Leading theatre practitioner Brian Astbury is launching a one-year practical theatre programme - The Forge Initiative - this September 2015
The Forge Initiative is a unique programme that, unlike standard drama training, gives actors, directors and writers the tools to take control of their own careers. They will learn how to set up their own theatre companies, devise their own work, market themselves, and leave with a fully-fledged production to take to Edinburgh Festival and on tour.
In 1990 Brian set up 'Arts Threshold' with graduating LAMDA students including Julie Hesmondhalgh (Coronation Street), Stephen Moyer (True Blood), and RADA graduate, Rufus Norris (Director of the National Theatre). The company gave graduating students an important stepping stone into the industry and helped them establish themselves as employable actors, writers and directors. Now, fourteen years later, Brian has finally fulfilled his dream of setting up a full-time one-year programme with 35 contact hours per week that, unlike standard drama training, specifically gives actors the practical skills to set up their own companies. All tutors will be professionals with real-life experience and good track records in these fields.
Stephen Moyer, star of True Blood, says "If you think this course is just about acting you would be very wrong. Brian Astbury could easily have titled the course - Everything you will ever need to know about Acting - and even then not have come close to describing its worth...I cannot recommend it highly enough."
Historically, full-time drama school training is expensive, potentially alienating highly-gifted students with an aptitude for brilliance. The Forge Initiative is therefore set £3,000-£4,000 less than the average costs elsewhere, without compromising on quality of training or contact time.