Industry publication The Stage has featured a decision by nationally acclaimed The Arden School of Theatre, part of UCEN Manchester, to waive its £45 audition fees.
The Arden has scrapped fees for four of its BA (Hons) Degree programmes – Acting for Live and Recorded Media; Dance and Performance; Musical Theatre, and Theatre and Performance – in a bid to make its courses more accessible to people from all backgrounds.
Robert Owen, Head of The Arden, said: “Audition fees can be really expensive for prospective students who already have to pay their travel and expenses. Here at The Arden, we are continuously striving to make the arts accessible to all.”
Michael Walsh, Dean of UCEN Manchester, said: “As an inclusive provider of higher education, we believe that everybody should have the opportunity to pursue their ambitions and income shouldn’t be a factor in that.
“Audition fees are clearly a barrier to some people and it just felt like the right time for us to do something about that and maybe set a bit of an example to others.
Some hugely talented people from all backgrounds come through our doors, have a wonderful experience and achieve some fantastic results. We believe this will allow us to welcome even more people in the future.
Michael continued: “We haven’t taken a long-term decision regarding the audition fees as circumstances can obviously change, however we feel this is absolutely the right decision at this moment in time and certainly have no plans to reintroduce them for the foreseeable future.”