Musical theatre

BA (HONS) Acting (Musical Theatre)

Qualification | Degree

Course Leader | Dan Fulham / Bradley Hawkins

Validated by | Pending Validation

Location | Woking

Course Length | 3 Years, Full-Time

Start Date | September 2024

COURSE OVERVIEW

At Italia Conti, we believe in providing a well-rounded training that helps students develop their skills as actors. Much of our course is devoted to vocal and physical training, as well as exploring a range of techniques for creating and developing character. Our focus is on helping students work responsively within the space. 

This unique course is co-taught by our fantastic BA Hons Acting and BA Hons Musical Theatre specialist teams; an exciting combination that is not found in other drama schools. 

As part of the BA (Hons) Acting (Musical Theatre) course, we encourage students to be truthful to the purpose of the work, to celebrate and utilise themselves as individuals in the work, and to continue learning and experimenting with new techniques and creative ideas through the work. We offer a wide range of ideas and training methods, so that each student can construct a personal “tool box” of techniques that work best for them. Our goal is to produce versatile performers who can thrive across a variety of styles and media. 


If you are interested in our BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Course, please CLICK HERE

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COURSE SUMMARY

BA (Hons) Acting (Musical Theatre), at Italia Conti, is a three-year, full-time vocational course, for anyone aged 18+ wishing to become a professional performer working across Live Theatre and Stage Productions (Musicals and Plays), Screen, and Audio in live and recorded contexts. 

Studying the BA (Hons) Acting (Musical Theatre) course at Italia Conti will fully prepare students for performance, developing their practice and thinking in an integrated way. Through training in acting, singing, voice, movement and dance, students will have what it takes to become an artist of the future.  

There is a reason why Italia Conti is one of the most recognised names in performing arts training. For over a century we have helped students to fulfil their potential as performers and to work at the very highest level in every aspect of the performing arts industry. We provide a programme of training that responds to industry needs and current teaching and learning developments. 

COURSE STRUCTURE

At Italia Conti, we believe that the best way to measure an actor’s skills is through performance, which is why we’ve designed our BA (Hons) Acting (Musical Theatre) course to be modular and performance-based. 

Our course is structured to help students progress from developing their technical skills in the first year, to refining and applying those skills in rehearsals and projects in the second year, through to performing in public productions with professional directors in the third year. Along the way, students also receive input and support in rehearsals from our skilled practitioners in voice, movement, singing, stage combat and intimacy co-ordination as needed. In the third year, students have the opportunity to further develop their individual creative voice and storytelling through a Practical Dissertation, and throughout the year, they are prepared for entry into the performing arts industry through professional preparation workshops, lectures, and talks. 

We’re committed to helping our students succeed, not just as performers, but as creative artists who bring truth and depth to their roles. 

YEAR 1 (LEVEL 4)

Students focus on the fundamentals of the core disciplines and skill integration to ensure students can begin to employ the required of the separate genres of Acting and Musical Theatre. Level 4 focuses upon traditional musical theatre material and stimuli to appreciate historical performance contexts and lyrical and traditional singing styles. 

The first year of the course also provides a solid foundation in acting principles. Students are introduced to core principles of Stanislavski’s system, as interpreted by various 20th-century and contemporary practitioners such as Uta Hagen, Michael Chekhov, Meisner, and Max Stafford-Clarke, alongside non-traditional processes including Viola Spolin, Sharrell D. Luckett, and Tia M. Shaffer. Through improvisation and text work, students develop the skills and knowledge needed to create convincing characters. 

These core skills are brought together in the Musical Theatre Performance Practice module where students will learn to apply the skills they have learnt holistically in a musical theatre performance, with equal emphasis placed on Acting, Singing and Movement.  

Contextual Practice is developed to stimulate reflection and critical thinking and facilitate the application of contextual and historical study to practical work training the emerging thinking performer. 

Typical projects in this year can include: 

  • 21st Century Play 
  • Solo Song Share 
  • Shakespeare 
  • Abridged Traditional Book Musical 

YEAR 2 (LEVEL 5)

Core technical skills classes continue, but become more advanced and more integrated. More sustained and intensive project work is introduced to the curriculum in which the core disciplines become completely interdependent. Students are required to sustain and develop character over longer and more challenging performance opportunities to begin to hone skills for professional performance practice. 

Building on the fundamentals established in the first year, students in Year 2 are introduced to non-naturalistic texts and advanced naturalistic texts. 

Typical projects in this year can include: 

  • Farce / Restoration Comedy 
  • Non-naturalism 
  • Greek 
  • Sondheim Project 
  • Musical Theatre Cabaret 
  • Abridged Contemporary Musical 

Contextual Practice is developed to stimulate reflection and critical thinking and facilitate the application of contextual and historical study to practical work training the emerging thinking performer, integrating principles of Practice-Research in theatremaking to preparation for the Independent Performance Projects in Year 3. 

YEAR 3 (LEVEL 6)

The courses draws together all previous training in preparing for a career as a well-rounded, versatile and highly employable professional Actor and Musical Theatre performer. 

Students will perform in two fully staged productions: one musical, one play, and an Industry Showcase. For their independent performance project, students will be required to create a practical piece of theatre responding to a question, theme or stimulus. 

Professional Preparation and Employability workshops will hone audition technique in the core disciplines, to ensure that, when they leave, students have all the skills necessary to embark upon a successful professional career. This also extends to preparation for all wider soft-skills and supporting areas for professional practitioners including sourcing and choosing headshots, joining and populating Spotlight, creating personal showreel performance reels and meeting with leading industry creatives, agents and casting directors to begin networking. 

Students will continue training in Acting fior Screen, Singing and Dance for Actors to support them in implementing professional skills and performance in practice. Regular classes ensure that students graduate ‘match fit’ and ready to audition and perform in professional contracts. 

Fees & funding

UK Tuition Fees | £9250 per academic year, (paid in advanced termly instalments)
Audition Fee | £45 (non-refundable)
Deposit | £275 (The deposit is refundable within 14 calendar days of the payment being received by Italia Conti but will not be refunded thereafter for non-enrolment. It will be held by the School and will be refundable on completion of the course, without interest, less any outstanding sums owed by the student to Italia Conti.)

International Students

For further information, please see our International Applications​ page.

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions apply upon acceptance to Italia Conti.

Funding

The BA (Hons) course offers the following funding options:

  • Student Finance
  • Scholarships and Bursaries
  • Private Funding

Audition Fee Waiver

Italia Conti welcomes applications for audition fee waivers for those who are eligible.

Deposit Fee Waiver

Italia Conti welcomes applications for deposit fee waivers for those who are eligible.

  • It’s fantastic. Showcases, shows, summer shows, carol concerts. It’s very full on but I don’t wake up regretting coming here. It is the best thing ever!

    - Sam Tutty – BA (Hons) Musical Theatre graduate
  • “The college provides you with a disciplined, yet family atmosphere that trains you to become the best of the best moving forwards into the performing arts industry.”

    - James Kemp – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • “Italia Conti has helped me in terms of my acting development, but also as a person and how I engage and view the world, which aids me as an actor.”

    - Henry Brackenridge – BA (Hons) Acting Graduate
  • “The building and staff inside welcome you with open arms, guide you through your training and proudly push you, prepped with the best tools for the job.”

    - Amy Johnson – BA (Hons) Acting Graduate
  • “Italia Conti allowed me to do my favorite thing, every day in a safe space amongst talented, supportive people. Being taught by skillful tutors was invaluable. The small classes ensured my voice was always heard and helped me hone my skills.”

    - Ruby Valentino – BA (Hons) Acting Graduate
  • “My training at Italia Conti has challenged, fulfilled, and broadened me as an actor and as a person. The buffet of techniques on offer will allow me to meet all challenges in any avenue.”

    - Henry Holmes – BA (Hons) Acting Graduate
  • “The influx of inspiring people flowing through the building creates an atmosphere for greatness and I am honoured to be a part of that.”

    - Posi Morakinyo – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • “I couldn’t have asked for a more understanding place to spend these crucial moments. The door is always open for us to come back ‘home’ for advice, or even for a cup of tea!”

    - Susannah White – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate
  • “Having the most supportive faculty (many of which are working professionals), who are always pushing you to be the best version of yourself has made my transition into the industry a seamless one.”

    - Awen Jones – Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre Graduate

Entry requirements

Entry to BA (Hons) musical theatre requires the following:

18+ by the 31st August in the year of entry​ (or 17+ for Scottish students). 

Level 2 English and Maths at GCSE Grade 4 or above or recognised equivalent qualifications. 

64 UCAS points or admission through recognition of non standard entry qualifications/experience: 

  • A level: CC 
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Extended Diploma: MPP 
  • Pearson BTEC Level 3 National Diploma: MM 
  • Access to HE Diploma: M = 15 credits, P = 30 credits 
  • IELTS Level 6 

Legal right to reside/study in the UK for the full period of the programme. 

Successful audition through Italia Conti, details of which can be found below. 

Evidence in hard copy of all the above must be provided. 

Audition requirements

After completing the application process, you will be invited to submit an audition tape where auditionees will be required to demonstrate a variety of skills. Successful applicants will be invited to a recall audition on site. Information about auditions can be found below. 

APPLICATION

As this is a new course, applications are submitted directly to Italia Conti by emailing admissions@italiaconti.co.uk with the title ‘NEW COURSE BA HONS ACTING (MUSICAL THEATRE)’ to request access to the application form. 

Audition fees are non-refundable. These fees act as both an administration fee for processing your application as well as a non-refundable deposit for a place on an audition day. 

In line with our admissions policy, Italia Conti reserves the right to alter or withdraw offers at any point. Places on our courses are limited; it is usual for drama schools to make more offers than there are places. Acceptances are dealt with on a first come first-served basis and so early acceptance is advised. 

AUDITION CRITERIA

FIRST ROUND – SELF TAPE RECORDED AUDITION 

First round applicants will receive the result from their audition submission within 3-4 weeks of receipt. This is to ensure that every submission deserves our full time and attention. 

ACTING AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare two speeches: 

Speech 1 – Shakespeare Speech from the list below
Speech 2 – Contemporary Speech – A piece from a modern play (1970-present day) of your choice

SHAKESPEARE AUDITION PIECES 

We require applicants to perform a Shakespeare speech from the below list and audition pack (of any gender), please note that we annually review these.

Measure for Measure – Act 2, Scene 4 – Isabella
“To whom should I complain?… And fit his mind to death, for his soul’s rest.”

Macbeth – Act 3 Scene 1 – Macbeth
“To be thus is nothing, but to be safely thus……Who’s there!”

Romeo & Juliet – Act 2 Scene 5 – Juliet
“The clock struck nine when I did send the nurse………”

Othello – Act 4 Scene 3 – Emilia
“But I do think it is their husbands’ faults…..”

Othello – Act 1 Scene 3 – Iago
“Thus do I ever make my fool……”

Othello – Act 3 Scene 3 – Othello
This fellow’s of exceeding honesty,…….”

Merchant of Venice – Act 3 Scene 2 – Portia
“You see me, Lord Bassanio, where I stand…….”

King John – Act 4 Scene 1 – Arthur
“Have you the heart? When your head did but ache………”

Julius Caesar – Act 2 Scene 1 – Portia
“Is Brutus sick? and is it physical…….. who did hide their faces Even from darkness ”

Henry IV Part 1 – Act 1 Scene 2 – Prince Hal
“I know you all, and will awhile uphold……”

Henry VI – Act 1 Scene 4 – Queen Margaret
“Brave warriors…….. may sing and dance”

King Lear – Act 1 Scene 2 – Edmund
“Thou, nature art my goddess………”

King Lear – Act 1 Scene 3 – Goneril
“By day and night he wrongs me………Prepare for dinner”

King Lear – Act 2 Scene 3 – Edgar
“I heard myself proclaim’d………”

Much Ado About Nothing – Act 2 Scene 3 – Benedick [Prose]
“This can be no trick: the conference was sadly borne… I do spy some marks of love in her”

In a minority of instances, the panel may require a further tape or live-online audition responding to direction

SINGING AUDITION 

Auditionees should prepare two songs, no longer than one and a half minutes in length, that they enjoy singing and can sing well. 

1. One Golden Age Lyrical song (c. pre-1965) 

Suggested composers/lyricists can include: Rodgers and Hammerstein, Rodgers and Hart, Cole Porter, Learner and Leowe, Leonard Bernstein, Kurt Weill, Jerome Kern, Frank Loesser, George Gershwin, Irving Berlin. 

2. One Traditional or Contemporary Musical Theatre song (c. post-1965) 

Suggested composers/lyricists can include; Stephen Schwartz, Stephen Sondheim, Andrew Lloyd Webber, Alan Menken, Boubil and Schonberg, Jason Robert Brown, Lin Manuel-Miranda, Kander and Ebb, Jule Styne, Cy Coleman, Marvin Hamlisch, Tom Kitt, Laurence O’Keefe, Jerry Bock. 

  • Please choose a song that shows your vocal and performance ability and that is suitable for your casting and voice type 
  • You may choose a song performed by a character of any gender 
  • Please avoid songs that require extreme character voices 
  • Please choose a song that demonstrates your skill in acting as well as singing 
  • Auditionees should wear comfortable, fitted rehearsal wear that best represents you and/or helps with your characterisation 

In a minority of instances panel may require a further tape responding to direction from our Head of Music & Singing 

Please ensure that the recording is a true reflection of your acoustic singing voice. Do not edit the audio or add any effects to the recording in any way. Please record the audio using the video camera device so you capture an accurate and unaltered recording of how the voice sounds in a room.


RECALL AUDITION – LIVE

Recall auditions will take place at our Woking campus.

ACTING AND SINGING RECALL AUDITION

The Acting and Singing recall audition will include: 

  • speeches/redirection 
  • songs/redirection 
  • an interview 

Applicants are encouraged to use the same songs and speeches as their first-round digital audition, but are welcome to prepare additional material which can be offered to the panel (although they may not hear these). 

  • Please ensure that songs are cut to one and a half minutes in length 
  • Please prepare clearly marked sheet music for the audition pianist 
  • Please choose a song that shows your vocal and performance ability and that is suitable for your casting and voice type 
  • You may choose a song performed by a character of any gender 
  • Please avoid songs that require extreme character voices 
  • Please choose a song that demonstrates your skill in acting as well as singing 
  • Auditionees should wear comfortable, fitted rehearsal wear that best represents you and/or helps with your characterisation 
  • In a minority of instances, the panel may ask to hear some additional vocal exercises/scales. 

FURTHER RECALL WORKSHOP AUDITION

The recall audition may also include: 

  • Improvisation, voice and movement workshops 
  • Dance for Actors workshop 

Required workshop dress

Jazz shoes or trainers that are suitable for movement calls (i.e. no Converse or similar fashion shoes that are not designed for dance). Alternatively, applicants can take part in bare feet. No loose clothing or jewellery is permitted. 

Recalls may fall after the institution’s deadline for updating applicants’ status on UCAS, which may result in being ’rejected by default’ on the UCAS system. Please note that the application will still remain live on Italia Conti’s system until the applicant’s audition/recall is complete and UCAS will be updated accordingly. 

CAREER PROSPECTS

INDUSTRY LINKS

Graduates of Italia Conti’s Acting and Musical Theatre courses populate the performing arts industry nationally and internationally where they work on Stage, Screen, and in Audio. 

On stage, our graduates have been on tour, in established regional venues, and in West End and Broadway productions. Our actors can be seen on Netflix, Amazon Prime, BBC, ITV, Channel 4, HBO, Disney, Sky, and on numerous product commercials. They can also be heard on BBC Radio 4, Audible, and many audio books and video games. Behind the scenes, our graduates have worked on some of the most prestigious film, television, and theatre projects as directors, producers, writers, and more. 

The emphasis we place on the ‘artist-actor’ throughout our training, means that graduates of the course have previously transitioned their skills to working as Writers, Directors, Producers, Casting Directors, Agents, Actor-trainers, Teachers, as well as taking up roles in production, or arts administration.