Thursday Young Conservatoire — Ages 16–18 Weekly classes in acting technique
A group of students dancing in a studio with large windows

Courses

Thursday Young Conservatoire — Ages 16–18

Key Information
  • Suitable for

    Intermediate, ages 16–18

  • Dates

    Summer Term:

    Thursday 25 April – Thursday 4 July 2024

  • Tuition

    Weekly 2 hour class, 18:00–20:00

  • Location

    Downside Road, Bristol

  • Cost

    £185 per 10 week term or
    £500 for full academic year
    Bursaries available

Apply Now

Overview

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School’s Young Conservatoire is a comprehensive and immersive programme designed for aspiring actors aged 16 to 18 who wish to embark on a professional acting career. Our weekly evening classes will build a rigorous foundation in acting techniques, voice work and movement studies adopting the practices taught to students at the UK’s leading drama schools, whilst providing industry insights and networking opportunities. By joining Young Conservatoire, you’ll deepen your knowledge and begin acquiring the key vocational skills of the professional actor, preparing you for the next steps of your career.

Bursary applications for Young Conservatoire Summer term 2024 are open until 9 am on Monday 11 March 2024. Apply for bursary support by completing the web form.

Each 10-week term will build your skills in working with text, character, improvisation, and voice and movement techniques. Much of the learning is structured as imaginative play to unlock your acting potential. In addition to developing your individual strengths in monologues, storytelling and self-tape auditions, you will also get to explore theatre as an ensemble. Each term culminates with a short performance for an invited audience.

Apply now

Term dates 2024

Spring term, Thur 11 Jan – 21 Mar, 6–8 pm
Half term (no class) Thur 15 Feb

Summer term, Thur 25 Apr – 4 July, 6–8 pm
Half term (no class) Thur 30 May

Autumn term, Thur 3 Oct – 12 Dec, 6–8 pm
Half term (no class) Thur 31 Oct

Fees are £185 per term. You can also book ahead and save by booking the full calendar year for £500.

A student is smiling looking past the camera whilst raising her shoulders. In the background other students are adopting different positions.

What is a conservatoire?

A conservatoire is a small and specialist organisation that trains students for a career in the performing arts through intensive, practical tuition. At Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, we specialise in drama but there are other conservatoires who specialise in music, and some who team both disciplines. Attending drama school is an alternative option to going to university – you’ll still receive a degree, but you will spend your time learning your craft through practice. Attending a conservatoire drama school is how many of the UK’s leading actors honed their craft and launched their career. The award-winning film stars Olivia Colman, Sir Daniel Day-Lewis, Naomie Harris and Patrick Stewart all trained at BOVTS.

A student in a sweatshirt is facing the camera and pointing towards two students whose backs are turned

Who is Young Conservatoire for?

Young Conservatoire is for anybody aged 16–18 who is considering a career as a professional actor. Actors come from all sorts of backgrounds and there is not typical student at Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. We are looking for those who have a passion for performance, a willingness to experiment with their craft, and are aspiring to train professionally after finishing at school or college. Young Conservatoire is not an alternative to school or college; because it runs on evenings throughout term time, it is the perfect option to sit alongside your qualifications. 

Two students in a studio setting are stretching towards the camera

How do I apply?

Entry to Young Conservatoire is through audition and you can choose whether to audition with us online or in person. There is no audition fee.

You will need to prepare a two-minute speech from a published play and we recommend that you choose a character who is similar in age to you. The auditioners will have a short discussion with you afterwards and can answer any questions that you might have about training as part of Young Conservatoire.

The dates for auditions for Summer term 2024 are:

Online:
Tuesday 2 April 2024
Wednesday 3 April 2024

In-person:
Tuesday 26 March 2024
Wednesday 27 March 2024

Students from the Youth Summer School performing

What will I be doing?

Much like the first year at drama school, you will cover a wide range of fundamentals in acting, including specialist classes in acting basics, movement, and voice work.

You will learn basic acting principles, including improvisation skills, character development and scene analysis. The voice sessions will cover vocal warm-ups and exercises, breath control and projection, as well as accents and dialects. Movement sessions will focus on body awareness, movement styles, physical characterisation, ensemble work and choreographed scenes.

In addition to these courses, you will also have opportunities to attend Masterclasses with industry professionals, learn about marketing yourself as an actor and prepare for auditions, whether for professional opportunities or for drama schools. You will also put on a showcase at the end of term.

The classes that you take will develop throughout the ten weeks of each term and you’ll begin to acquire an understanding of the etiquettes and practices of the industry.

What our students say...

  • “The culture at BOVTS is encouraging, respectful, welcoming and empowering.”

    Lindy, short course participant
  • “You gave me the skills to improve and to increase my confidence in a friendly and supportive environment.”

    Jo, short course participant
  • “Rigorous, exciting, challenging and fulfilling – I highly recommend this course to anyone who is looking to find their feet in the world of theatre.”

    Short course participant, 2019
Students relaxing outside of the School
The School is in a beautiful part of Bristol, overlooking a huge park called the Downs. We sometimes take advantage of our close proximity to the Downs during the summer term, practising fight and dance routines, or voice or singing classes! Dan Hall, BA Professional Acting student