Part-time actor training programme for theatre and screen

Our part-time actor training programme for theatre and screen offers a vocational and in-depth training that will give you the experience, techniques and confidence, invaluable either as preparation for drama school or to forge a career in the performing arts.


This unique programme is designed to give you the competitive edge in a challenging and evolving industry, providing you with an array of essential tools to help you become a creative and adaptable performer.


The programme has been developed by experienced practitioners including Actors, Directors, Theatre Makers and Film Makers, to create dynamic and bold performers, who are risk-takers, collaborators and entrepreneurs.


The programme is highly practical and you will train weekly, honing your instincts as an Actor. You will also receive ongoing training through our regular masterclasses in acting, voice and movement from our team of industry professionals and achieve an Equity recognised Stage Combat qualification from the APC. This course will also provide you with a professionally filmed and edited showreel.

“When I was growing up in Swindon, I came through the traditional drama route, which is great, but the training at the Shoebox Theatre gives young actors alternative ways of developing skills, which is really, really exciting!” 

Billie Piper


Course features

  • Work and train at the same time. Our part-time actor training programme, offers the freedom to continue training around your employment or other study commitments.

  • Highest quality training from industry professionals. Develop career skills, audition techniques and performance skills.

  • 10 month course, September to July.

  • Weekly Actor training sessions.

  • Monthly intensive masterclasses covering a wide variety of disciplines including motion capture, voice work, puppetry, theatre and screen skills. 

  • Three Equity recognised APC Basic Exam qualifications.

  • Professionally filmed and edited showreel footage.

Who should apply?

Our part-time actor training programme is for students aged 18+ who are serious about a career in the performing arts and/or wish to audition for Drama School or University.


The acting industry is increasingly reliant on versatile performers and theatre makers. During this course you will work on your core acting skills, with a focus on acting from impulse.  We want to help you stand-out by helping you find a truthful performance in every moment. Students should be self-motivated, disciplined and able to work creatively and collaboratively with others.

If you are planning on auditioning for drama school, you will also have the option to supplement with additional 1-2-1 support throughout your audition process. We will help you with choosing the right drama school for you, selecting speeches, audition preparation, personal statements.

We have an excellent track record for nurturing the careers of actors and have most recently seen students successfully audition for Drama Schools such as East 15, Central School of Speech and Drama, Rose Bruford, Fourth Monkey and Drama Studio, as well as Universities.


Course structure and fees

Classes take place weekly over three terms.​

  • Weekly classes every Tuesday – 7.30pm – 9.30pm

  • Full day intensive masterclasses the first Saturday of every month

  • Termly 3 day intensive stage combat training and practical combat APC exams

  • Acting for Camera and Showreel, 6 day Intensive (June/July)

The total course fee is £1,600


A deposit of £200 should be paid on acceptance of your place on the course to secure your place. The remaining fee may then be paid in full on starting the course, or in agreed instalments throughout the year.

Full scholarships funded by the John Lewis Partnership are available to students aged 18-25, who live local to Swindon and the surrounding areas. Awards are made to individuals on the basis of their talent, potential and personal financial need and can be applied for after a successful audition. Find out more here.

Apply now for 2022

For our course starting at the end of September 2022, we are holding our auditions digitally rather than face-to-face.


To apply for an audition, please complete and submit our application form and we will then send you an email confirming the next steps.

Auditions are held  throughout the year. Our next round of auditions are in June 2022. Please submit your application form before 5pm, Sunday 12th of June to apply. 

We are a 'zero audition fee school' so there are no fees to audition for this training programme.



Workshops are delivered at the Shoebox Theatre - our purpose built, fully equipped studio located in Swindon’s historic railway village.

With numerous public car parks nearby and only a 10 minutes walk from the Swindon train and bus stations, access is a breeze wherever you’re coming from.

Swindon is conveniently located on the M4 and is easily commutable  from Oxford, Bath, Bristol, Winchester, Reading, Cheltenham and Gloucester.