Choosing an Acting School – Why Production-Based Training is Essential

Mark Matthews Advice

There are many important factors to consider when choosing a drama/acting school. One of the most important is whether there are opportunities for students to perform in full-length productions (or not).

Unlike some acting & drama schools in Sydney, our students regularly perform in full-length productions (not just short scenes or excerpts from plays) in front of paying audiences in our own on-campus performance space. All productions are directed by industry professionals with many years of experience (see teachers biog page for full details) who also regularly work for major independent and professional theatre companies in Sydney and around the country.

The STS full-time course production schedule is as follows:

SEMESTER 1: Text-based and Devised Scenes

SEMESTER 2: Group-Devised Production

SEMESTER 3: Australian Play (published or commissioned)

SEMESTER 4: Shakespeare Production

SEMESTER 5: Musical Theatre or Classical Production

SEMESTER 6: Contemporary Production/s plus Industry/Agents Showcase Performance

These production opportunities give students the opportunity to apply the skills; knowledge; values and attitudes gained in class in a practical, real-world environment that replicates a professional workplace as much as possible. Only doing class-work or scene-work does not provide the actor with an opportunity experience the full journey or ‘arc’ of the character in performance.

When choosing an acting school (full-time or part-time) make sure you fully research the program and find out what the performance and production philosophy entails to ensure you receive a well-rounded and fully-comprehensive learning experience.