Project information

Offering pathways to drama training at RADA

We want our world-leading training to be available to talented young people across the UK, especially those under-represented in the arts and higher education (HE). This includes people from BAME backgrounds, people with physical and sensory impairments and people living beyond South East England.

The project is part of our new Widening Participation and Outreach strategy and the funds raised will help us deliver our project in the 2016-17 academic year.

Charity information: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

Royal Academy of Dramatic Art logo
  • Need


    There is a perception, fuelled by stories in the press, that to become an actor, or to work in theatre, you need to be from a privileged background, even to pay the fees for training. For decades, RADA has trained people from diverse backgrounds and we want to continue this and improve on our record, especially for young people from disadvantaged and BAME backgrounds. This project supports our outreach work to create and sustain that talent pipeline.


    Our solutions:
    -Create new pathways into technical theatre training, especially for young people from BAME backgrounds
    -Offer workshops in and beyond London to disadvantaged young people and encourage them to consider applying to RADA or other conservatoire training
    -Create programmes for young disabled and non-disabled people to give them the RADA experience of training

  • Aims

    Aim 1

    To develop a stream of activity to encourage diverse applications in technical theatre.


    » Develop a Technical Youth Company that will work alongside the successful Acting Youth Company to engage disadvantaged young people in stagecraft
    » Deliver taster sessions at RADA on a range of technical theatre activities for targeted young people aged 16-24
    » Increase the number of progression agreements and partnerships with state schools and academies and offer further free workshops and talks for them
    » Create links with colleges, state schools, trades colleges and the IntoUniversity network to encourage targeted young people to participate in HE

    Success will be an increase in disadvantaged young people participating in RADA programmes and 50% more students from BAME backgrounds in technical theatre training.

    Aim 2

    To invite disadvantaged young people, aged 13 to 16 to experience a taste of life at RADA


    » Deliver a week-long project for young people aged 13 – 16, offering them an insight into actor training
    » Deliver a week-long project for young people aged 13 – 16, offering them an insight into technical theatre
    » To work with Camden Council to offer 16 young people aged 13-16, in receipt of free school meals, to experience RADA’s drama training for a week

    Success will be demonstrated by an increase in disadvantaged young people from London applying to RADA’s Youth Company, FdA Technical Theatre and Stage Management and BA Acting.

    Aim 3

    To bring RADA shows and activities to targeted schools in London


    » Deliver day-long activities for primary school children aged 8-11 to come to RADA to experience activities from property making to movement
    » To deliver a 90 minute Shakespeare performance for young people aged 13 and above, in 12 London schools
    » To deliver a Shakespeare pre-production workshop and/or a post-production Q&A session with the actors and technical team
    » To provide career talks, workshops and tours of the Academy to around 15 London schools for young people aged 12 to 16

    To demonstrate success we will monitor the participants’ future progression so that we can follow their journey beyond school.

    Aim 4

    To generate activity beyond London and inspire young people to apply to RADA


    » Create links with schools and colleges in the North West, East Midlands and South West to engage young people in drama and technical training
    » Deliver workshops and talks at educational establishments and arts organisations across the UK to inspire young people with little arts provision
    » To organise and host visits to RADA from schools outside of the South East to open access and demystify the Academy for young people

    We will demonstrate success by increased applications and auditions from target regions and groups; regional applications are expected to increase by 20%.

    Aim 5

    To facilitate access for people with physical and sensory disabilities


    » Deliver drama workshops and career talks for young people with physical and sensory disabilities both at RADA and at external venues
    » Deliver training for staff and graduates to create good practice within the Academy
    » Take part in conservatoire conferences on the issue of diversity in the arts and access to specialist training

    We will demonstrate success by agreeing targets for participation and measuring the progress made by disabled people through conservatoire applications.

  • Impact


    RADA will increase the diversity within the Academy and as a result, the industry, by encouraging applications from a much wider range of candidates.

    Disadvantaged young people across the country will be better equipped to apply to RADA and will have a clearer understanding of the application process and the financial support available to them.

    Young people will also be motivated to consider HE more widely, if not RADA specifically.

    By 2020, RADA will engage 6,000+ young people.


    The Widening Participation and Outreach department is partly supported by public funding. To mitigate the risk of the impact of potential cuts in this provision, the Development team is proactively seeking alternative sources of funding.


    The Development team will be in touch with donors on a regular basis via direct emails, phone calls and invitations to sharing of the work. Donors will also receive RADA’s quarterly newsletter, which details all RADA activities.

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £90,000

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      Amount Heading Description
      £50,000 Staffing practitioner fees for Technical workshops, Workshops in Schools and summer schools
      £16,000 Administration Management of the programmes, recruitment, marketing costs and the evaluation of projects
      £13,000 Support for faciliators Interpreters and support for blind/visually impaired participants
      £5,000 Room hire For activities outside of RADA
      £6,000 Travel and accommodation Training for staff to deliver work in schools and with people with disabilities
  • Background


    Beyond our London base, RADA auditions nationally and internationally. The project focuses on young people from London, the North West (extending into Wales) and the East Midlands, areas where we audition regularly and which have socially and economically diverse populations. By connecting with our regular auditioning centres, we hope to build long-term partnerships to make young people aware of RADA and unintimidated by the prospect of auditioning/interviewing for our courses.


    Young people are the primary beneficiaries of our project, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who would not normally think that RADA training was available to them. In turn, both the wider industry and audiences for drama will benefit from a more diverse pool of professionals making work in the future.

  • Why Us?

    Why Us?

    RADA offers world-leading, conservatoire-level training for actors, stage managers, production professionals and craftspeople with over a century’s experience. We audition or interview all applicants. Each student is provided with support (pastoral, learning and financial) tailored to their needs and background. This project is part of a new strategy built on the evaluation of 18 years of outreach work at RADA.

    Read more about the Charity running this project.


    Carys Williams, Widening Participation And Outreach Co-Ordinator

    Carys manages all the WP&O programmes. She is part of the Student and Academic Services Department and sits on the Scholarships & Bursaries committee

    Rachel Bagshaw, Access To Acting Director.

    Rachel delivers workshops for young people with disabilities and sits on the RADA audition panel.

    Philip Sheppard, Youth Company Director.

    Philip delivers outreach activities in schools and communities. A RADA graduate, he has been working with young people for 20+ years.

    The Widening Participation Advisory Committee.

    The committee members advise Carys on industry trends, steering strategy and implementing change.

Daniel Mays, RADA Big Give Ambassador

Fantastic teaching and brilliantly accessible look into Shakespeare. Thank you!

Camden Summer University Participant