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Drama Studio London was founded in 1966 by actor and director Peter Layton. Seeing that an approach was needed much more in tune with the real demands of the professional theatre, he designed the radical one-year acting course that launched and has become the hallmark of Drama Studio London.
In 1978, the Directing Course was added to meet the profession’s need for high–quality and special training for directors. During the 1980s, Drama Studio London received accreditation from the National Council for Drama Training, and a branch of the School was opened in Berkeley, California. The Summer Acting Course was introduced in 1984.
In 1994 facilities in West London were expanded with the building of the Grange Court Theatre. In the following year, the Friends of Drama Studio London was established under their first president, Dame Judi Dench.
The Studio Theatre Company was formed in 1988 to present contemporary and classical productions, mainly cast from Drama Studio London graduates and staff. The Company presented Blue Window by Craig Lucas to much acclaim at the 1996 Edinburgh Festival.
Peter Layton retired from the day–to–day running of Drama Studio London in 2003, while continuing to be active in its development. Peter Craze, himself an experienced actor and director who has a long association with the school, became the new Principal.
In 2006, Drama Studio London received Trinity College London certification and became the first school solely offering a one–year course to become a member of the Conference of Drama Schools.
The 2008 year saw the introduction of the Two Year Acting Course, which incorporates all the training principles of the one-year course, but at a less intensive pace, allowing a greater variety of teaching styles and more time for developing techniques.
At the end of the 2012 academic year Peter Craze stepped down as Principal of Drama Studio London but stays on as Artistic Consultant. Chris Pickles was responsible for designing and setting up the 2 Year Course which he successfully ran for 4 years. He has been associated with Drama Studio London for 20 years and so was ideally suited to take over as Principal. We took the opportunity to re-structure the executive team. Brendan Murray takes over the new post of Director of 2 Year Studies and Gillian King has become the Director of 1 Year Studies.