Traditionally students who could act did lots of work in school and/or youth theatre and/or extra-curricular classes. Then they applied for three year training at drama school and, if they were good enough, got in.
But thousands of hopefuls were turned down, as they still are. In some cases they were never going to be up to the mark and really should do something else. But others had potential but too little experience to audition successfully - perhaps because they hadn’t had the right guidance and advice.
So along came full-time foundation courses to prepare wannabes for drama school. And the last twenty years has seen a huge expansion in these courses - both from independent providers and from the drama schools themselves.
Having seen many such courses in action, talked to many students who’ve done them and last week visited Read College in Reading, which specialises in foundation courses, I’ve been pondering the pros, cons and issues.