Equity calls for cap on audition fees in bid to widen access to drama schools

The Stage is reporting that drama schools across the UK are facing a crackdown on audition fees as part of a fresh bid to improve accessibility to training.

A motion passed at Equity’s Annual Representative Conference claimed that the acting profession should be “more representative of the population as a whole”, and that all barriers preventing this should be addressed.

Equity has now agreed to carry out an audit of the charges levied for auditions by drama schools across the UK, which can be as much as £85. Once it has gathered the results, the union will campaign to encourage drama schools to adhere to “an agreed UK-wide cap on audition fees to be implemented”.

A RADA spokeswoman said the drama school charged its 2016 intake £45 to audition prior to December last year, and £85 after.

She said the school auditions more than 3,000 people a year and argued that student fees and higher-education grants did not cover the “considerable costs” connected with this.

“RADA’s audition fee covers the administrative and operational burden of the audition process and allows RADA to continue to widen participation,” she said, adding that the audition panellists needed to be properly paid.

Meanwhile, the Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts said its fees were £40.

A spokeswoman for the school said: “The audition experience can vary widely, from a few minutes to a whole day, so it’s hard to imagine a standard fee can cope with this degree of variety.”

More at: Equity calls for cap on audition fees in bid to widen access to drama schools

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