Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts

The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts is a performing arts conservatoire based in Woking, England. It was founded by the actress Italia Conti in 1911.[1] Italia Conti is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools,[2] and accredited by the Council for Dance, Drama and Musical Theatre (CDMT).[3]

Italia Conti
Italia Conti, 47 Church Street West

, ,
GU21 6DG

United Kingdom
TypeFurther Education, Higher Education, Conservatoire-style, Performing Arts, Actor Training,
FounderItalia Emily Stella Conti
SpecialistActing, Musical Theatre, Dance
Principal/CEOHayley Newton-Jarvis
COOMiranda Tatton-Brown
Vice PrincipalsBradley Leech, Dan Fulham
Age16 (FE), 18 (HE)+

The academy then moved to a church building in Lamb's Conduit Street (at #14).[4] However, during World War II, the academy was bombed, destroying all early records. [5]

In 1981, the academy started running Junior and Musical Theatre courses in Islington.[1] The BA (Hons) Acting and CertHe Intro to Acting courses continued to be delivered from the Avondale site in Clapham. In August 2022, all courses moved to Woking.[6]

Courses edit

The following courses taught at the academy were validated by the University of East London,[7] and accredited by the Federation of Drama Schools.

  • BA (Hons) Acting Course, introduced 1994, a three-year full-time professional actor's training for students over the age of 18.[7]
  • CertHE Intro to Acting Programme, a year-long full-time course that serves as a preparation and foundation training for students aged 18 and above, formerly known as a Foundation Acting Course.[7]
  • BA (Hons) Musical Theatre Course, introduced 2018, a three-year full-time professional musical theatre training for students above the age of 18.[7]
  • CertHE Musical Theatre Performance, introduced 2021, a one-year full-time preparation and foundation training for students above the age of 18.[7]
  • BA (Hons) Professional Arts Practice (Top-up), from 2022, allowing students to progress from a Level 5 or Level 6 non degree qualification, to a BA (Hons).[7]

Theatre Arts School (for Juniors) edit

The Theatre Arts School, also known as the ‘Juniors’, was a co-educational independent school for pupils aged from 10 to 16 years old. The Theatre Arts School was first located in the Avondale building in Clapham, London and then at Goswell House, Barbican, London. The school was accredited by the Independent Schools Council and monitored by the Independent Schools Inspectorate. Pupils would follow an academic curriculum to ensure they graduated with qualifications whilst also studying a range of performance skills. In May 2020, during the COVID-19 pandemic, it was announced that the Theatre Arts school would close in the summer of 2021 after 109 years.[8]

Buildings and facilities edit

Woking, Surrey (New Building) edit

In August 2022, Italia Conti moved to a new bespoke-built facility which provides over 4,000 square metres of activity space in Henry Plaza, Woking, Surrey.[6] This facility brings together the School of Acting, which was previously delivered from the Avondale Building in Clapham North, London, and the School of Musical Theatre & Dance that was split between Barbican, London, and Guildford, Surrey sites.[6]

Previous homes edit

  • Great Portland Street, London, 1911-1930.[5]
  • Church building in Lamb's Conduit Street, 1931-1941.[5]
  • 12 Archer Street, London, 1945-1972.[5]
  • Avondale, Clapham, 1960-2022.[5]
  • Landor Road, Clapham, London, from 1972
  • Italia Conti House, ('the academy'), in Goswell Road, Islington, London, 1981-2022.[1]
  • The Italia Conti Arts Centre in Guildford, which housed Musical Theatre and Performing Arts with Dance Teacher Training Courses.[1]

Italia Conti Associates edit

In 1995, Italia Conti Associate Schools were founded,[5] offering a wide range of classes, providing students with the same opportunity to receive a full and thorough training and performance skills, as they would in the head establishment.[5]

Listed below are the locations of associate school branches which take place around the country and provide courses in part-time performing arts training:

  • Italia Conti Associates Battersea, London
  • Italia Conti Associates Bishop's Stortford
  • Italia Conti Associates Brighton & Hove
  • Italia Conti Associates Chislehurst at Coopers School, Chislehurst, London
  • Italia Conti Associates Guildford, Surrey
  • Italia Conti Associates Newbury at St Bartholomew's School, Newbury, Berkshire
  • Italia Conti Associates Newcastle
  • Italia Conti Associates Petersfield
  • Italia Conti Associates Plymouth at Lipson Co-operative Academy, Plymouth, Devon
  • Italia Conti Associates Reigate at Reigate School, Reigate, Surrey
  • Italia Conti Associates Rugby
  • Italia Conti Associates Ruislip
  • Italia Conti Associates Tunbridge Wells at the Skinners School, Royal Tunbridge Wells, Kent
  • Italia Conti Associates Woking at Italia Conti's main premises in Woking, Surrey

'School for Stars' edit

A CBBC series following pupils at The Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts as they juggle the glamour and excitement of careers in TV, film and theatre with the highs and lows of school life.[1] GCSE exams, tests, the school prom and End of Year School Performance. Each series followed a set of students during the school term. The series mainly featured the Theatre Arts School (Juniors) and occasionally featured students from the various 16+ courses. School For Stars first aired in 2011, and a third series began on 2 September 2013. The show is narrated by Reggie Yates.[9]

Alumni edit

In literature edit

The Italia Conti Academy was the inspiration for the drama school in At Freddie's, a novel by Penelope Fitzgerald, who taught at the academy in the 1960s.[10]

The Theatre Arts School, and Conti herself, feature in Michelle Magorian's young adult novel Impossible.

References edit

  1. ^ a b c d e "History and Background". Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts. Archived from the original on 9 July 2010. Retrieved 1 June 2009.
  2. ^ Granger, Rachel. "Rapid Scoping Study on Leicester Drama School" (PDF). De Montfort University Leicester. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  3. ^ "CDMT Accredited Drama / Acting Schools and Colleges". Retrieved 30 October 2022.
  4. ^ "HISTORY". italiacontiagency. Retrieved 28 October 2022.
  5. ^ a b c d e f g "History of the Italia Conti". Retrieved 20 October 2023.
  6. ^ a b c "Italia Conti sets up new home in Woking". 8 August 2022.
  7. ^ a b c d e f "Italia Conti and UEL". Retrieved 28 October 2023.
  8. ^ Sam Ferguson (8 May 2020). "Virus crisis forces stars' stage school to bow out".
  9. ^ "Series 3 ‹ School for Stars". Retrieved 30 April 2021.
  10. ^ "The Peripatetic Penelope Fitzgerald". Granta Magazine. 31 July 2017. Archived from the original on 21 September 2017. Retrieved 20 September 2017.

51°19′08″N 0°33′39″W / 51.318984°N 0.560868°W / 51.318984; -0.560868