The Programme for Screen Acting is a year-long full time course dedicated specifically to screen acting. Like the Actors Studio in New York, the Programme entry is audition based with a view to creating the strongest group of actors possible.
Previous tutors and guests at The Programme have included actors such as Fiona Shaw, Tim Roth, Cillian Murphy, Danny DeVito, Stephen Tobolowsky, Saoirse Ronan, Jack Reynor, Ciaran Hinds, Richard Dreyfuss, Domhnall Gleeson, Stephen Rea, Richard E. Grant, directors Jim Sheridan, Juanita Wilson, John Carney, Kirsten Sheridan, Lance Daly, Shimmy Marcus, Cathy Brady, Tom Hall, Rebecca Daly, Ian Power, Damien O’Donnell, Dearbhla Walsh, and Casting Directors Ros Hubbard, Leo Davis, Margery Simkin, Nancy Bishop, Deborah Aquila, Tusse Lande, Carla Stronge and many more.
Overseeing the Programme’s unique philosophy, technique and method is Acting Coach, Voice Coach and Alexander Technique teacher Gerry Grennell whose clients have included Johnny Depp, Bruce Willis, Heath Ledger, Tom Cruise, Natalie Portman, Meryl Streep, Anne Hathaway, Oscar Isaac, Orlando Bloom, Marlon Brando, Sean Penn, Michael Gambon, and Heather Graham.
Sessions with experienced professionals, alongside regular film screenings, access to shooting and screening facilities, combine to form a comprehensive syllabus of study in all areas of performance for camera and development as a screen actor.
Some of the many modules contained within the course include:
VOICE Voice control and manipulation is an essential tool in the actors Toolbox. The understanding of how the voice works, what affects it and how we can manage it are necessary to allow the actor to emote with shade, tone, colour and emotion.
DIALECT We train our actors to succeed internationally and that means being able to not just perform in different accents, but to understand the tools of how to approach learning accents. World renowned Dialect Coach William Conacher ( The Hunger Games, Peaky Blinders, The Reader) shares his expertise that has developed over years of working at RADA, the Royal National Theatre, as well as many international Film Productions.
CHARACTER Character is a muscle that comes from within. This detailed module explores not just the external and internal characteristics of character, but how to create a character from scratch including backstory, psychology, social conditioning, all culminating in filmed scenes written specifically for these characters.
COMBAT With shows like Games of Thrones, Vikings, Penny Dreadful, Ripper Street and countless other productions featuring combat work, there has never been more demand for actors with combat training. These sessions are crucial for those students looking for a fully rounded education in screen acting.
ALEXANDER TECHNIQUE Many actors hold far too much tension while performing. Alexander Technique can help actors to become more aware of balance, posture and co-ordination. Being aware of tension and strain is the first important step in being able to let go of the nervousness that can interfere with performance. The technique can engender a sense of calm that can help an actor to act with greater spontaneity and freedom of expression.
SELF TAPING Due to the ever-changing developments in the world of casting, Self Taping is fast becoming an essential tool in the actor’s canon. The aim of this module is to develop the actor’s skills in mastering this technique. Students will be required to do a lot of self taping throughout the year and these performances are then critiqued in Bow Street’s Cinema.
IMPROVISATION Improvisation is one of the most important disciplines for screen actors. It gives the actor confidence, encourages the actor to take risks, be open to possibilities, and trust their instincts.
AUDITION TECHNIQUE This module looks at various techniques that will help demystify the audition process including what a Casting Director is really looking for, overcoming nerves, and the do’s and don’ts of auditioning. Top Irish and International casting directors come in to work with the students and critique their work.
CAMERA CLINIC Unique to Bow Street, we operate a Camera Clinic where each week students sign up for private 1 on 1 time with a camera in our casting studio. Students are encouraged to do whatever they like to help build a clearer understanding of their relationship with the camera. The students can also choose to be left alone with the camera and their footage is viewed privately or with critique afterwards.
MOVEMENT Being aware of how the actor/character moves is another important tool in the actors Toolbox.
BLOCKING Many guest Directors visit Bow Street to work with the students sharing their expertise built up over the years of working at the highest levels of the industry. Here they learn what it is the Director needs from an actor, not just in performance but all the technical aspects of movement, blocking and choreography with the camera.
SCRIPT ANALYSIS Exploration and understanding of text is of paramount importance. This module looks at what the writer’s intent is, subtext, tone, theme and story beats. Rhythm also plays an important part of this module.
OWNERSHIP The method of ownership which is unique to Bow Street forms the foundation of all training on the Programme. It is a completely immersive practice and discipline that enhances performance and liberates the actor to be truthful and present.
The course culminates with a showcase of filmed scenes performed by the students and screened to the cream of the Irish Film & TV industry.
The success of recent graduates from The Programme is unparalleled and marks Bow Street out as the most in demand casting resource for Casting Directors. Recently Jim Sheridan cast 20 Bow Street actors in his latest film ‘The Secret Scripture’. Employment of our graduates is our ultimate aim, and the hands-on practical nature of all our training prepares students for the real world of Film and TV.