SCHOOLS OF ACTINGCategory: Theatre
There are many schools of acting available and open to you. But the best of them will accept you only after a test. You will be asked to do your piece. If you pass and are allowed to study, then the usefulness of the term to you will depend mainly on yourself. The choice of the school is difficult. The methods of teaching vary so much, and the ideas of one establishment may suit you better than those of another.
The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art is the most prominent and successful of all schools of acting. It has, like other public institutions, experienced attacks. Does this Academy, questioned one writer, really do any good? Are not the students, who usually pay “fees” for a period of four terms, actually wasting their time? What proportion of the students reappears on the professional stage? Does the R. A. D. A. encourage amateurishness? And so on.
These queries are easily replied to. More students of the R. A. D. A. are represented prominently on the active stage of today than come from all the other sources of supply put together. The proportion of professional actors and actresses drawn from the ranks of the R. A. D. A. is a very large one.
The R. A. D. A. definitely discourages incompetent stage- strucks, and the circumstance that no fewer than forty-eight applicants have been rejected in three terms at the entrance tests, and that no fewer than thirty-three applicants for the Leverhulme Scholarships have also been -rejected during two terms, must be taken as ample proof of the severity of the tests applied by the management.
Can any one justly demand that a training school for young players must, in order to justify its existence, convert all its students into first-class performers? We have only to turn to the triumphant and lengthy list of highly successful artists who owe their early stage education to the R. A. D. A., and equally owe their first engagements to the facilities afforded them by their public appearances as students, to realise immediately how graceless and unfair is the imputation of uselessness levelled against the R. A. D. A. and its directors. [...]
Do not, however, imagine that the only school of acting is the R. A. D. A. You may for one reason or another find yourself unable to comply with the R. A. D. A. requirements, or you may not pass its preliminary examination. The classes may be full. You may prefer a different sort of training. Several first-class alternatives are open to you.
The Central School of Speech Training and Dramatic Art provides a first-class staff of experts in every department. They aim at securing perfect enunciation and admirable delivery of both verse and prose. No defective speaking is ever heard from any of the certificated students of this School, which specialises in the correct utterance of English.
There are dramatic classes arranged in connexion with the Royal Academy of Music. One of the best and most individual of schools is the Webber-Douglas in Kensington.
There are also the Old Vic Dramatic School and the Embassy School of Acting at Swiss Cottage.
(From Acting for the Stage by S. W. Carroll)