on your core technique and understand the wider context of dance within the contexts of their style and application.
Industry classes at Associated Studios are given throughout the course of your 2 years study. We are incredibly proud of the strong links we have within the wider theatre industry and through your training you will come into contact with a number of different agents and casting directors, as well as visiting directors, choreographers and musicals directors currently working in the West End and Internationally:
- Casting Workshops: Including sessions with Agents, Casting Directors and Industry experts
- Marketing: Teaching you the skills necessary to become an independent professional performer including: How to write a good industry standard CV, getting your head shots right, writing to agents and understanding theatre terminology.
There are many projects throughout the 2 years which aim to build the other tools you will require to succeed in the professional Musical Theatre Industry. Some of these are listed below:
- New Writing: Work with leading contemporary theatre composers on new musicals.
- Recordings: In your second year you will be given the opportunity to record a professional singing demo for use for Spotlight and your own self-promotion.
- Open Mic: Participation in monthly nights in Soho and West London is encouraged in order for you to to perform and hone your skills in a public arena.
- Public Production: In your second year you will take part in a full scale musical that will be performed in a professional, central London theatre, after a production period of approximately six weeks. In this time all regular classes will be suspended and replaced by company rehearsals.
- West End Industry Showcase: The second year culminates in an industry presentation for invited Agents and Casting Directors in Central London
*please note all course content is subject to change.