Foundation Course (Acting)

Want a career in Acting but can’t put aside three years for an Advanced Diploma?

An intensive year of acting study through performance

With our Foundation Course in Acting, we’ll give you practical training in all aspects of stage and screen acting with an intensive one-year part-time program (twelve hours per week) conducted through rehearsal and performance.

As one of Australia’s most successful theatre schools, we know that practical experience through production-based training is the best way to learn and harness long-term skills in acting, voice, movement, improvisation and stagecraft. It’s what will provide the real-world skills you need to work in the industry.

Plus, you’ll also perform on-stage in front of a live audience in two separate plays, each directed by a different director / teacher to broaden your experience and put your skills literally ‘into play’.

Since 2005, hundreds of students have successfully graduated from this exciting course and have gone on to secure agents and perform professionally.

Apply Now for the 2016 Foundation Course Intake



The program is a unique concept for actor training in Australia. The course is production-based, meaning that students learn primarily by rehearsing and performing in front of an audience. This is the best and most effective way of laying the foundations for a professional acting career.


  • Develop high-level skills in acting; voice; movement and improvisation
  • Gain a practical understanding of the skills required to pursue a professional acting career
  • Work along side like-minded individuals in a fun, supportive and creative environment
  • Network with industry professionals
  • Perform in two full productions directed by high-profile directors


The course is underpinned with relevant theoretical concepts and supplemented by specialist exercises when required. The process gives students the opportunity to learn by experience and to develop professional knowledge, skills, values and attitudes that are required for employment in the theatre and entertainment industry. Students accepted onto the course begin rehearsing the first production almost immediately, and perform in front of public audiences at the end of Terms 1 and 3 (Term 2 is dedicated to screen acting and there is no public performance).

Course Structure

The course is delivered part-time (12 hours per week) over one year and is divided into three twelve-week terms. There is a two-week break between each term. The dates and times for 2016 are as follows:


  • Term 1: 1st February – 23rd April 2016
  • Term 2: 9th May – 30th July 2016
  • Term 3: 15th August – 5th November 2016


  • Monday and Wednesday from 6.30pm to 9.30pm PLUS Saturdays from 10.00am to 5.00pm

Course content


Term 1: Devised Theatre Performance

This unit is about devising work for performance as part of an ensemble. Students will examine ways of responding to a brief or to a stimulus and developing ideas into a performance piece. Students will be encouraged to use performance and acting skills acquired during rehearsals and to apply them to the context of producing group-created original work. A one-act play created by the group will be performed to a public audience in Week 12.

Term 2: Screen Acting

This module develops the skills required to act to camera. Learners will be introduced to the particular requirements of performing in a film and television context and the skills requirements of performing to camera. This unit requires learners to perform to camera and will use practical exercises to enable learners to develop their camera performance technique. Scenes from Australian and international television and film scripts will be used in rehearsal and performance. Learners will be familiarised basic production techniques and health and safety aspects. Learners will be encouraged to read, view and listen to a broad range of texts, screenplays and television and film performances for analysis of genre, approaches to acting and audience demands.

Term 3: Contemporary Theatre Performance

This unit is about the application of acting techniques to contemporary theatre texts. Students will be able to adapt and develop their acting skills using styles appropriate for plays written post 1950. A one-act contemporary play will be performed to a public audience in Week 12.



This unit is about the process and skill of acting. In this unit students will develop the technical and interpretive skills necessary to work as an actor. It will enable students to use exercises and techniques that can be applied in a range of vocational contexts as an actor. The rehearsals will mostly be teacher-led and directed, although from the early stages students will be made aware that there is a great deal of individual preparation work that an actor has to undertake outside the rehearsal room.


This unit is about using the voice as a performing instrument. Students will develop the skills required to enhance their vocal technique and to use the voice more efficiently in performance. The unit will establish good practice regarding the care and use of the voice via a regular programme of exercises, from which students derive their theory. Care will be taken to combine voice and movement work during warm-ups, so that the body becomes an instrument and sounding board for the voice.


This unit is about developing movement skills as a performer. It is about how to use the body as an expressive instrument. The learning activities in this unit are largely practical and will allow students to develop confidence in the performance of a range of physical activities and styles. Students will be encouraged to apply physical skills in all aspects of their performance work and the integrated nature of this work should be recognised and developed.


This unit is about using improvisation skills in theatre. Students will develop improvisational skills that can then be used in the acting and / or devising process. The unit will use practical workshop classes to develop students’ improvisational skills. These will mostly be teacher-led and structured, although the exploratory nature of the activities allows for a high degree of flexibility and creative variation from any set pattern.

The exercises and activities designed to develop skills in the above areas are integrated into the rehearsal period of each production. This ensures all learning opportunities are made relevant and put into immediate context.


Each production is directed by a highly experienced and qualified teacher / director. The director is different for each term. Productions are staged over several nights in the final week of term, in front of a public audience.

Course Requirements


Candidates should ideally have had some (basic) acting experience prior to entering the course, HOWEVER THIS IS NOT ESSENTIAL. There is no audition required, however you must attend an interview with the Course Director prior to enrolment to ensure the course is suited to your needs.


We are looking for people who are enthusiastic, flexible and self-disciplined. The intensive nature of the course requires a mature, positive attitude and willingness to learn. The performing arts industry is very demanding and highly competitive. With this in mind, Sydney Theatre School requires that each student takes full responsibility for their own progress and development. It requires a full commitment in all aspects of the course including attendance, punctuality, participation, preparation and performance.

How To Apply


  • Fill in the online application form (disregard the audition instructions) or
  • Download a Student Information Pack here. pdf_icon

    Sign and return the application via email ( or post back to:

    Sydney Theatre School
    PO Box 267
    GLEBE NSW 2037

NOTE: All applicants will be required to attend an interview with the Course Director prior to enrolment. We will contact you by phone or email to arrange a suitable date and time.



NON-REFUNDABLE DEPOSIT: $1,000 (inc. GST) payable within 7 days of offer of place (ie after attending an interview).

BALANCE OF FEES: 10 x monthly payments of $550 (inc. GST)*


*Please Note: A 10% discount ($650) will apply if total annual fees are paid in full prior to enrollment. Once the course has started there is no refund in the event of a student’s withdrawal (voluntary or otherwise) and all remaining monthly fee installments must be paid (subject to our Terms of Trade conditions).

**VET Fee-Help is NOT available for this training program as it is a non-accredited program.

Total tuition hours = 432 (144 hours per term x 3) which equals just $15 per hour!

Take your first step towards a succesful career in acting with an accredited course from Sydney Theatre School!