Conservatoire EAST at West Suffolk College offers vocational, industry-led training in all aspects of Performing & Production Arts.

As the only ‘Pre-Drama School’ in the region, with no other local Sixth Form, School or College offering this type of education, all staff within Conservatoire EAST have worked in the Theatre Industry and still do when they can. All staff keep up industry relevant training to ensure our courses provide the students with an experience as close to what the industry expects – and what Drama School expects at Degree level, which is the most common destination for our graduates although not the only place they progress to. A number of our students will go on to study academic degrees at Universities across the country, usually in subjects around the Theatre, Film and TV industry.

We like to give our students as many opportunities to perform as possible, to build up their experience – and unlike School, only Performing students will be onstage. We do not open our shows up to other students to audition for as we are not training you to keep this as a hobby, we are training you for the industry. We also put on a number of shows simultaneously, in order to give our students worthwhile, realistic opportunities – we promise we will never pile 100-150 of you onto the stage at once!

Our courses for 16+ yrs old students at Levels 2 and 3 are government-funded – unlike Private Performing Arts Colleges there are NO tuition fees so long as you are 16 – 18yrs old when you sign up –  and our Level 3 Extended Diploma is worth the same UCAS points as 3 x A-Levels. The courses are run through the University of the Arts London (UAL), which means they are designed specifically for industry and all the work you complete is relevant to best industry practice, for your chosen area of specialism.

Subjects include:

Performing Arts: (dependent on which Pathway you choose)

  • Acting
  • Audition prep
  • Ballet
  • Choreography
  • Contemporary
  • Dance
  • Flash-mobs
  • Improvisation
  • Jazz
  • Musical Theatre
  • Physical Theatre
  • Reflective Practice
  • Season Rehearsals
  • Singing
  • Tap
  • Voice

Backstage Theatre Arts:

  • Crew
  • Follow-spot Operation
  • Lighting Design
  • Lighting Programming
  • Production Management
  • Prop Design & Construction
  • Reflective Practice
  • Scenic Design & Construction
  • Season Rehearsals
  • Sound Design & Engineering
  • Stage Management
  • Visual Design

Our students gain hands-on experience through the Conservatoire EAST Season of events. In a usual year, we produce 9 major productions or projects per year, plus termly events and one off gigs or performances. Our A Cappella choir, ‘Amado’ are asked to perform at numerous gigs and events across the year too – all of which gives you ample opportunity to hone your performance and production skills.

We highly recommend you come to some of our shows to see the quality of work we produce – and check out our Feedback page to see what other people have said! Also, please pop along to one of our WSC open Events to chat to our current students – they are the best people to tell you what the courses are like.

We look forward to welcoming you to Conservatoire EAST and hope to see you very soon!

Kind regards,

Han Colthorpe

Head of Performing & Production Arts