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3 A-Level equivalent course Average grade Distinction

WELCOME.

Welcome to our Professional Acting Extended Diploma in partnership with The Cherwell School. 

Our course, now in its 3rd year, and always oversubscribed, draws on the richness and rigour of drama school training, and it is the first step to becoming a professional actor. It has been recreated for Oxford with our partners Pegasus Theatre and it represents a unique offer for post 16 students; bringing the highest quality of training to the broadest possible spectrum of young people.

The Oxford course sits as part of a family of boosamtsuma acting courses. This year students leaving our courses have gained places on accredited UK drama school and musical theatre courses including Trinity Laban, Manchester School of Theatre, Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, ALRA, Italia Conti, Drama Studio London, Arts Ed, Mountview, Fourth Monkey, Rose Bruford and LAMDA. 

Now, we are delighted to announce the first of our own degree programmes; the new BA (Hons) Acting for Screen. This conservatoire-style course has been developed with Acting for Film and TV BFA at Pace University, New York and with our patron, actor Charlie Cox. It is run in partnership with Bath Spa University and with the prestigious Bottle Yard Film and TV Studios and is dedicated entirely to the discipline of screen acting, and designed to offer the highest quality cutting edge actor training. 

We look forward to seeing you at one of our open events soon.

KEN PALMER. Oxford Course Leader

Extended Diploma

PROFESSIONAL ACTING. 

The first step on the road to becoming a professional actor.

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  • Experience a drama school ethos and approach with a minimum of 21 hours of teaching time a week.

  • Learn approaches to professional acting taught by working industry professionals.

  • Prepare for drama school or further training with high levels of individual coaching.

Our aim has been to create a drama school for 16-18 year olds with a professional ethos and rigorous approach.

The course prepares you to think as a professional actor and equips you with the skills to progress to drama school and into the industry. You are taught by expert staff and you benefit from the wide professional networks that those staff bring. The core of the course is the acting class which runs over the two years and takes you through the approaches of Stanislavski, Michael Chekhov, Uta Hagen and Meisner. Staff support you to develop a personal acting process, using techniques from all the approaches. Voice and movement classes support the development of your acting instrument and specialised units, such as Acting for TV and Comedy, develop your skills. The course works towards productions in year 2. These are professionally staged with high production values and you collaborate with working directors, designers and production staff. 

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PROGRAMME STRUCTURE.

YEAR ONE

 

Throughout the first year you’ll have Acting class in which you explore the core acting system of Stanislavski. During the class you work on scenes from contemporary plays, building your skills in script analysis, understanding the building blocks of character and exploring truthful character in action. You also make an in-depth study of the acting exercises developed by Uta Hagen. Uta Hagen was one of the great acting teachers of the 20th Century and her seminal book Respect for Acting is a handbook for the course.

Alongside acting you take voice and movement classes each week to develop your skills. In voice you explore the techniques that underpin strong vocal support, use of breath, articulation and resonance. You learn how to employ a wide range of vocal dynamics to voice character and to be able to project in a variety of theatre spaces. Movement class focuses on training the body as an actor’s instrument. You study Laban and the system of analysing and developing technical movement language and the relationship between space and dynamics. This system helps the actor create characters with strong physical lives.

In year 1 you also take units in:

 

  • Rehearsal Skills in which you work on scenes for performance, learning how to rehearse professionally, apply a variety of rehearsal techniques and develop your own approach to preparation.

  • Acting for Camera in which you work on contemporary TV and film scenes. The objectives of the unit are to learn the basic techniques of “revealing” rather than “playing”, develop skills in preparing for a scene and learning the technical skills required of the process, such as marks, playing for a variety of shots and continuity.

  • Audition Preparation that will help you select audition pieces and understand the techniques of auditioning, in preparation for drama school and university auditions you do in your second year.

 

The year culminates with a public production of a piece of ensemble theatre for young people and provides you with the opportunity to put all the skills you have learned in year one into practice.

YEAR TWO

 

Acting class continues with a detailed exploration of Meisner technique and an introduction to the approach of Michael Chekov. The emphasis is on building a tool box of approaches that you can use selectively to find what works for you as an individual young actor.

You'll take units in:

 

  • Comedy. You are introduced to the basic techniques of comedy drama and apply them to two contrasting styles of comedy scene. Texts are chosen from genres including comedy of manners and French farce to contemporary dark comedy, social comedy and satire.

  • Physical Theatre. You explore the work of practitioners such as Lecoq, Frantic Assembly and Pina Bausch and create an ensemble piece of physical theatre.

  • Shakespeare and Jacobean theatre. This unit introduces you to the way an actor unlocks and communicates complex text.

Throughout year 2 you have individual tutorials to work on your audition pieces for drama school and university acting courses. The highlight of the second year are the productions staged in February and July.

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boomsatsuma was the best choice I ever made. I couldn't have chosen anywhere more professional or nurturing to spend the last two years, and I will forever be grateful to the whole team.

 

LILY STILES

Extended Diploma FAQs.

What kind of qualification will i achieve?

Our Extended Diploma qualification is a RSL Level 3 Course in Creative and Performing Arts and is a full-time 2 year course. RSL are one of the leading awarding bodies offering specialist qualifications in the creative arts.

Who quality assures the qualification?

At boomsatsuma we are responsible for over 500 learners in 10 centres and we have our own robust quality assurance procedures. Our course is run in partnership with The Cherwell School, students are on roll as Cherwell students and the school monitor our standards. We are subject to Ofsted inspection as is the case with very other Post 16 course.

Can a Level 3 Diploma get me into university?

Absolutely. Extended Diplomas are awarded the same UCAS points as A-Levels, and are welcomed by universities. Different courses have different requirements, however, so we would always recommend students do their own research to check the entry requirements of courses they may want to follow. It is important to note that the qualification is considered a passport to a wide range of performing arts, media and humanities subjects at many universities and choosing this course does not close down your university options.

Is the course approved by the Department for Education?

Yes. The qualification number for the RSL suite of courses is: 601/8617/3 and it can be found in the DfE Performance Tables.

Does the course equip me to get into drama school?

Yes. Though entry to drama school is exceptionally competitive, the course has been designed to give you the best possible chance of successfully applying and being prepared for a drama school training.

Does the course attract UCAS points?

Yes. The qualification is awarded as one of 4 single grades - Pass, Merit, Distinction and Distinction*. If you achieve a Distinction* the qualification has 168 UCAS tariff points or 3 A-Levels at A* grade. A Merit has 96 UCAS tariff points or 3 A-Levels at C grade.

What if I change my mind and don’t wan’t to progress with acting?

In some cases we may be able to negotiate a move down to a smaller qualification taken over 1 year. However, you are entitled to 3 years post 16 funding so if you were to leave the course at the end of year 1 you could still sign up to a full 2-year programme at another institution.

APPLICATION.

To submit your application, please click here

 

You will then be invited to an audition. We will send you a selection of audition pieces to choose from (or you can choose your own). Depending on the result, you may be asked to attend a recall audition.

Though experience of dance, drama or expressive arts are advantageous in giving you a sense of what’s involved, we are more interested in raw talent and welcome your application even if you have had little or no experience.

ASSESSMENT.

The course is a practical one. There is some written assignment work but much of the evidence is filmed and evaluation is conducted through filmed interview. We describe the course as consisting of 80% practical and 20% written work. There are no examinations. You are assessed continually through an assignment for each unit. On successful completion of the course, you will be awarded an overall Distinction*, Distinction, Merit or Pass grade.

COURSE COSTS.

The programme is fully funded for students ages 16-18 at the start of their course. Students will be eligible to apply for a discretionary bursary. Auditions are also free of charge but students will be expected to contribute to the cost of theatre trips by way of a £120 a year trips charge, which pays for around 10 trips.

 

TYPICAL OFFER.

You will need to be on track to get at least five GCSE grades 4-9 including Maths and English or BTEC Level 2 Diplomas (at Merit or Distinction). In exceptional cases we can take students who don’t have GCSE English or Maths at grade 4 or above and we can provide tuition in those qualifications alongside the course.

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This isn’t just your classroom, this is Pegasus Theatre. With a fully equipped theatre and 133 seat auditorium, dance studio with sprung floor, which is also used as a studio theatre, a workshop for designing and building sets, props and costumes, music tech studio, dressing rooms, green room and public cafe, Pegasus Theatre is one of the best places in the city to study Professional Acting.

Pegasus Theatre has over 50 years of experience working with young people, sparking creativity and imagination from all backgrounds, empowering them and giving them a voice. They do this through an exemplary programme of creative learning, participation and training, at the heart of a professional theatre producing and presenting inspirational drama, dance and music.

Pegasus are experts in the development and incubation of theatre companies and artists - a seedbed for new talent. This support has helped develop the early careers of individuals and companies that have gone on to influence the British and international theatre scene (eg: Complicite, The Right Size, Peepolykus & Tavaziva).

TEACHING STAFF.

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Ken Palmer.

Oxford Course Leader

Born in Plymouth, Ken Palmer grew up with a passion for astronomy and science before stepping in at late notice in a school production of The Importance of being Earnest and, much to his parents bemusement, switching his studies to the Arts. After leaving Birmingham University with a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts, Ken, helped set up a theatre company based in the Midlands; directing and acting in numerous plays including The Caretaker, Death of a Salesman, Equus and Edward Bond’s Saved. After studying English at Oxford, he has spent much of the last thirty years working both in secondary schools and in higher education; teaching Drama, English and Media Studies along with directing over thirty plays and musicals.In the late 90’s Ken trained to be Psychotherapist and has practices in both London and Oxford.

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Sam Bridges.

Leader of Acting Diploma Courses

Sam is a teacher specialising in theatre. He trained in musical theatre at The BRIT School of Performing Arts and then in Devised Theatre Acting at Bretton Hall. Sam has been working as a specialist leader in education for drama for the Cabot Learning Federation and as a teacher of drama for 9 years. His directing credits include A Letter To Lacey at the National Theatre, YOLO at The Bristol Old Vic, Alice by Heart at Latitude Festival and Welcome to the Jungle at the Tobacco Factory. He regularly writes and directs work to tour to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and around local venues. He has worked in collaboration with Frantic Assembly, Bassline Circus, Cartoon Network and Circomedia.

Jhon%20mcCraw_edited.jpg

John McCraw.

Acting Tutor

John McCraw trained as an actor at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and worked as a performer for 13 years in theatre, TV, radio and voiceover, including stints with Hull Truck Theatre, Polka Theatre and Live Theatre in Newcastle. He is now a theatre practitioner, writing and delivering education programmes for children and young people with a range of leading organisations such as The National Theatre, Pegasus, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, Primary Shakespeare Company and Polka Theatre. He currently specialises in devised productions with young people and directing Shakespeare with young companies.

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Edda Sharpe.

Voice Tutor

Edda Sharpe is a specialist voice and dialect coach. Her skills are employed on numerous professional theatre productions at the highest level, for the RSC, the West End, and internationally. She is also in great demand as a voice and body language coach delivering high level communication skills training to the business sector. Edda is known for her mastery of text, her ability to make the apparently complex simple and accessible, and her excellent rapport skills, all of which she combines with her expertise as a dialect coach. Through her career she has developed a deep understanding of how to bridge the needs of the actor, the director, the text and the production. She is Head of Voice and Dialect at the Shaw Festival Theatre in Canada and has worked on over 70 productions there over the past ten years. She was Head of Voice at E15 Acting School from 1997-2001, and was the principal dialect teacher on the MA Voice Studies course at Central School of Speech and Drama for eight years. Edda has also provided acting coaching and training for Lamda, e15, Guildford, Arts Educational and Mountview theatre schools, as well as the University of Minnesota. Edda’s ground breaking first book, How To Do Accents (co-written with Jan Haydn Rowles) was published by Oberon Press in Oct 2007 and is a National Theatre best seller. Edda is also an accredited NLP Practitioner, currently embarking on her Masters.

Emma%20Webb_edited.jpg

Emma Webb.

Movement Tutor

Emma Webb works as a director, movement director and performer. She has recently worked with Red Dog Theatre, toured the UK as a performer with physical theatre company Justice in Motion, directed a show for care homes with Living the Drama and is currently in preparation for directing Human Story Theatre and a project with Pegasus Theatre. She is also devising a new show with mime/clown/ movement company Splintered Itinerary. She trained in dance at De Montford University, was a freelancing practitioner and teacher for 20 years before completing a masters at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in Movement Directing and Teaching. Emma creates work with all realms of the community with her company Tangled Webb. She is a highly experienced teacher and workshop leader.

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Anna Tollput.

Acting Tutor

Anna trained as an actress at Webber Douglass Academy and did a year long course in Theatre Directing at the St Petersburg Academy of Dramatic Art. She has performed in productions at the National Theatre, West End, Derby Playhouse, Nottingham Playhouse, Northampton Royal and Derngate, Minack Theatre, Finborough and Polka Theatre as well as touring nationally and internationally with Chipping Norton Theatre, English Touring Opera, TNT and Tour de Force Theatre Companies. She has developed work for Hamp-stead Theatre, Royal Court, Unicorn Theatre, Belfast Lyric and Manchester Royal Exchange. She was a member of Jet Theatre, has had major roles in several feature films and appears regularly in guest roles on TV. As a director, work includes operas Monteverdi’s Flying Circus and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme for Armonico Consort (both new librettos by Kit Hesketh-Harvey), Blunderbuss for Chipping Norton Theatre, Alice in Wonderland and Dazzling Medusa for Polka Theatre, Slug! for Human Behaviour, The Web for Cherwell Theatre Company and Citizenship for NT Connections (Oxford Playhouse).

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Kevin Tomlinson.

Physical Theatre & Clowning Tutor

Kevin is the Artistic Director of KEPOW! Theatre Company. He has directed over 40 plays professionally, including three plays for the British Council in Singapore and won the 1994 Rose Bruford Trust Directors Award. Before this, his play Who? won the Sunday Times Playwright Award and he was the Writer-in-Residence at the Northampton Royal Theatre for two years. As an actor, Kevin has performed all over the world and worked at many of Britain’s most established theatres. For six years, he was a regular contributor to the work of the National Theatre in London and before this, he taught more than a thousand workshops all over the world; in 10 countries on 4 continents. In the UK, he has taught at: the London Actors Centre, National Youth Theatre, National Student Drama Festival and countless UK drama schools (Arts Ed, Oxford School of Drama, Mountview, Central, Webber
Douglas, LAMDA).

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Abi Hood.

Audition Tutor

Abi trained at the Oxford School of Drama, having studied for a Drama Degree at Middlesex University. She has appeared on ITV in the hit crime series The Bill, as the guest lead role and in The Things I See for the BBC. Her theatre work includes: That Face (Royal Court), The Snow Queen (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Spiral (Park Theatre, London) Faultlines (Union Theatre), Dangling (Southwark Playhouse, London), Weapons of Happiness (Finborough Theatre), The Bomb (Dukes Theatre, Lancaster), The Lesson Before Break (Theatre 503), True Love Waits (Latitude Festival) and Gerda in the Oxford Pegasus Theatre Christmas show, The Snow Queen. She has also collaborated on a number of projects with ‘Tangled Feet’ including ‘Home’. Abigail is currently touring the UK with Kepow Theatre Company, performing in Seven Ages alongside Kevin Tomlinson.

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Stuart Wood.

boomsatsuma Director of Acting Courses

Stuart has developed and directed the new version of Mahabharata by Nitin Sawhney, commissioned and produced by Sadler’s Wells for its London theatre and a UK tour. Other work includes a major revival of A Taste of Honey for a Number 1 National UK tour, The Shadow of a Gunman, Bulgakov’s Adam and Eve at the Gate, London, Falling Prey and Terrible Beauty at the Old Red Lion, The Emperor Jones and Passengers at Offstage. He also directed a national tour of A Christmas Carol, a European tour of Evita and productions of Noel Coward’s Star Quality at Richmond Theatre and Long Island Sound at Theatre Royal Windsor.

He directed the premiere of Paul Emelion’s hit musical When Harry Met Barry at the Venue in London’s off West End which the Evening Standard called the best new musical of the year. He became one of the go-to directors for developing new musicals, directing workshop productions of Dinner at Eight and Scheherazade, Only You Can Save Mankind and Tom Jones. He directed the Berlin production of the new musical The Lord of The Rings.

He directed the UK premiere of Ionesco’s Journeys Among the Dead at Riverside Studios in collaboration with the author and then returned there to direct a highly successful version of the Leonard Bernstein musical Candide. At Pittsburgh public Theater he directed The Winter’s Tale and for Los Angeles Theater Center, The Revengers’ Tragedy.

He has directed over 100 productions for the country’s leading drama schools including Central School, Rose Bruford College, East 15,The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, The Royal Academy of Music, Webber Douglas Academy and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

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Renata Allen.

Director and Acting Tutor

Renata is a freelance theatre practitioner and teacher. She is a published playwright, professional theatre director and former Director of Drama and Theatre Studies at Kingston Grammar School and St Dunstan’s College, London. Since 2012 Renata has worked with Bristol Old Vic, Bath Theatre Royal, Pegasus Theatre, The Old Fire Station and Oxford Playhouse on a number of professional projects with young people and adults. As co-director of Oxford Playmaker she has been working with writers and young people developing their skills as playwrights and leading workshops in Drama. She has directed plays professionally at various regional theatres and also created large scale community productions. For Corpus Christi college she co-directed a promenade production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It in May 2017. Her plays for children include The Magic Story Book, which won the TMA Regional Theatre Award for Best Production for Children and Young People. Recent professional productions for children include Three Bears for The Story Museum, Oxford (2016/17) and Good Clown Bad Clown which played at The Bristol Old Vic Studio (2012/13).

TEACHING STAFF.

Ken%20Palmer%202021_edited.jpg

Ken Palmer.

Oxford Course Leader

Born in Plymouth, Ken Palmer grew up with a passion for astronomy and science before stepping in at late notice in a school production of The Importance of being Earnest and, much to his parents bemusement, switching his studies to the Arts. After leaving Birmingham University with a degree in Drama and Theatre Arts, Ken, helped set up a theatre company based in the Midlands; directing and acting in numerous plays including The Caretaker, Death of a Salesman, Equus and Edward Bond’s Saved. After studying English at Oxford, he has spent much of the last thirty years working both in secondary schools and in higher education; teaching Drama, English and Media Studies along with directing over thirty plays and musicals.In the late 90’s Ken trained to be Psychotherapist and has practices in both London and Oxford.

Sam%20Bridges_edited.jpg

Sam Bridges.

Leader of Acting Diploma Courses

Sam is a teacher specialising in theatre. He trained in musical theatre at The BRIT School of Performing Arts and then in Devised Theatre Acting at Bretton Hall. Sam has been working as a specialist leader in education for drama for the Cabot Learning Federation and as a teacher of drama for 9 years. His directing credits include A Letter To Lacey at the National Theatre, YOLO at The Bristol Old Vic, Alice by Heart at Latitude Festival and Welcome to the Jungle at the Tobacco Factory. He regularly writes and directs work to tour to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival and around local venues. He has worked in collaboration with Frantic Assembly, Bassline Circus, Cartoon Network and Circomedia.

Jhon%20mcCraw_edited.jpg

John McCraw.

Acting Tutor

John McCraw trained as an actor at Webber Douglas Academy of Dramatic Art and worked as a performer for 13 years in theatre, TV, radio and voiceover, including stints with Hull Truck Theatre, Polka Theatre and Live Theatre in Newcastle. He is now a theatre practitioner, writing and delivering education programmes for children and young people with a range of leading organisations such as The National Theatre, Pegasus, Mousetrap Theatre Projects, Primary Shakespeare Company and Polka Theatre. He currently specialises in devised productions with young people and directing Shakespeare with young companies.

Edda%20Sharpe%20B%26W_edited.jpg

Edda Sharpe.

Voice Tutor

Edda Sharpe is a specialist voice and dialect coach. Her skills are employed on numerous professional theatre productions at the highest level, for the RSC, the West End, and internationally. She is also in great demand as a voice and body language coach delivering high level communication skills training to the business sector. Edda is known for her mastery of text, her ability to make the apparently complex simple and accessible, and her excellent rapport skills, all of which she combines with her expertise as a dialect coach. Through her career she has developed a deep understanding of how to bridge the needs of the actor, the director, the text and the production. She is Head of Voice and Dialect at the Shaw Festival Theatre in Canada and has worked on over 70 productions there over the past ten years. She was Head of Voice at E15 Acting School from 1997-2001, and was the principal dialect teacher on the MA Voice Studies course at Central School of Speech and Drama for eight years. Edda has also provided acting coaching and training for Lamda, e15, Guildford, Arts Educational and Mountview theatre schools, as well as the University of Minnesota. Edda’s ground breaking first book, How To Do Accents (co-written with Jan Haydn Rowles) was published by Oberon Press in Oct 2007 and is a National Theatre best seller. Edda is also an accredited NLP Practitioner, currently embarking on her Masters.

Emma%20Webb_edited.jpg

Emma Webb.

Movement Tutor

Emma Webb works as a director, movement director and performer. She has recently worked with Red Dog Theatre, toured the UK as a performer with physical theatre company Justice in Motion, directed a show for care homes with Living the Drama and is currently in preparation for directing Human Story Theatre and a project with Pegasus Theatre. She is also devising a new show with mime/clown/ movement company Splintered Itinerary. She trained in dance at De Montford University, was a freelancing practitioner and teacher for 20 years before completing a masters at Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in Movement Directing and Teaching. Emma creates work with all realms of the community with her company Tangled Webb. She is a highly experienced teacher and workshop leader.

Anna%20Tolputt_edited.jpg

Anna Tollput.

Acting Tutor

Anna trained as an actress at Webber Douglass Academy and did a year long course in Theatre Directing at the St Petersburg Academy of Dramatic Art. She has performed in productions at the National Theatre, West End, Derby Playhouse, Nottingham Playhouse, Northampton Royal and Derngate, Minack Theatre, Finborough and Polka Theatre as well as touring nationally and internationally with Chipping Norton Theatre, English Touring Opera, TNT and Tour de Force Theatre Companies. She has developed work for Hamp-stead Theatre, Royal Court, Unicorn Theatre, Belfast Lyric and Manchester Royal Exchange. She was a member of Jet Theatre, has had major roles in several feature films and appears regularly in guest roles on TV. As a director, work includes operas Monteverdi’s Flying Circus and Le Bourgeois Gentilhomme for Armonico Consort (both new librettos by Kit Hesketh-Harvey), Blunderbuss for Chipping Norton Theatre, Alice in Wonderland and Dazzling Medusa for Polka Theatre, Slug! for Human Behaviour, The Web for Cherwell Theatre Company and Citizenship for NT Connections (Oxford Playhouse).

Kevin%20Tomlinson%202018_edited.jpg

Kevin Tomlinson.

Physical Theatre & Clowning Tutor

Kevin is the Artistic Director of KEPOW! Theatre Company. He has directed over 40 plays professionally, including three plays for the British Council in Singapore and won the 1994 Rose Bruford Trust Directors Award. Before this, his play Who? won the Sunday Times Playwright Award and he was the Writer-in-Residence at the Northampton Royal Theatre for two years. As an actor, Kevin has performed all over the world and worked at many of Britain’s most established theatres. For six years, he was a regular contributor to the work of the National Theatre in London and before this, he taught more than a thousand workshops all over the world; in 10 countries on 4 continents. In the UK, he has taught at: the London Actors Centre, National Youth Theatre, National Student Drama Festival and countless UK drama schools (Arts Ed, Oxford School of Drama, Mountview, Central, Webber
Douglas, LAMDA).

AbigailHoodBW%20(1)_edited.jpg

Abi Hood.

Audition Tutor

Abi trained at the Oxford School of Drama, having studied for a Drama Degree at Middlesex University. She has appeared on ITV in the hit crime series The Bill, as the guest lead role and in The Things I See for the BBC. Her theatre work includes: That Face (Royal Court), The Snow Queen (Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough), Spiral (Park Theatre, London) Faultlines (Union Theatre), Dangling (Southwark Playhouse, London), Weapons of Happiness (Finborough Theatre), The Bomb (Dukes Theatre, Lancaster), The Lesson Before Break (Theatre 503), True Love Waits (Latitude Festival) and Gerda in the Oxford Pegasus Theatre Christmas show, The Snow Queen. She has also collaborated on a number of projects with ‘Tangled Feet’ including ‘Home’. Abigail is currently touring the UK with Kepow Theatre Company, performing in Seven Ages alongside Kevin Tomlinson.

StuartWood_edited.jpg

Stuart Wood.

boomsatsuma Director of Acting Courses

Stuart developed and directed the new version of Mahabharata by Nitin Sawhney, commissioned and produced by Sadler’s Wells for its London theatre and a UK tour. Other work includes a major revival of A Taste of Honey for a Number 1 National UK tour, The Shadow of a Gunman, Bulgakov’s Adam and Eve at the Gate, London, Falling Prey and Terrible Beauty at the Old Red Lion, The Emperor Jones and Passengers at Offstage. He also directed a national tour of A Christmas Carol, a European tour of Evita and productions of Noel Coward’s Star Quality at Richmond Theatre and Long Island Sound at Theatre Royal Windsor.

He directed the premiere of Paul Emelion’s hit musical When Harry Met Barry at the Venue in London’s off West End which the Evening Standard called the best new musical of the year. He became one of the go-to directors for developing new musicals, directing workshop productions of Dinner at Eight and Scheherazade, Only You Can Save Mankind and Tom Jones. He directed the Berlin production of the new musical The Lord of The Rings.

He directed the UK premiere of Ionesco’s Journeys Among the Dead at Riverside Studios in collaboration with the author and then returned there to direct a highly successful version of the Leonard Bernstein musical Candide. At Pittsburgh public Theater he directed The Winter’s Tale and for Los Angeles Theater Center, The Revengers’ Tragedy.

He has directed over 100 productions for the country’s leading drama schools including Central School, Rose Bruford College, East 15,The Royal Welsh College of Music and Drama, The Royal Academy of Music, Webber Douglas Academy and Bristol Old Vic Theatre School.

Renata_edited.jpg

Renata Allen.

Director and Acting Tutor

Renata is a freelance theatre practitioner and teacher. She is a published playwright, professional theatre director and former Director of Drama and Theatre Studies at Kingston Grammar School and St Dunstan’s College, London. Since 2012 Renata has worked with Bristol Old Vic, Bath Theatre Royal, Pegasus Theatre, The Old Fire Station and Oxford Playhouse on a number of professional projects with young people and adults. As co-director of Oxford Playmaker she has been working with writers and young people developing their skills as playwrights and leading workshops in Drama. She has directed plays professionally at various regional theatres and also created large scale community productions. For Corpus Christi college she co-directed a promenade production of Shakespeare’s As You Like It in May 2017. Her plays for children include The Magic Story Book, which won the TMA Regional Theatre Award for Best Production for Children and Young People. Recent professional productions for children include Three Bears for The Story Museum, Oxford (2016/17) and Good Clown Bad Clown which played at The Bristol Old Vic Studio (2012/13).

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John Retallack.

Guest Acting Tutor

John was formerly Director of Oxford Stage Company (1989-1999) and also the founding Director of Actors Touring Company (1977-1985). From 2000-2010, he was the founding director of Company of Angels which produced new writing for young audiences. John is an Associate Artist at Bristol Old Vic, where he worked from 2010-2013. John has written twelve theatre plays including Wild Girl (2014), Truant (2013), Arlo (2010), Risk (2007), Virgins (2008), Ballroom (2004) and Hannah and Hanna (2001). His plays have been translated into several languages and are published by Oberon and Methuen. His works have been awarded a number of prizes including two coveted SWET awards, and he has toured and worked in many countries including Europe, India, Japan and America. He teaches playwriting for the Oxford University and for the Oxford Playhouse Playmaker Programme. He currently has writing commissions from UK Arts International and BBC Radio 4. John also runs his own playwriting course in Oxford: www.oxfordplaywriting.co.uk.