May 30, 2023

How Theatretrain Became The Coolest Theatre School For Kids And Young People

Theatretrain isn’t your average performing arts school. Our young performers get real theatre company experience you can’t find anywhere else…

What do you think of when you think of a theatre school? Kids bursting out of classrooms to dance ensembles in the street a la Fame? Or something more formal and strict?

The truth is, theatre schools are all very different. They have different goals, ethos and techniques.

Theatretrain has a stellar reputation – the young performers that attend often call it ‘the coolest’ theatre school – but how did it become so highly thought of?

Let me explain…

Everything Starts With An Idea

The first Theatretrain centre opened in Essex in 1992, but that’s not where it began. Founder and theatre legend, Kevin Dowsett, started the Theatretrain Way as a method of making theatre truly accessible and enjoyable for all young people. 

For Kevin and his team of creative theatre professionals, it wasn’t just about opening a theatre training school; it was about changing the way theatre and performance is taught.

Theatretrain uses unique methods that are immersive and thought-provoking. Students are encouraged in self-expression over perfection, and to pursue their own individuality rather than becoming a cookie-cutter performer. 

From its aspirational beginnings, Theatretrain has evolved from an idea to more than 60 nationwide theatre companies. Every company is dedicated to providing a space for students to escape the ‘school’ mindset and learn to dance, sing and act as part of an ensemble. 

Our students get the chance to perform in large-scale events at incredible venues like the Royal Albert Hall, providing invaluable real-world experience and memories that will last a lifetime.

The Concept: The Theatretrain Way

Guiding the ship of Theatretrain, Kevin Dowsett developed the Theatretrain Way as a way to transform the lives of young people and children through professional theatre training.

This idea empowers every student to follow their passions while developing new skills. Each rehearsal or training session leads to an opportunity for personal growth, whether learning to deal with a mistake or figuring out how to work as part of a large crew of performers. 

By emphasising the practical abilities used in all aspects of theatre, our students can grasp broad concepts of performance along with the finer skills used to tackle particular elements.

Through decades of first-hand experience, the teams behind every Theatretrain company can capture your child’s interest and inspire their future. That’s because the Theatretrain Way puts your child’s experience front and centre without the need for strict exams or entry auditions.

The People

The people who lead a theatre school set the direction. It’s their vision and passion that steers the everyday activities and atmosphere.

Theatretrain brings together some of the most talented and visionary performers, each with a unique perspective to ensure that the atmosphere is a joyful and encouraging one. 

Our team makes Theatretrain different, setting it apart as the place young people want to go, not somewhere they’re sent to for a few hours a week. Each individual brings their own wealth of experience and energy. The creative team are always working behind the scenes to make Theatretrain a transformative experience. 

Kevin Dowsett has over 50 years of experience in both teaching and performing, making him the ideal person to head Theatretrain. Having worked with a range of well-known performers such as Catherine Tate and Lucy Davis and published numerous books and plays, Kevin is now a leader in the educational theatre field. 

Alongside Kevin, the rest of the team ensures that every rehearsal and every large-scale performance is a skill-building experience. That includes Robery Hyman, the musical director, Sue Colgrave, creative consultant, Owen Smith, director of dance and movement, Tamsin Dowsett, assistant artistic director and Jason Kew, stage and technical manager.

Company directors add their flair to their own venues and add to the tapestry that is a national theatre training movement.

The Experiences

What do our students get out of their experience? You might be surprised…

Performances on world-famous stages 

September 2023 will mark the 100th large-scale performance by the students of Theatretrain. Stunning venues include the London Palladium and The O2.

The scale of the events gives our young performers true performance experience.

International performing

At Theatretrain, we offer our students opportunities to participate in regular shows and special events, some of which may even be international. This memorable experience can motivate your child for a lifetime.

Sessions are a blend of training

Every rehearsal and studio session is designed to give young performers a solid foundation of performance skills. We cover all areas of dancing, singing and acting, creating an environment where your child can overcome their inhibitions and self-consciousness.

Working as a company

Our professionals emphasise collaborative working and the individual’s role within that so that everyone can discover their own passions and weaknesses. Everyone is important at Theatretrain; no one is more important than any other because we believe that only through working together can a mutually desired outcome be achieved.

Acting Agency

Theatretrain performers can audition for professional representation with our acting agency partner, Goldman’s Agency. This enviable opportunity isn’t a requirement, though. We believe your child can get so much out of performing even if they don’t long for a career in it.

Theatretrain For A Lifetime

No matter what life path a child or young person goes on to, the skills learned at Theatretrain will stay with them. The experience will continue to enrich their lives – and that’s pretty cool!

Our students gain confidence in who they are. By making mistakes and overcoming difficulties in a safe and understanding environment, they can develop self-assurance and a deeper understanding of how to express themselves.

Any adult will agree that being confident can take you a long way in life, so why not allow your child to develop both self-confidence and real-world performing abilities that will benefit them in the future?

Is Theatretrain Really That Good?

Theatretrain isn’t a theatre school, it’s a theatre training experience of a lifetime, and it’s easy to see why it is considered the coolest! With a unique ethos led by talented theatre professionals, every Theatretrain student gets the chance to develop their identity, skills, and passion for life. 
Want to see if Theatretrain is right for your child? Find your local company here.

Theatretrain, a nationwide provider of weekend theatre schools for young people aged 4-18, specialises in weekly classes in acting, singing, and dancing. An emphasis is placed on learning valuable life skills such as confidence, empathy, courage, and resilience. If you know a child who loves to dance, act and sing or could do with a little confidence boost why not visit to find out what our performing arts classes can offer your child at one of our 80 locations across the UK.

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