Musical theatre

3 years diploma in professional musical theatre

Qualification | Diploma

Course Leader | Andrew Waldron

Validated by | Trinity College London

Location | Woking

Course Length | 3 Years, Full-Time

Start Date | September 2024

COURSE OVERVIEW

The Level 6 Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre at Italia Conti, is a three-year, full time vocational course, for anyone aged 16+ wishing to become a professional Musical Theatre performer

The Level 6 Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre is awarded by Trinity College London and regulated by Ofqual. It is Level 6 on the Regulated Qualifications Framework.

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COURSE SUMMARY

Studying the Professional Diploma Musical Theatre course at Italia Conti will fully prepare students for musical theatre performance, developing their practice and thinking in an integrated way. Through training in acting, singing and dance, students will have what it takes to become a Musical Theatre artist of the future.

There are two new pathways through the Level 6 Trinity Diploma: Musical Theatre Triple Threat and Musical Theatre Dance Performance. At the point of recall audition and offer students are advised of the pathway they are being considered for. Students study the same course, with the same assessment components and projects and performances. However, the curriculum is tailored to suit the skillset of the performer.

  • On the Dance Performance Pathway students receive more technical dance training to support their dance development in Year 1 and Year 2
  • On the Triple Threat Pathway students receive a more equal training across the three core disciplines in Year 1 and Year 2

Training to be a professional performer in Musical Theatre requires many things:

  • Dedication and determination​
  • Skills in Acting, Singing and Dancing
  • The ability to think, to research, to analyse and to critique your own work
  • Bravery: emotional and physical

Training to be a professional Musical Theatre performer is one of the most exciting and rewarding journeys that students will ever take and we believe that there is nowhere better to take it, than here at Italia Conti.

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.

Italia Conti has a proven track record of nurturing talent at the very highest level; Italia Conti graduates can be seen on stage and screen in the UK and internationally. We have graduates working in the West End and on Broadway in musicals and in plays, in national and international tours, in cabarets and on cruise ships. We have graduates working in Film and in Television. We have produced some of the UK’s top recording artists – solo artists and band members.

COURSE STRUCTURE

The course covers the key disciplines required for aspiring musical theatre performers, with various modes of assessment through the three years of training.

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 triple threat skills of the separate disciplines in unison. Year 1 focuses upon traditional musical theatre material and stimuli to appreciate historical performance contexts and lyrical and traditional singing, acting and dance styles.

The work covered is concerned with the acquisition of core technical skills in Acting, Singing, Dance and Voice and provide the foundation for their training as a Musical Theatre Performer. These core skills are brought together in the Musical Theatre Performance Practice workshops where students will learn to apply the skills they have learnt holistically in a musical theatre performance, with equal emphasis placed on all three.

In Dance, students study ballet, jazz, tap, contemporary and commercial dance styles. In Singing, students study ensemble singing, repertoire studies, acting through song, musicianship and singing technique. In Acting, students study improvisation, acting skills and practitioners, scene study, and voice and text. Musical Theatre workshops focus upon ensemble song and dance performance, ensemble character development, featured performances and musical theatre duets.

All students attend a weekly guest workshop with an industry guest tutor from choreographers, directors and musical directors through to current professional performers, dance captains, resident creatives, script writers and dramaturgs, and much more!

Within Contextual Practice, students explore health and safety as an emerging performer in theatre. This focuses on areas such as safe practice in class, injury prevention and overall positive health and well-being. Lessons are also used to contextualise the landscape of musical theatre and materials covered in other classes.

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 three 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 including the swing project, contemporary British play project and the abridged book musical project.

Within Contextual Practice, students explore the history of musical theatre. This focuses on the development of musical theatre as a social and politic influence, as well as recognising the chronologic evolution of theatrical trends. Lessons are also used to contextualise the landscape of musical theatre and materials covered in other classes.

Guest workshops also appear in Level 5 to ensure students continue to meet with current industry practitioners, performers and creatives.

Year 3 (Level 6)

In Year 3 the students’ focus shifts to three main areas: Professional Performance, Professional Preparation and Employability, and Professional Technical Skills.

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

Students will perform in two fully staged book musicals, and an Industry Showcase. Students finish the year with final skills assessments in Singing, Acting and Dance.

Professional Preparation and Employability workshops will hone audition technique in the three 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.

Within Contextual Practice, student engage with two main focuses:

  • Employability Skills and Professional Practice
  • Research and Reflection

Employability skills and professional practice will hone audition technique in the three 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.

Research and Reflection promotes the reflective practitioner and draws upon learning acquired across the first two year of training and placing this into a professional capacity. Students will reflect on their engagement with productions, research into characters and contexts for shows performed in, and reflect upon their training as a whole and the progress they have made.

Students will continue training in Acting, Singing and Dance 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

Tuition Fees | £15990 per academic year, (paid in advanced termly instalments)
Trinity College Fee | £220 – £250 (paid per annum, set by Trinity College London)
Audition Fee | £45 (non-refundable)
Deposit | £275

Terms & Conditions

Terms and conditions apply upon acceptance to Italia Conti.

Funding

The Diploma course offers the following funding options:

  • DaDA
  • Advanced Learner Loan
  • 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.

  • im a professional dancer but have taught only ballet. These classes are EXACTLY what I was looking for to show some basics of contemp for my students !! Absolutely love every single Video

    - @ginamusaelyan2307 – ICV
  • I’ve watched a lot of your videos and I love every single one that she teaches. THANK YOU. Gorgeous movement.

    - @debbied3464 – ICV
  • Amazing class, one of the best I’ve ever done. So easy to follow, thank you!

    - @yellowbeachgirl – ICV
  • I’m a dancer in LA and can’t keep up with my peers on how often they take dance classes. This channel has been so helpful for me to keep up my training. Thank you for sharing this with the world. I feel like we are all dancing together even though we are all doing this at different times and in different spaces. 🖤

    - @SarahPaceSings – ICV
  • Best ballet teacher on the internet Great explanation, enthusiasm and commentary throughout the exercise!

    - @annajones6805 – ICV
  • Thank you! It’s such a blessing to be able to access these exercises for free at home. I really truly appreciate it. Beautiful work from both in the video here

    - @hebeallworthy952 – ICV
  • 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

ENTRY REQUIREMENTS

ENTRY TO DIPLOMA IN PROFESSIONAL MUSICAL THEATRE REQUIRES THE FOLLOWING:

  • 16+ by the 31st August in the year of entry​.
  • 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 attend one of our audition days where you will be required to demonstrate a variety of skills. Information about auditions can be found below.

APPLICATION

Application to the Diploma in Professional Musical Theatre course can be made using our online application form.

Applicants must complete the form and pay the audition fee (£45) in order to be considered for the course. Upon receiving your application we will contact you with your audition date.

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, the Italia Conti reserves the right to alter or withdraw offers at any point.

AUDITION CRITERIA

FIRST ROUND – ONLINE 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 one speech, no longer than one and a half minutes in length, from a Contemporary British Play written after 1990.

  • Ensure your speech is from a published play; it should not be an extract from a poem, novel, film or television script
  • Please choose a character close to your own age
  • Please perform your speech in your native accent
  • You may choose a speech from any gender
  • 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 or live-online audition responding to direction.

SINGING AUDITION

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

  • Please ensure that song is cut to one and a half minutes in length
  • 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.

DANCE AUDITION

Please record yourself performing the following Kicks and Pirouette combination & Jump combination exercises as taught on the video.

SOLO DANCE AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare one dance piece in your preferred style, no longer than one minute. This should showcase your strengths and highlight any special skills.

Required dress:

Please wear tight fitting clothing to allow the panel to see your movement fully.


RECALL AUDITION – LIVE

Recall auditions will take place at our Woking campus.

ACTING AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare an additional speech that is contrasting to their first audition piece. Both pieces will be seen at recall. This second speech could be contemporary (after 1990) or classical. Again, this speech should be no longer than one and a half minutes:

  • Ensure your speech is from a published play; it should not be an extract from a poem, novel, film or television script
  • Please choose a character close to your own age
  • Please perform your speech in your native accent
  • You may choose a speech from any gender
  • Auditionees should wear comfortable fitted rehearsal wear that best represents you and/or helps with your characterisation

SINGING AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare two musical theatre songs, each cut to 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, Cole Porter, Irving Berlin.

  1. 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 ensure that song is cut to one and a half minutes in length
  • 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.

DANCE AUDITION

Auditionees should prepare one dance piece in your preferred style, no longer than one minute. This should showcase your strengths and highlight any special skills.

Required dress:
Please wear tight fitting clothing to allow the panel to see your movement fully.

INTERVIEW

During the day you will be invited for a short interview with a member of the Senior Leadership/Course Management team.

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Career Prospects

Industry links

Regular workshop sessions are held to give students the opportunity to work with directors, choreographers and industry professionals whilst training. Second and third year students also have to opportunity to join the Italia Conti Agency and undertake professional work should the opportunity arise. During the 3rd year students take part in their final Showcase whereby agents are invited, and Italia Conti has connections with many of these.

Progression

Italia Conti offer’s a 1 year Top Up Degree for Diploma students.

 

Alumnx & graduate success

With over 107 years of Italia Conti history, our graduates populate the performance industries and include many famous faces. Recent graduates can be seen working on prestigious productions in all areas of the industry.

3 years diploma in professional musical theatre

Qualification | Diploma

Course Leader | Andrew Waldron

Validated by | Trinity College London

Location | Woking

Course Length | 3 Years, Full-Time

Start Date | September 2024

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