It’s the land of Shakespeare, Shaw, Pinter, and, most recently, Agbaje. Why wouldn’t someone interested in the stage want to study in London?
We asked the experts at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama why American students might pass on New York or Los Angeles to head across the pond. Central has 17 different full-time undergraduate courses covering not just acting but every aspect of technical theater, theater education and writing for performance. It accepts students from all backgrounds and nationalities and actors train in a community that mimics what they will experience in the industry. (Pinter, by the way, attended Central.)
So why study in London? Think about how United Kingdom talent is showing up on U.S. television and stage, says Louise Ripley-Duggan, administrator of student recruitment marketing for Central. That’s because UK schools have a long heritage of seriousness and emphasis on intensive stage training. (Central holds international auditions throughout the winter; keep an eye on the calendar for American dates. )
But there are more reasons to study drama or other stage arts in London, say the experts at Central:
London is the theater capital of the world. There is no better place if you want to truly immerse yourself in the performing arts. Being an arts student of any kind is complemented by culture and theater on every corner.
The network is (relatively) small. As a student in London, you’ll make contact with many important figures in the industry and this will play a huge part in getting your foot in the door when you graduate.
London has a high concentration of internationally renowned drama schools, and that kind of recognition only exists because of a tradition of intensive and reliable training, whether you’re an actor or a lighting technician.
London will be a cultural adventure despite our so-called common language. (Trousers? Lorries? Flats?) There is also the sometimes challenging weather and the exchange rate (put away more than you think you need). But this is an international capital – the city attracts students and people from all over the world. This means your time will not only be filled with diverse cultural experiences, but you’ll build a global network of highly trained future leaders in the creative industries.