Reigate College is fortunate to have a fantastic Dramatic Arts building, with its own superb studio and dance studio, in addition to a suite of dedicated Performing Arts practice rooms and classrooms.
Students perform in a variety of productions throughout the year. Recent productions have included ‘Chicago’, ‘Sweet Charity’, ‘Legally Blonde’ and ‘Heathers’. These performances give students an insight into working in the industry as well as practical hands-on experience. The department has excellent links with drama schools and professional practitioners who come in on a regular basis to work with students.
Students benefit from regular trips to the theatre, with recent trips including ‘Sweeney Todd’, ‘The Shark is Broken’ and ‘Cinderella’.
Many students go on to study Performing Arts at universities and drama schools or work in the industry (e.g. Disney, cruises, touring theatre).
Take a look at some students’ recent performances in the Performing Arts Photo Gallery.
The BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate is a one A Level equivalent, two year course.
The College offers three, one A Level equivalent courses in Performing Arts. These are:
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Performing Arts (Acting)
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Performing Arts (Musical Theatre)
- BTEC Level 3 Extended Certificate in Dance
Due to the overlap in content for each of these Performing Arts courses, students can only take one of them. i.e. If picking one of these courses they should combine it with two other (non Perf Arts) A Level (or equivalent) courses).
If you are particularly keen on Performing Arts and would like to do more than the equivalent of one A Level in it, please see the BTEC Level 3 Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (Acting, Movement and Musical Theatre). The Extended Diploma is the equivalent of three A Levels.
Students often complement their Performing Arts course with subjects such as English Literature or English Language and Literature, Media, Film and Business. Studying Performing Arts often helps students build their confidence and improve their presentation skills.
BTEC qualifications are valued in Higher Education and by employers. Students could consider progression routes into the following areas:
- Performing Arts degree at university
- Drama School
- Performance Design and Management
- Careers in Musical Theatre, Dance, Music entertainment, Singing and Performance
- Performance support, arts administration, workshop leadership and support
Depending on a student’s other Advanced Level courses, they could also consider working in Drama Therapy, Speech Therapy, Occupational Therapy, Teaching, Journalism, Advertising, Marketing or Travel and Tourism.
These are practical, work-related courses, requiring imagination, sensitivity and the ability to get on well with others. Students will learn by completing projects and assignments that are based on realistic workplace situations, activities and demands.
Performing Arts students have the opportunity to take part in a variety of course related experiences. In the last couple of years, these have included:
- A Q&A session with West End practitioners
- London Olympia Perform Live – a specialist trade show for anyone looking for a future in Acting, Singing, Performing Arts, Stage Management and Technical Theatre
- Theatre visits including the Globe and West End productions
- Workshops and sessions with GSA (Guildford School of Acting), PPA (Performance Preparation Academy)
- Taking part in a variety of College Productions: Sweet Charity, Cabaret, Chicago, Hairspray, Ghost and Sweeney Todd (See the Final Showcase programme)
- Links with ‘Audition Ready App’
In addition to course specific experiences, students also have the opportunity to get involved in the College’s Activities Programme.
All students need to gain an experience of the work place during their time at College and for students studying vocational courses it should ideally be linked to one of their subject areas.
This course allows students to develop skills in Performance, Acting, Voice and Movement. Students will develop a broad range of performance skills that will be incorporated in a final production.
There is a coursework element, including actor’s logbook, interviews, research and publicity.
Towards the end of the course students will plan a possible route into employment either immediately or after further study.
The exam board for this BTEC is Pearson BTEC.
All students need to have at least five GCSEs at Grade 4 or above (and a satisfactory school reference) in order to be accepted on an A Level/BTEC Level 3 Programme.
In addition, students should meet the following minimum GCSE requirement:
- Grade 4 in English Language or English Literature
A Merit or above in BTEC Level 2 Performing Arts will also be considered. Students without at least a Grade 4 in GCSE Drama will be required to demonstrate their ability at interview and some students will be required to audition.
A typical Performing Arts student is lively, ambitious, hardworking and expressive. It is vital that they are willing to perform in public, work with others, solve problems, plan their own learning, and communicate effectively through speaking. Students should also be able to use information technology for research and for drafting and writing coursework.
What skills do you need for the Performing Arts course?
- Performance Skills (Acting, Dancing, Singing)
- Self-Publicity skills
- Resilience and ability to withstand criticism
- Positive response to direction
What are the differences between the Acting and Musical Theatre courses?
The Acting course focuses on acting techniques including scripted work, devising and improvisation. There is no singing or dancing on the Acting course, however we will explore vocal work and movement in relation to contemporary demands on the actor. Areas we focus on include: Shakespeare, Brecht, Stanislavski and Community Theatre.
Musical Theatre is the study of Broadway and West End shows, and the practitioners studied, range from Andrew Lloyd Webber to Sondheim and Bernstein. There are elements of vocal chorus technique and ensemble dance. In recent years we have explored and performed extracts of Heathers, We Will Rock You and Sweeney Todd.
What type of student should choose the Extended Diploma in Performing Arts (3 A Level equivalent) or Diploma in Performing Arts (2 A Level equivalent) courses?
Students who chose to spend the majority, or all, of their time in the Performing Arts department will probably have their minds set on continuing with Performing Arts at university or drama school and/or pursuing a career in this sector.
To do either the Diploma or Extended Diploma, students will need to be interested in all three aspects of performance: Acting, Singing and Dancing. Naturally all students will have strengths and weaknesses in different areas, but they must be willing to engage in all aspects of the course.
The ability to work well as part of a group is absolutely vital.
What kind of courses do students go on to?
Our students go on to a huge variety of performance courses after they finish College. The department has an excellent reputation with Higher Education establishments. Recent destinations have included the Guildford School of Acting, Barcelona Institute of the Arts, Italia Conti and PPA, and prestigious universities such as Exeter, Chichester and Bournemouth.
What is the average class size?
The normal class size is 16 students. Our courses are hugely popular, but we recognise the need to keep class sizes to a reasonable level, in order for individuals to reach their maximum potential.
What will the audition involve?
You’ll be invited to an audition workshop lasting approximately 90 minutes. During this time, you’ll explore and perform small extracts of repertoire covering all three disciplines of acting, movement and vocal work. You’ll also use the lines you’ve been sent to learn in short improvisation exercises.
What kit should I wear for the audition? You should wear some loose-fitting clothes that allow you to run/turn, in addition to appropriate footwear such as trainers.