Tobacco Factory acting degree aims to empower

November 02 2020
Tobacco Factory acting degree aims to empower

An exciting opportunity to study a degree in stage and screen acting right here in south Bristol has launched for aspiring actors.

From September 2021, Tobacco Factory Theatres in North Street will be hosting a two-year BA(Hons) in Acting for Stage and Screen, thanks to a new partnership with creative industry training provider, boomsatsuma.
It is part of the company's new Bristol School of Acting, aimed at empowering young people. 
Tobacco Factory Theatres will be hosting an innovative and empowering two-year acting degree course, after teaming up with leading creative industry training provider, boomsatsuma. 
The Acting for Stage and Screen BA(Hons) is part of the company's new "future-focused, conservatoire-style" drama school, Bristol School of Acting, and begins in autumn 2021. 
It is an intensive degree with 43 weeks of teaching per year - the same amount of contact hours as a three-year course, but students save around £5,000 in tuition fees and a year’s living costs.
Students will study as a resident acting company in training at the theatre, with opportunities to collaborate and learn with professional actors, directors and visiting artists. 
Mike Tweddle, artistic director at Tobacco Factory Theatres, said: “We’re delighted to be embarking on this uniquely symbiotic relationship between a professional theatre and a drama school. 
“The partnership will enrich and empower the training experience for students - who will collaborate with renowned artists in our spaces - and embolden our theatre’s mission to provide impactful, innovative and inclusive pathways into the industry.”
The Bottle Yard Studios, in Whitchurch Lane, which has played host to TV series Poldark, Broadchurch and Wolf Hall, will be hosting the drama school's other two-year Acting for Screen BA (Hons) degree. 
Acclaimed director Nancy Medina has been appointed as Bristol School of Acting’s co-artistic director, with course content - accredited by Bath Spa University - devised by the school's patron and Daredevil star Charlie Cox and New York's prestigious Pace University. 
Speaking about her new role, Nancy said: “Our industry has to change; I don’t like what I see at the moment and I believe we can drive that change at boomsatsuma.
“We are creating a new kind of course that will empower young people to find their voices and make themselves heard. We are training actors who can shape the industry of the future.
“Starting from fresh means we can be bold and steer a radical approach to inclusivity, with a pro-active anti-discrimination policy. It’s a priority for me to bring opportunity to the marginalised areas of society.” 
Stuart Wood, co-artistic director of Bristol School of Acting explains his motivation for creating the school:“I’ve worked in many drama schools during my 38-year career and have delivered some great training, but it’s time to challenge the orthodoxy of practitioners who have dominated actor training for decades. 
“It’s time to look at new approaches suited to this fast-changing industry and offer something different to create the actors of tomorrow.
“Bristol has a strong cultural heritage and we hope to make it stronger. Our partners, The Bottle Yard Studios and Tobacco Factory Theatres, sit at the centre of the city’s cultural heartbeat, adding a wealth of insight and networking opportunities for our students, as we embark on this pioneering journey.”
For more details about the course and how to apply, visit
• TOBACCO FACTORY Theatres is to receive a much-needed financial boost during the coronavirus pandemic, thanks to funding received by the Government's Culture Recovery Fund. 
The North Street playhouse is one of 15"cultural gems" in Bristol to be awarded money in the second round of funding and will receive £246,440. 
There are 588 arts and culture organisations across England to receive a share of the £76million pot. 
The funding enables socially-distanced performances to restart where safe to do so, venues to plan for reopening, jobs to be protected and opportunities to be created for freelancers. It follows the announcement that 29 organisations in Bristol were being given £6.8million in the first round of the Culture Recovery Fund.