Arden School of Theatre
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Nicholls House. Currently part of The Manchester College
|Head of Department||Rob Owen|
|Founder||City College Manchester and Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester|
|Validating University||Sheffield Hallam University|
The Arden School of Theatre was founded jointly by the Royal Exchange Theatre, Manchester and South Manchester College in 1991 by the Senior Curriculum Manager Robert S Ely, to provide vocational degree level theatrical education in the North of England, one of the first to provide theatrical degrees in the United Kingdom. The School wanted to expand to provide other theatrical professions, but today only provides courses for actors and musical theatre performers. The Arden name came from the original City College Arden Campus where the drama school was based between 1991 and 2004, in Northenden, South Manchester. It has never been a member of the Conference of Drama Schools.
The college now provides foundation courses in Contemporary Theatre Practice (Theatre and Performance) and Contemporary Dance (Dance and Performance), validated by Leeds Metropolitan University and BA (Hons) Programmes in Acting and Musical Theatre. The acting programme has been rewritten with additional focus on acting for live and recorded performance skills and production (BA (Hons) Acting For Live and Recorded Media). In addition to the BA (Hons) programmes in Acting and Musical Theatre, the school used to provide a postgraduate diploma level course in Writing for Performance. Currently the department provides access routes through HNCs in Performing Arts and Acting For Camera.
The College is a founder member of the National Skills Academy for Creative & Cultural Skills, and has a wide range of relationships locally with the Contact Theatre and the Royal Exchange theatre. Graduates Showcases are presented each year both in the region and in London with a number of casting agents.
In 2006, The Arden moved into new premises located over three floors at Universal Square, a development by Frogmore Northern who had renovated the former Great Universal Stores headquarters offices. In September 2010 The Arden moved into Nicholls House, Ardwick, Manchester; a renovated Victorian building with additional rehearsal space, production rooms and voice and singing rooms. The programmes utilise a dedicated theatre space at The Waterside Theatre, attached to the Manchester College Shena Simon Campus, Whitworth Street in central Manchester. Collaboration with other College degree programmes allows access to other specialist facilities including music recording studios and radio studio and film and television production equipment.
The Arden teaching faculty boasts a wealth of industry experience with Theatre professionals such as West End Musical Director Robert Purvis and broadway leading man and director Tim Flavin and TV and Screen Actors Marie Critchley, Paul Broughton and Paul Jaynes. The school is also pleased to have connections with ex-RSC Director David O'Shea and director and performer Ian Good
Graduates of the school include:
- Zöe Lucker - actress: Footballers' Wives, HolbyBlue, EastEnders
- James Midgely - actor: Emmerdale, Cutting It, Cold Feet
- Tracy Shaw - actress: Coronation Street
- Cherylee Houston - actress Coronation Street
- Kim Tiddy - actress Hollyoaks
- Shaun Dooley- Actor: The Woman in Black, The Awakening, Eden Lake, Salvage, Misfits
- Amanda J Fleming- Actress: The Sessions, Titans Of Newark, The Adventures of Dude and Bro, Cold Feet
- Chike Chan - actor: Everest, Batman Begins
- Andy Hall - Company Stage Manager: "Northern Broadsides", Stephen Joseph Theatre, Scarborough