Actor Development Programme – FAQs

Confused? Have questions? First see if we have answered them below, but if you still have further questions or would like clarification on anything you have read here, please get in touch using the form here, or give us a ring on 01483 476 825 and we will happily answer any question you might have.

Am I eligible to apply for the Actor Development Programme?

To find out if you are eligible, click here 

How much does the Actor Development Programme cost?

The course is free to take part in, but we are unfortunately unable to provide assistance with the associated costs such as accommodation or transport to and from our base, Woking Youth Arts Centre.   We do provide support for the cost of travel when we are touring.  See below for more information about working around the course and benefit information.

What are the normal working hours?

Your core hours will be Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm.  You are expected be ready to start at 10am, the building will be open from 9.30am. Times will vary when you are on tour.  Generally, if you are in a school early in the morning you are given an earlier finish or time off later in lieu. 

Do participants get holidays?

The course is made up of three terms. Participants will have time off at Christmas and Easter, with the course finishing at the end of July.  These holidays will be roughly in line with Surrey school holidays however might vary depending on when projects happen during the year. Holidays will be confirmed at the beginning of the year and any variations to this will be discussed with the group. You will not get half term breaks.  

Where do you tour to?

We mainly tour to schools within a 1hr driving radius of our base in Woking, however we do occasionally tour or run projects further afield. For projects and tours which require an overnight stay, the cost of this will be covered by Peer Productions, and basic subsistence will be paid. For all our projects, drivers will be reimbursed for petrol and travel expenses for those using public transport will be paid for anything over and above what it costs for the participant to get to our base in Woking. 

Do you provide accommodation?

As a small charity we are not able to provide accommodation to our participants. We do however put you in touch with other members of the course who may also be moving so you can organise house shares. 

Can I get a student loan to cover costs?

As the Actor Development Programme is not a university course you cannot get a student loan to cover your costs.  However, this does mean that it does not affect your student loan status for any course you may wish to do in the future. You would also be unlikely to be eligible for a Career Development Loan. 

Are bursaries available?

We are not currently able to provide bursaries for students wishing to undertake the course.   This is something we are keen to be able to offer in the future, so please do get in touch if you know of any suitable funders for this. 

Am I eligible for any benefits?

As of October 2015, depending on your individual circumstances, you may eligible for housing benefit and receive a council tax deduction. This may change from April 2017 when the government will remove the automatic entitlement to housing support for 18-21 year olds. There will, however, be exemptions and more information on these will be available closer to the time. 

Will I get support with drama school / UCAS applications?

The team at Peer Productions is keen that all our participants develop and thrive over the course of their time with us and to this end we offer pastoral and one-to-one support to you as both an artist and an individual. Part of this is includes your future plans, whether they be as a actor, creative, technician or otherwise. We provide individual and tailored support with UCAS and drama school applications and help with speeches and audition preparation. If higher education is not for you, then we also provide support with alternative options and will do what we can to help you to achieve your goals. 

How is the course funded?

Peer Productions draws down Skills Funding Agency and Education Funding Agency funding through our contract with JACE Training. This supports our delivery of the course, and enables us to provide it free to participants. 

What have your graduates gone on to do?

Previous graduates have achieved places at top drama schools in the UK and America to study courses such as Acting, Musical Theatre, European Theatre Arts, Stage Combat and Applied Theatre among others, and then onto professional roles as actors, producers, directors and facilitators. Others have pursued non performance-based routes including sound production, stage make-up, project management, teaching, retail management and beauty therapy. 

Where have previous successful applicants come from?

We are based in Woking, and many of our participants have come from Surrey and the surrounding areas.  We welcome applications from young people aged 17 to 23 who are eligible to live and work in the UK.  Historically,  around a third of our participants each year are from outside our immediate area, coming from Glasgow, Newcastle, Cheshire, Kent, Devon, and Nottingham to name a few.  

Can I get a job outside of Peer Productions?

As this is a full time programme, we are unable to allow course participants time off for work, however as core hours are Monday to Friday 10am - 5pm participants may be able to consider evening or weekend work.

Whilst on tour, our core times will vary and there will be occasional evening or weekend requirement, however anything outside of normal hours will be agreed in advance. Participants should note that this is a strenuous and challenging course with coursework which will need to be undertaken outside of our core hours. You must therefore balance any external work alongside the requirements of the course. 

I have a degree already, why can’t I apply for this course?

As this course is supported by the Skills Funding Agency and Education Funding Agency, participants have to meet certain eligibility requirements (see here for more information). This funding is intended to support young people to progress forward with their education and is therefore not able to be accessed by those who have already achieved an undergraduate degree. Unfortunately Peer Productions have no control over this rule and cannot make exceptions. 

What is a DBS check? Why will I have to do one?

A DBS check is what used to be known as a CRB check or criminal record check. As course participants work directly with and alongside young people in workshops and whilst touring plays, we require all participants to undergo an enhanced DBS check. This enables us to make sure that we are safeguarding both participants and young audience members.  If you know your DBS check will show some kind of record but are interested in the course, please do get in touch to discuss this in confidence and we will advise you whether you would be eligible to apply. 

What is involved in the audition?

Acceptance onto the course is by successful application, audition and interview. Our audition/interview sessions usually last about 3 hours and involves a practical workshop, an opportunity to showcase your speeches (and song if you would like) and then a short interview. The practical workshop and monologues are an opportunity for us to see how you work with others and take direction, we try and make it as fun as possible. Your interview is an informal discussion with two members of our team about a what the course involves and your application. The audition process is friendly and informal and you will get opportunities to chat with current students and ask any questions you might have.

Why have I been recalled?

We are striving to create a balanced company of actors where we feel we can make a significant impact on in developing each young artist's career. We usually place people on a recall list because we feel that they may need some additional support to achieve their ambitions and, as a small organisation, we need to be sure that we have the resources to offer.  

I still have questions, what should I do?

If you still have further questions or would like clarification on anything you have read here, please get in touch using the form here, or give us a ring on 01483 476 825