For over 50 years, East 15 Acting School has produced actors, directors, theatre practitioners and technicians for the international stage, TV, film and radio.
The School has two Campuses – one in Loughton on the edge of East London and the other in the vibrant and modern resort town of Southend-on-Sea. Both Campuses have quick and direct links to London’s West End theatre district, whilst also offering a peaceful setting in which to study.
The school was founded by Margaret Bury and grew from the work of Joan Littlewood’s famed Theatre Workshop, which broke new ground re-interpreting the classics for a modern age, commissioning new plays from socially committed writers, and creating an ensemble capable of inventing new work that combined improvisational brilliance with method, technique, research, text analysis and the intense expression of truthful emotion. Much of the original approach was based upon the theories of Stanislavski and over the years training methods at East 15 have now embraced approaches from diverse practitioners, such as Michael Chekhov, Rudolf Laban, Jerzy Grotowski, Jacques Lecoq, Peter Brook, Sanford Meisner and other important contemporary trainers.
In 2000, East 15 merged with the University of Essex, a leading UK research-intensive university, opening an exciting new chapter in the history of both institutions and offering more opportunities to students, including our specialist courses. Since 2007, more than £13 million has been spent on new buildings and facilities for East 15 in both Loughton and Southend, including Southend’s Clifftown Theatre and Studios, once a Victorian gothic church which now enjoys a new lease of life, converted into studios,workshops and a state-of-the art theatre.
East 15 offers an extraordinary, dynamic and unique portfolio of Undergraduate, Masters and PhD courses that span many areas of training for actors, directors, producers, technical theatre specialists and students of theatre practice. It is one of a leading group of UK conservatoires and is now one of the largest specialist drama schools in the UK, with a distinguished international teaching staff and an undergraduate and extensive postgraduate population of over 800 students.
In addition to the carefully selected UK students, we also teach and train students from over 26 countries worldwide. Our training is by professionals and for professionals, allowing our graduates to work successfully across the globe. Our outstanding international teaching faculty is made up of professionals from all areas of live and recorded performance.