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Open your own drama school

Own and grow your own business with Theatretrain

The beauty of Theatretrain is that the work and the business are closely connected. We have spent 30 years working on what we do. We learnt from our mistakes and today our offer is, for the right person, unrivalled. 

In company

In Theatretrain you are not on your own because, unusually for this sector, we work together in what we do and create special performances and events that unite us. Every year we lead conferences for centre directors, conferences for teachers, events and shows in the West End. We constantly support and connect with each other.

What we look for

We work with people who believe that the performing arts can transform young people’s lives. We expect energy, enthusiasm, and commitment – the same qualities we look for in our teachers and encourage in our young performers. 

For that reason, we welcome people who are cooperative and collaborative rather than competitive. People who like people and especially people who love working with children and young adults.

The buzz

Each Theatretrain centre has a team of teachers, assistants and a centre manager. Whether or not you teach, you need to lead, to step up and make things happen in a nurturing, fun way. The collective buzz is everything.

The work

In our art there is always change. New ideas, developments, growth. As a business owner you need the same restlessness. The same imagination with what is in front of you. Every week you grow and finesse what you do. The secret to this business is to succeed with the theatre work. Inspire through it. That thought should excite you.


Theatretrain makes exceptional theatre experiences and that takes organisation and belief. To stand at the Royal Albert Hall as your performers go on stage, share their journey as individuals and see them grow and transform in front of you, is a privilege. This work is important and it’s a challenge from which you learn much.

Part of something bigger

It’s natural to think art and business are poles apart but we believe you can’t have one without the other. We know that having a thriving, successful centre frees the individual. Where they feel less exposed, where they are part of something bigger than themselves. This brings more performers along - done well it’s contagious – so the actions of you and your team drive measurable success. It’s irresistible.

Start with yourself

A key question is, do you want to work for a company, or do you want the company to work for you? Ask yourself, how can your creativity and your personality be part of what you do? If you get that right you will have the best job in the world and fewer hours of work.

Dare to be different

Stagecoach, PQA, Razzamatazz and others do important work with young people, but they do it differently. Check them out. See if they fit your vision of theatre training and its impact on young people. If that works for you or if you choose to go it alone, we understand. We don’t presume our approach is for everyone, but we believe it’s the best because we dare to be different.

So, what is different about Theatretrain?

Artistic Director Kevin Dowsett gives a brief introduction to the Theatretrain Way.

Theatre Experiences

Exceptional Performances

Here is the company singing the Theatretrain song in the Royal Albert Hall. The words perfectly describe what we do in our work. “We’re on a journey, a journey of discovery.”

Is there a catch?

It’s wise to be sceptical and wonder if there is a catch with a business opportunity, especially when it involves you spending time, money and energy.

That’s why we check that people have a real passion for the work. In the past, we have met people who put profit first. It never works because people see through you, even in your smallest actions. You have to love the work and you have to do it well – that’s where we come in. We know about minimum standards and we help you exceed them.

The Steps Involved

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How much does it cost to open a Theatretrain centre?

The initial investment is £8595 + VAT. This comprises the Initial Franchise Fee of £5995 + VAT which covers the purchase of your business territory, training programme (5 days), website and launch support as well as the Start-up Package of £2600 + VAT which provides you with all of the kit you’ll need to get started including marketing materials and a pre and post-launch advertising campaign.

Centres that achieve or exceed our minimum standards for a period of at least one year are granted a second business territory at no charge.

Owning a Theatretrain Centre - quick Q&A:

Initially by filling in an application form. We are also happy to have an informal chat and answer any questions.

The Centre Director role in Theatretrain is the cornerstone of our operating model and the most important to ensure we deliver high-quality work in classes and performances. It is a very rewarding role with multiple tasks fully laid out in our franchisees operating manual; and you will receive training, coaching and mentoring by one of our senior team members.  

Yes. This is a franchise which you own and operate autonomously. As part of your franchisee package, Theatretrain will support you through all of the stages from concept and setup, to ongoing growth. We will provide guidelines, methodology and knowledge on every aspect of your business. We expect ALL our franchisees to follow those guidelines to ensure consistency and the best outcome for our students and parents.

This depends on how many classes and young performers you can attract to your centre.
We have models of projected income and can show examples from our current team, a large number of whom have worked with us for many years. 

On average with a moderate success £30K-£50K per year rising to £70K-£80K

Use the form at the bottom of the page to request more information about how it works. 

The process is a two-way street. While it is important that you choose the opportunity that is right for you, we must carefully select Centre Directors who share our values and purpose. We follow a customer-focused process to help potential Centre Directors learn more about the opportunities we offer. At each stage of this process we will check if you wish to proceed.

It combines the two essential parts of high-quality training: working on the self – individual skills in classes- and then using those skills in a team to make theatre for an audience.

Performing in a range of professional theatres welds the company. It’s fun- the fun is in the work.

A local population with enough young people. Funnily enough, the presence of other performing arts and children’s activities classes demonstrates a need in the area. Our specialist mapping software allows for insightful analysis of the demographic in a potential business territory.

To be different from school. We’re a theatre company. You mark out the space and make it yours. You make theatre. The Centre Director leads a theatre team who are teachers but also musical directors, choreographers, and directors.

Got another question? Contact us


Enquire now

Fill out the enquiry form below or book a chat with Jenny

Your e-mail address is only used to send you information about opening your Theatretrain centre. You can always use the unsubscribe link included at the bottom of the email.