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Guildford School of Acting

From Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia

Guildford School of Acting
Guildford School of Acting - Logo.png
University of Surrey

Stag Hill Campus

United Kingdom
FoundersPauline Grant
Bice Bellairs
SpecialistDrama School
Head of Musical Theatre
Head of Technical Theatre Arts
Julian Woolford
Joanne Franklin
Acting Head of SchoolSean McNamara
Director, Institute of PerformanceDr. Patrick Duggan
Age18+ (Full-time courses)+

Guildford School of Acting (GSA) is a drama school in Guildford, Surrey, England. It is an academic school in the University of Surrey.[1] It is a member of the Federation of Drama Schools.[2]


Guildford School of Acting (GSA), originally known as the Grant-Bellairs School of Dance and Drama, was founded in London in 1935 by Pauline Grant and Bice Bellairs. The school moved to Guildford in 1945 as a result of World War II. In 1964, the school became a charitable organisation and was renamed Guildford School of Acting & Dance. In the early 1990s the '& Dance' was dropped. Today the school is part of the University of Surrey's Stag Hill Campus, Guildford, Surrey.[citation needed]

The school offers professional training and academic degrees in theatre and performance, dance, acting, musical theatre and production skills such as stage management, lighting and sound design. Surrey has a long association with dance having been the first university in the UK to validate a single honours dance degree. The university also hosts the National Resource Centre for Dance established in 1982.[3] The Centre for Performance Philosophy (CCP),[4] led by Dr. Laura Cull Ó Maoilearca, was founded in 2016 as part of the school's Institute of Performance.

Until November 2009, the School occupied several sites in central Guildford, with facilities including drama, dance and music studios, technical workshops, IT facilities, a specialist library and resource centre, a wardrobe department, rehearsal rooms and two in-house theatres. As part of its merger with the University of Surrey, the school has moved to a completely new building which houses all faculties of the school on one site on the university campus. Peter Barlow, GSA Director (until December 2010), was handed the keys by project manager David Austin (VolkerFitzpatrick) on 13 November 2009,[5] marking a new era for GSA, with the first classes at the new building started on 16 November.[citation needed] The relocation was completed in late 2011 with the opening of the Ivy Performing Arts Centre.[citation needed]

The school stages regular private and public performances at both The Ivy Arts Centre and other venues in Guildford and in the UK.[citation needed]

In 2015 the school added a course in Actor-Musicianship which will produce its first graduates in 2018.[citation needed]

Following a re-structure in 2016, GSA now includes the well-established programmes in Theatre & Performance, and Dance which had previously been part of the university's School of Arts. This will produce its first graduates in 2019.[citation needed]



  1. ^ "GSA achieves success in the National Student Survey 2014". Guildford School of Acting. August 2014. Archived from the original on 20 August 2014. Retrieved 19 August 2014.
  2. ^ Granger, Rachel. "Rapid Scoping Study on Leicester Drama School" (PDF). De Montfort University Leicester. Retrieved 7 September 2019.
  3. ^ "National Resource Centre for Dance website". University of Surrey. September 2016. Archived from the original on 24 June 2016. Retrieved 14 September 2016.
  4. ^ "Centre for Performance Philosophy". University of Surrey. September 2016. Archived from the original on 1 October 2016. Retrieved 20 September 2016.
  5. ^ "New building – we have the keys!". Guildford School of Acting. November 2009. Archived from the original on 13 February 2010. Retrieved 20 November 2009.

External links

Coordinates: 51°14′34″N 0°35′44″W / 51.242859°N 0.595593°W / 51.242859; -0.595593

This page was last edited on 24 September 2019, at 12:02
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