Short Courses for Adults

Acting For Contemporary Theatre – Intermediate

Key Information
  • Suitable for

    Intermediate, age 18+

  • Dates

    Monday 22 – Friday 26 July 2024

  • Tuition

    Full-time, 09:30 – 17:00

  • Location

    Downside Road, Bristol

  • Cost


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The intermediate-level Acting for Contemporary Theatre course explores the intricacies of performing modern scripts, with an emphasis on realism and authenticity in performances. You will develop your ability to analyse scripts, deliver naturalistic dialogue, explore character psychology and hone physical as well as vocal expression. You will engage in hands-on scene work from contemporary plays, with a focus on interaction with other actors and enhancing emotional depth. The course culminates in a presentation of individual scenes and an ensemble showcase.

Bristol Old Vic Theatre School offers a fun and nurturing environment in which to pursue your creative ambitions. The support and feedback available from your tutor will help you develop your natural talents and confidence in performance.

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ⓘ Book and save! Many of our short course students choose to book consecutive week-long courses to design their own unique summer programme. Book two acting courses for a 5% discount, three acting courses for a 10% discount, or all four acting courses for a 15% discount (saving £345). Find out more about Mastering Shakespeare, Acting for Camera, and Acting for Motion Capture. Discounts are applied automatically at the checkout.

Key highlights

Day 1: Skills – Text analysis (Ali de Souza)

  • Text deconstruction and analysis
  • Character development through script exploration
  • Practical exercises to engage with the script
  • Text-to-performance transition

Day 2: Skills – Refined characterisation and advanced physicality (Chris Williams)

  • Physical awareness and presence
  • Exploration of tempo and dynamics
  • Group dynamics and ensemble building
  • Character exploration through movement

Day 3: Application – Scene study (Hanna Adu-Boateng)

  • Introduction to scene study
  • Scene selection and initial readings
  • Character analysis and relationship exploration
  • Initial blocking and blocking rehearsal

Day 4: Application – Scene Study (Hanna Adu-Boateng)

  • Character deep dive
  • Scene dynamics and subtext exploration
  • Scene work and character interaction
  • Blocking refinement and emotional beats

Day 5: Application – final showcase of ensemble scenes (Hanna Adu-Boateng)

  • Final scene rehearsals.
  • Directorial feedback and guidance.
  • Showcase performance to peers, family and friends.

Your tutors

Hanna Adu-Boateng

Hanna Adu-Boateng is a director of Ghanaian descent, who has been making theatre with diverse communities within Bristol for many years.

Hanna’s work reflects her desire to explore the intersections of race, power, and gender through devised performances and contemporary texts. She has a rich history in facilitating youth and community theatre with notable companies, such as Kuumba Afrikan Caribbean Arts Ltd, Bristol Old Vic, The Egg (Theatre Royal, Bath), Calling the Shots Film Company, Acta Centre, and Travelling Light Theatre.

Hanna has directed staged readings for Missing Pieces theatre and been an acting tutor for Bristol Old Vic Theatre School. More recently, she was director/ dramaturg on an immersive digital theatre project with Trinity Arts, Tamasha and Coney Theatre companies.

Smiling headshot of Ali de Souza wearing glasses and a white shirt.

Ali de Souza

Ali joined Bristol Old Vic Theatre School as Director of Drama in spring 2023. He studied for an MA in Psychology at the University of Dundee before training as an actor at BOVTS, graduating in 1993. He also gained an MFA in Screen Practice and Directing at Queen Margaret University.

Ali has worked extensively as an actor and director in theatre and film for over thirty years with many companies including theatre babel, Brunton Theatre, Byre Theatre, Dundee Rep, Manchester Library, Perth Rep, TAG, Traverse and Visible Fictions.

He has a particular passion for Shakespeare, comedy, the Greeks, and acting for screen and radio. Prior to joining BOVTS, he was Associate Head of Acting at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Chris Williams

Chris Williams is a director, writer, actor and movement practitioner based in Bristol. He has worked and trained with acclaimed ensembles in the UK and internationally, including SITI Company, Gecko, the Suzuki Company of Toga and the Pappy Show. As an actor he has performed at the National Theatre, Bristol Old Vic, Garrick Theatre (West End), Soho Theatre, Tobacco Factory and Lyric Hammersmith Studio.

An alumnus of BOVTS, Chris also trained with the National Youth Theatre Rep Company and at the Oxford School of Drama. He now works as a visiting practitioner for BOVTS and the Bristol School of Acting, and facilitates regular training for theatre artists in the city. He also writes, directs and devises as part of the newly established experimental ensemble Bristol International Theatre Workshop.

As a student, the most important aspect of a course is putting into practice what you've been learning, and we do that constantly. I cannot recommend BOVTS enough - my showreel has never looked better! April Storm Perry, MA Screen Acting Student