Project information

Pathways to drama school training at RADA

To provide access workshops and courses for targeted young people interested in pursuing a career in the dramatic arts (acting and technical theatre). We encourage engagement from young people living in poverty and people from BAME backgrounds.

Our project is part of our Widening Participation and Outreach strategy and the funds raised will help us deliver our particular projects across the academic years 2017-18 and 2018-19.

Charity information: Royal Academy of Dramatic Art

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  • Need


    There is an ongoing perception that the student body of the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA) is a homogeneous group drawn from a narrow socio-economic background. The reality is different: RADA is proud of its diverse student body and of its ongoing fundraising and widening participation work, which opens up pathways into training for students from all backgrounds. We recognise that there are barriers preventing students from attending drama school and we are working to break these down.


    We offer opportunities to young people from low income and BAME backgrounds to engage creatively with acting and technical by:
    •Providing technical theatre workshops and talks, especially for young people from BAME and low income backgrounds
    •Offering acting workshops to young people across the UK
    •Offering courses for young people to give them sustained interaction with RADA over a longer period of time
    •Creating opportunities for schools beginning at primary level to begin to inspire the

  • Aims

    Aim 1

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


    » Develop the technical theatre contingent of our Acting Youth Company to engage disadvantaged young people in stagecraft
    » Deliver 10 taster sessions a year, at RADA on a range of technical theatre activities for targeted young people aged 16-24
    » Deliver the week-long 'Young Theatre Makers' course for 16 participants aged 11-14, offering them an insight into both technical theatre and acting
    » Collaborate with 15 colleges, state schools, trades colleges and arts charities to encourage targeted young people to participate in RADA activities

    Success will be an increase in disadvantaged people participating in WP&O activities and 50% more students from BAME backgrounds in technical theatre training by 2020

    Aim 2

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


    » Collaborate with 15 schools and colleges in the North West, East Midlands and South West to engage young people in drama and technical training
    » Deliver workshops, talks, courses at educational establishments and arts organisations to inspire young people with little access to arts provision
    » Partner with art organisations in areas where we hold auditions, to deliver workshops to local young people to inspire them to connect with the arts
    » Provide travel bursaries and fee waivers for young people from low income backgrounds to attend their audition or interview in London

    We will demonstrate success by increased applications from young people from target regions and groups; we expected regional applications to increase by 20%

    Aim 3

    To develop meaningful partnerships to encourage participation from at risk young people


    » Partner with youth organisations such as St Andrews Club and Catalyst Gateway to offer acting and technical courses for their at risk young people
    » Collaborate with arts organisations across London such as Frantic Assembly Theatre Company to deliver RADA sessions for their young people
    » Partner with Theatre Royal Stratford East's 'young people work' team to introduce their participants to RADA training over a sustained period of time
    » Sustain partnerships with Camden borough and other local authorities for deprived young people living in these areas of London

    We will demonstrate success by an increase in applications from young people from at risk areas who have joined partnerships with RADA

    Aim 4

    To expand RADA’s presence in schools


    » Continue to deliver the RADA Shakespeare in Schools project, offering targeted schools performances of a Shakespeare production
    » Develop progression agreements across more state schools and colleges throughout the UK
    » Develop activities for primary schools in London: experiences in acting and technical theatre including our partnership with Inspire charity
    » To provide workshop facilitation training for third year acting and technical students to enable them to deliver workshops for WP&O

    We will demonstrate success, monitoring young people through primary and secondary schools ultimately monitoring the number of applications from young people from low-income home

  • 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 higher education more widely, if not at RADA specifically. By 2020, RADA will engage 6,000+ young people


    The Widening Participation and Outreach department receives some 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 updates on the life at the Academy

  • Budget

    Budget - Project Cost: £50,000

    Loading graph....
      Amount Heading Description
      £12,500 Diversity in Technical Theatre RADA Youth Company: Technical Theatre, technical taster sessions and workshops
      £10,500 Activity Beyond London Working with schools and colleges across the UK, workshops and courses, travel expenses, fee waivers
      £16,000 Partnerships Work with St Andrews Club, Catalyst Gateway, Theatre Royal Stratford East and other organisation
      £11,000 Work in schools and colleges 'Shakespeare in School' project, workshops for schools and training workshops for RADA students
  • Background


    RADA is London-based and auditions nationally. The project focuses on young people from London, and across the UK in 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 relationships to encourage a flow of young people who are aware of RADA and do not feel intimidated by the prospect of auditioning/interviewing for our courses.


    Young people from the age of 6 are the primary beneficiaries of our project, especially those from disadvantaged backgrounds who would not consider 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 and offer training focussed on individual’s development by highly experienced teachers. Each student is provided with support (pastoral, learning and financial) tailored to their needs and background. This project is part of 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 Manager

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

    Julie Crofts - Director Of Student And Academic Services

    To support the strategic development of the Widening Participation department

    Philip Sheppard, Youth Company Director

    Philip delivers outreach activities in schools and communities. A RADA graduate, he has been working with you

    The Widening Participation Advisory Committee

    Advise Carys on industry trends, steering strategy and implementing change. It comprises of RADA staff, alumni, students and industry professionals