The Federation of Drama Schools (FDS) represents twenty of the United Kingdom’s leading providers of professional conservatoire performance and technical training. As a community of artists, creators, and innovators, we have come together during the Covid-19 pandemic to provide support, guidance, reassurance and inspiration to our students, staff, graduates, alumni, colleagues and friends within the creative industries. The scale and impact of the coronavirus crisis has been significant upon our sector and related industries, which holds dear the ethos of embodied practice and the necessity of physical interaction in pursuit of understanding and celebrating the human condition. Whilst we are unable to determine the duration of the outbreak we are united in meeting the societal and educational challenges we collectively face with a shared determination and limitless imagination.
Each of the FDS member institutions appreciates the scale and complexity of the challenges presented as a consequence of having to deliver conservatoire training programmes via online platforms. However, we also appreciate that we have no option in the present circumstances and therefore it is incumbent upon us to provide confidence, leadership and hope. Each school recognises that whilst the learning experience will be different, we remain committed to ensuring that excellence and high standards of professional practice are maintained in pursuit of continuing to deliver world leading performance and technical training programmes despite the challenges.
All schools have had to migrate audition and recruitment processes online at very short notice. We recognise the limitations of this process, however, we are all committed to ensuring that access, opportunity and experience will remain robust, rigorous and fair.
At such an important time for our students, particularly those on the verge of entering the creative industries and the commencement of their professional careers, we recognise our obligations and responsibilities to providing support and guidance as they navigate this critical phase in their lives, we are all invested in and committed to each of their futures. The health and wellbeing of our students and colleagues is of vital importance and it is essential that we remain connected to our students and united as a community of artists in pursuit of shared solutions, support of one another, and the continuation of our collective ethos, standards and values.
We appeal for calm, patience and reason whilst we address the many nuanced challenges of the present age. For now our priority is the health and wellbeing of our communities and the need to stand united in pursuit of defending, protecting and supporting our students, colleagues, institutions and the creative industries during this unprecedented time.
The FDS is committed to being adaptive, innovative and agile as we face the uncertainties of the time ahead and positive in pursuit of successfully navigating this pandemic as a sector united in the common pursuit of creativity, community and excellence.
For further information please visit; www.federationofdramaschools.co.uk
With warmest regards,
Professor Sean McNamara Chair of The Federation of Drama Schools
Federation of Drama Schools
ALRA • ArtsEd • Bristol Old Vic Theatre School • Drama Centre London • Drama Studio London • East 15 • Guildford School of Acting • Guildhall School of Music & Drama • Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts • LAMDA • Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts • Manchester School of Theatre • Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts • Oxford School of Drama • Rose Bruford College • RADA • Royal Birmingham Conservatoire • Royal Central School of Speech & Drama • Royal Conservatoire of Scotland • Royal Welsh College of Music & Drama