Face life's adventure without fear, till safely home where the rainbow ends.
Italia Conti, 1911
Whilst most young people choose to join The Theatre Arts School because they wish to start training for a lifelong career in 'show business', Academy staff are conscious of the need to ensure that all Theatre Arts School graduates have the widest possible range of choice available to them at 16.
Pupils study a range of academic subjects at Key Stage 3 and add GCSEs in Drama and Dance during Years 10 and 11. The GCSE pass rate is excellent with the Academy topping the local borough in the annual DFES league table of results. Whilst the majority of our pupils opt to go on to further study with the Academy, those who choose to pursue a different course find their entry facilitated by their Italia Conti experience.
Today's Italia Conti pupils will be the leaders of the entertainment industry of tomorrow. As such they must acquire the highest standard of skill in the exposition of their art and also an intuitive understanding of the basic concept of entertainment. Our pupils are 'thinking performers' whose careers can be expected to break new ground in an industry which is continually changing and forever seeking new media outlets. Pupils gain a firm grasp of traditional skills in dance, acting, singing and musical theatre in an environment where their peers exude talent and imaginative creativity. With teachers whose training, experience and understanding of the needs of the industry are second to none, this is a recipe for outstanding success.
The course content prepares the pupils for professional work by integrating the technical, theoretical and artistic concepts in performance. Whilst maintaining attendance in technical classes, pupils are expected to acquire and develop depth and style and are given the opportunity to showcase this at various venues. Guest choreographers and directors support the school faculty in opening the performers’ eyes and minds to all the possibilities that lie ahead.
GENRES OF STUDY
Students are coached in various genres within each disipline. Singing includes vocal technique, building of a reportoire, understanding of how the voice works, breathing, working as a group to develop harmony, microphone technique and the study and practise of many different genres including musical theatre, classical and rock / pop singing. Within Acting students explore acting technique, play production, scriptwork, acting for camera, improvisation, voice work, accent coaching, practitioner theories, drama, comedy and classical work, including Shakespeare. Dance training covers many different styles including Classical Ballet, Tap, Modern Theatre, Jazz, Contemporary, Commercial / Street, Hip-Hop and Partner Work. Emphasis is placed on technique, strength, flexibility, dynamic, style, artistry and performance. All skills are combined in Musical Theatre and strong focus is also placed on audition preparation.
Throughout the course pupils who achieve the necessary skill levels are encouraged to take external examinations in varying theatre disciplines with recognised outside boards. These may include dance qualifications taken with the ISTD (Imperial Society of Teachers of Dancing) in Classical Ballet, Tap and Modern Dance. Voice and Prose and Acting examinations may also be taken through LAMDA (London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts).
PERFORMING ARTS TRAINING
A career in the entertainment industry is not so much a job as a way of life which demands very special qualities in those who join it. A career where one will work with relatively small groups of people very intensively for periods which may range from a few hours for some commercial work to a couple of years for West End shows and television series requires social skills of the highest order.
To be able to cope with success and rejection with equal clarity is a very special life skill, best learned when young and in the company of others for whom the experience is 'normal'. Self belief and confidence with an accurate appreciation of one's strengths and weaknesses is an essential quality best developed by the regular setting and achievement of achievable goals by pupils.
The Theatre Arts School has high expectations of its pupils and in return our most successful pupils set themselves even higher standards. Our pupils try hard, are creative, talented and do achieve in an environment where they are supported, get real enjoyment and satisfaction from their classes and have lots of fun. Pupils have strong relationships with their peers and professional, warm and supportive relationships with their teachers. Success requires huge reserves of personal courage and pupils are encouraged to improve their own standards rather than compete with each other – we are a small school preparing for a huge industry - the competition is with those outside. Italia Conti pupils learn from each other, enjoy each other's company and laugh a lot! The Theatre Arts School is a great place to learn, to train and to grow up!
Pupils take part in a variety of performances throughout the year at various venues, including our in-house performances. Our main show takes place each year in the Summer and is usually performed in a West End theatre.
ITALIA CONTI AGENCY
Representation by the Italia Conti Agency allows pupils the chance to gain real professional experience in a huge range of productions from film to the West End. Selected pupils are given the opportunity to audition and undertake professional performing work. A number of pupils have left the school with their first career steps firmly established.
What makes Italia Conti completely unique is that our pupils can stay with us from Key Stage 3 level and work right through to degree level, with our higher education courses offered for ages 16+, all of which are highly acclaimed and continually achieve outstanding results. Year 10 and 11 pupils in particular are supported by staff in choosing the best learning pathway for their talents and skills, whether it be at Italia Conti or elsewhere. The principle and head teacher are available to speak to year 11 pupils and their parents to give advice. Year 10 and 11 pupils also have the opportunity to see our 16+ student shows during the year.