East 15 Acting School’s BA Acting and Community Theatre course is a professional route into the world of community-focused theatre practice in which artists create theatre for, with, and about the communities in which they live.
In an intensely practical, professionally oriented environment, a broad range of acting, performance and community facilitation skills are developed through local projects and in partnership with leading industry organisations.
You will work extensively with communities and professionals throughout your training, making for a seamless transition to a professional career in this field.
If you believe that theatre is for all and you want to use the power of drama to influence the world, our BA Acting and Community Theatre is for you!
This course is taught at our vibrant and modern Southend Campus. With its lively, state-of-the-art facilities and close-knit international community, Southend is the perfect environment for living and learning.
View more undergraduate courses from East 15 Acting School, including further Actor training programs as well as behind the scenes courses in Creative Producing and Stage & Production Management.
Our expert staff
Our training is by professionals and for professionals, allowing our graduates to work successfully across the globe.
Our international, outstanding teaching faculty is made up of professionals from all areas of live and recorded performance.
Learn more about our staff here.
Our Southend Campus is based in the heart of Southend-on-Sea. A vibrant and modern British seaside town with excellent transport links.
Famous for its beach resort and pier, Southend-on-Sea stretches along seven miles of award-winning coastline. There are also over 650 acres of parks and gardens, a fun park, leisure centres, pubs, clubs, cafés and restaurants.
Southend Central railway station is opposite our Campus and the journey to central London takes less than an hour. Southend Airport, with flights to many European and UK destinations is just three miles away. We are also just one hour away from London’s Stansted Airport.
Our Gateway Building houses a purpose-built suite specifically for East 15 students. This includes fully equipped, state-of-the art rehearsal studios with panoramic views across Southend-on-Sea, plus seminar rooms, computer labs and media production resources including an Apple Mac edit suite for our BA Creative Producing (Theatre & Short Film) students.
A magnificent Victorian former church in the heart of Southend’s conservation area was converted into East 15’s Clifftown Theatre. It also houses a variety of unique spaces for rehearsals, technical and practical work and performances. The church nave, with its original organ and stained glass windows now provides an inspirational and atmospheric environment, re-designed to accommodate the needs of a twenty-first century performance space.
In ‘The Forum’ building, students have round the clock, secure access to the Learning Hub, which provides innovative IT and study spaces. The Forum also houses an integrated public and academic library, carrying books and other support materials. Students in Southend also have access to the East 15 Loughton Campus library and the University’s Colchester Campus library.
Outside of learning, the Students’ Union at our Southend Campus provides a dedicated space for students to meet, have a coffee, relax and watch films or sport. It runs a wide variety of entertainment throughout the term, such as international nights and open mic nights.
Graduates of the BA Acting and Community Theatre course work as actors, project leaders, directors, comedians and producers worldwide. Several companies formed by graduates are now well established, respected and funded in an increasingly competitive industry, with some employing recent graduates upon completion of their training.
- Intensive acting training by leading UK and international faculty.
- Theatre making and creating skills.
- Professional industry community placement during study.
We offer dynamic and unique courses for actors, directors, producers, technical theatre specialists and students of theatre practice. Training at East 15 draws upon 50 years of tradition combined with a keen sense of the world of stage and screen today.
Our carefully selected modules will give you the chance to explore and develop your specialist training.
Teaching and learning disclaimer
Following the impact of the pandemic, we made changes to our teaching and assessment to ensure our current students could continue with their studies uninterrupted and safely. These changes included courses being taught through blended delivery, normally including some face-to-face teaching, online provision, or a combination of both across the year.
The teaching and assessment methods listed show what is currently approved for 2022 entry; changes may be necessary if, by the beginning of this course, we need to adapt the way we’re delivering them due to the external environment, and to allow you to continue to receive the best education possible safely and seamlessly.
Your first year focuses on introductory acting, voice, articulation, singing and movement. You explore individual creativity, self and responsiveness to other actors, as well as developing observational skills and improvisation, applied research and learning how to engage and collaborate with a range of different community groups. In addition you will:
- Create individual character study through text analysis into scene study, verbatim and Shakespeare
- Learn to re-create through reflection, research and improvisation
- Participate productively in shared group experience and larger community based projects
Your first year culminates in a unique ‘Living History Project’, in which you study, understand and live the lives of others through a period of historical conflict.
Your second year provides key practical and public experience. This includes working in partnership with practicing professionals to create documentary theatre based on real lives, devise and tour participatory performances, perform object theatre and understand and perform Forum theatre. You will also:
- Collaborate with young people to make new dramatic works
- Create and edit your own videos
- Develop workshop facilitation and leadership skills
- Learn clowning, puppetry and circus skills
- Forge professional links in the community theatre industry by undertaking an internship with an established theatre company
- Apply workshop facilitation skills in community host organisations
You will also gain a thorough understanding of developing a theatre project from conception to delivery through devising, managing and performing in the annual ‘Southend Street Theatre Festival’
Your third year involves extensive work with communities and professionals to help you make a seamless transition into professional life. Projects include:
- Facilitating theatre projects within areas such as health, social services and the justice system
- Political theatre and organising a site-specific performance
- An opportunity to extend your music skills in a cabaret
You will also apply production, marketing and evaluation skills to create your own, devised community play.
The year culminates with an Industry Showcase for an invited audience of influential agents, casting directors, theatre companies, and film, TV and theatre directors. East 15 continually liaises with industry professionals to ensure the format for the event accords with the changing landscape of the industry.