Acting Foundation Course Belfast

  • Acting Foundation Course Belfast
  • Acting Foundation Course Belfast
  • Acting Foundation Course Belfast
  • Acting Foundation Course Belfast
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About this course


6 months (20 weeks)

Term Start

September 2020

Entry Requirements

Applications are welcomed from those 18+ (at the start of the course). You will be required to attend an audition before being accepted on the course. Interviews can also be also arranged via Skype and video submission for international applicants. Candidates should be motivated, enthusiastic and engaged with learning about acting.

Applicants will be asked to prepare and learn two contrasting speeches (Contemporary and Classical) of no more than 2 minutes in length each.

The Foundation Course in Acting provides a rigorous and in-depth training that will give you the skills, techniques and confidence invaluable either as a preparation for further vocational training, higher education (Degree or MA/MFA) or for a career in the performing Arts.

The course is designed to support your development as an actor in training, auditioning and future practice in a way that is rigorous and professional. It will also develop you physically, vocally and imaginatively whilst encouraging an independent and in-depth approach to your work. We arrange a number of theatre visits and workshops as well as audition panels with outside theatre and casting directors. Students get help to build their actors portfolio of songs and speeches as well as getting one to one vocal coaching.

Student Support
Each student has a personal tutor and is expected to keep a Personal Development Journal that is reviewed in 1-1 tutorials each term. You will also be given support and advice regarding applications for further study and the world of work. Foundation actors will have tutorials each term with the course leader to review progress and get feedback. The responsibility for your learning lies with you and therefore self-reflection is a critical part of the course helping you increase your personal impact and manage stress.

Students will be taught a limber which they will be required to do each morning to strengthen and build flexibility and improve fitness.

Classes include; acting (studying Stanislavski and Meisner), performance/audition technique, movement, ensemble, voice, text study, sight-reading, Shakespeare and singing.

There are two full time rehearsal projects during the course; Term 1 contemporary scene study and Term 2 Shakespeare, as well as weekly masterclasses with outside professional directors and theatre companies. Highly experienced tutors from our performance B.A courses as well as professional practitioners deliver the course.

Masterclasses include; Building your audition portfolio, Grotowski, physical theatre, audition technique, Augusto Boal, acting through song, Uta Hagen, acting for camera, clowning, stage fighting and unarmed combat, Alexander Technique, musicality (all masterclasses are subject to change)

Why choose this course?

  • Intensive 20 week acting course atThe Mac Belfast
  • ‚Äč4 days per week
  • Train with experienced acting staff and visiting directors
  • Ideal preparation for further vocational study at Drama school (BA and MA)
  • 2 x £3000 bursaries available (subject to conditions)
  • £500 discount for early payment

Employability & Industry

What can I do when I graduate?

At the end of the programme you will be prepared to study on either BA/MA/MFA courses. Graduates on the Foundation Course have also successfully found professional employment and agent representation in both the UK, EU and USA.

Students from the course have been offered places on both our BA and MA courses, whilst others have been offered places or had final round auditions at; Central, East 15, RADA, Drama Centre, Italia Conti, LAMDA, Royal Welsh, Mountview, Guildford, Drama Studio, Guildhall, The American Academy of Dramatic Art and Stanford University.


“The course has given me the opportunity to grow as a person and a performer in such a supportive and safe environment. It has opened my eyes to how much I don’t know as well as do and the courage to pursue acting as a lifelong learning process”
Leah Gayer

“I feel I have a foundation actor’s toolkit now…the classes at Bruford and all the teachers have been absolutely incredible. We have learnt so much and grown so much as people as well as actors”
Emelia Marshall Lovesey

You will be taught by a team of experienced industry experts and practitioners.

Fee and Application Information

How to Apply

 Please click here to apply.

2020 Audition Dates for Applicants

Below are our Belfast audition dates for reference. You must apply for the course first before you can attend an audition. 

The MAC Belfast (2-5pm)
Saturday 15 February 2020
Friday 20 March 2020
Saturday 2 May 2020
Saturday 4 July 2020

Contact for further information.

International Applicants
Please e-mail


2020 Fees

Please note that this course is not eligible for Student Finance England (SFE) funding.

2020 entry course fee: 
You will also be required to pay a £25 audition fee for this course.

Early bird discount
A £500 discount is available for early payment of full fees.

2 half bursaries of £3,000 each will be awarded to students on the course, subject to conditions. More details about the bursary application process will be sent upon application to the course. 

We will advise you about the various options available to you.

Course content

TERM 1: The Actor and Foundation Skills (September to December)

 The first term provides a foundation to support both training and future practice in a way that is spontaneous, imaginative and disciplined. Through a series of practical classes and workshops students will work towards release from physical and vocal habits that prevent them from communicating effectively as an actor. We introduce basic Stanislavskian principles through practical exercises that ask students initially to engage imaginatively and responsively without reference to a text. Towards the end of the term specific texts will be introduced which lead to a three week scene study rehearsal process using contemporary playwrights. Students will engage in a detailed interrogation of the text, which will culminate in a workshop performance in one of our studios. Focus of Term one is - self discovery, play, introducing skills and resilience

TERM 2: The Actor and the Audience (January to March)

 The second term will focus on complex text, exploring it through a variety of exercises all designed to focus on reading the play, understanding of its cultural context, exploration of text and character, as the demands of the text require students to move further from themselves. The second term aims to move further from notions of self towards notions of character and role and engage with Shakespearean texts and encouraging an independent and holistic approach to work. There will be regular audition panels with outside directors and will be supported by ongoing classes. Focus of Term Two is – building skills, text, portfolio and next steps.

Overview of Weekly Classes

Your voice is an important tool as an actor and its care and development is a life-long pursuit.   During the course will investigate elements of the vocal progression characteristic of conservatoire and drama school voice training. You will be introduced to the fundamentals of release, alignment, breath, resonance, articulation, and text.  This will serve as a good basis on which to build your self-awareness, improve your vocal technique and to develop your expectations and curiosity for further voice training.

Acting classes in term 1 will introduce basic Stanislavskian principles through practical ‘Studio’ exercises that ask students initially to engage imaginatively and responsively without reference to a text. We will focus on the key actors questions as well as ‘physical actions’ and ‘given circumstances’. We also introduce students to Meisner exercises exploring ‘impulse’ and ‘acting in imaginary circumstances’. Towards the end of the term we will start to apply these ideas to specific contemporary texts, which will lead to a full time, scene study project. In term two we introduce working on a character, looking at; status, objects and endowment, as well as working on the actor’s approach to classical texts. Towards the end of term two you will start a three-week rehearsal period on a Shakespeare play, which is performed in one of our studios.

The first term will explore the singing voice through ensemble work, harmony and improvisation, developing aural skills and building confidence. There will be an overview of the physiology of the voice and an introduction to vocal exercises and warm-ups, addressing postural and vocal habits.

The second term focuses upon individual songs and technique both in class and one-to-one sessions, working towards a suitable audition portfolio. Students are encouraged to research new material and create their own personal vocal warm-up. There will be regular opportunities in class to perform new songs, and regular audition panels with outside directors.

Movement and Ensemble
The focus of the movement work is on self-awareness, physical freedom and an understanding of the body as the physical instrument of the actor.

Through games, movement analysis, and improvisation, the movement classes explore; the essence of presence, anatomy and the alexander technique and expressive movement, including neutral mask work. Awareness of the body in relation to space, rhythm, tension, articulation of the body and release as well as Physical Theatre. The work will focus on the importance of the availability and authenticity of the performer and building the ensemble as well as the creative self.

Audition Preparation and Performance Practice
Students will work on audition speeches, songs and scenes, both classical and contemporary, in preparation for auditioning for either drama school, University or practice for future professional work. These classes focus on choosing and presenting speeches, building a comprehensive audition portfolio as well as professional development. We help students become confident and adept at managing themselves professionally and in written communications, on-line and at audition. We offer classes in increasing personal impact and audition technique as well as providing mock panel auditions in front of both acting staff and professional theatre and casting directors. All students’ receive comprehensive written and verbal feedback throughout the course.

Related Information

Staff Team (as at 28 August 2019)
Vicky Blades (Co-ordinator)
Pat O'Toole (PPD)
Liam Halligan (Acting)
Joe Devlin (Acting)
Maria Tecce Voice)
Allison Harding (PPD)
Jennifer Rooney (Movement)
Matthew Reeve (Singing/Voice)
Sandy Cuthbert (Movement)
Joe Devlin (Improvisation/Devising)
Ian Mccraken (Fight Masterclass)


Venue Address
The Mac Belfast
10 Exchange Street West,

We also run this course in:



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2019/2020 Term Dates

Registration induction 6 Sept

1st Term: 9 Sept – 29 Nov

Half Term: 21 Oct – 25 Oct

2nd Term: 6 Jan – 13 March

Certificates released: 12 March

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