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Stepping Up

Now Enrolling for 2024
Start Date April 2024 for three months
Course Schedule 2.5 days a week on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday
Sold Out Apply Now
Sold Out Apply Now

Into acting, drama or supporting others to learn? Stepping Up is a 3-month acting and leadership programme for young people aged 18–25 in London who are not currently in work or education.

Stepping Up is a Level 2, 3-month drama and leadership training programme, run by National Youth Theatre in partnership with The JGA group. Participants choose from either an Acting or Leadership pathway and work to gain an OCN London Region Level 2 Certification in Progression.

Places are available to both NYT members and non-members.

Acting Pathway (2.5 days a week on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday)
For young people who are new to performing and/or want to increase their confidence. The personal development units include building self-confidence and study skills, alongside the practical performance units. To be eligible for the Acting Pathway you cannot hold a Level 2 or above qualification in drama or acting (such as Drama GCSE).

Leadership Pathway (2.5 days a week on a Monday, Tuesday and Wednesday)
For young people who may already hold a Level 2 or 3 qualification, or who have experience undertaking theatre or applied theatre projects in the past and have an interest in becoming facilitators in the future. This course is for those who want to increase their knowledge of planning and delivering drama workshops. The personal development units include equality, leadership and study skills alongside the practical theatre units.

Applications are now open for an April 2024 start.

If you have any questions, please do not hesitate to contact the team:

Nell Bailey – Stepping Up Assistant - nell.bailey@nyt.org.uk / 07506 684829

Kyley Winfield – Head of Accredited Programmes – kyley.winfield@nyt.org.uk

Course Information

Is this the right course for me? 

Places are available to both NYT members and non-members between the ages of 18 and 25 years old (or up to 30 if learning disabled).

Priority for places is given to those who are not in education, secure employment or training.

We welcome applications from care leavers and those whose challenging circumstances may have prevented them from completing Secondary School or FE education. We welcome applications from those with access and support needs, those who are refugees or asylum seekers with the right to study in the UK and those who are underrepresented in our industry including those who identify as neurodivergent, disabled or from the Global Majority. 

Am I eligible for a free place?

Places are available to NYT members and non-members.

You are eligible for a funded place if you are:

  • 18 – 25 years old or up to 30 if learning disabled
  • Live in London
  • You are unemployed and in receipt of benefits.
  • You have the right to work in the UK
  • Please be aware that this course is subject to funding and eligibility may change for the Academic Year 2023 – 2024.

What is the audition process?

The audition process takes place in three steps:

Initial application

This will be an online form gathering your details, along with a section to allow us to hear why you are applying for the course. If an online application is inaccessible to you, please contact Libby Devereux at libby.devereux@nyt.org.uk and arrangements can be made for you to receive support with this form.

First Round Auditions

There will be a group warm-up, followed by an informal chat about yourself, and your interest in Stepping Up. Acting Pathway applicants will have the opportunity to perform during this step. This can be a monologue, a song, spoken word, self-written work, or anything that allows us to see your perform. Leadership pathway applicants will have the opportunity to showcase their potential through a short interview.

Second Round Auditions

If you are successful you will be invited to a second round audition at NYT Holloway Road, where the course takes place. This will include ensemble skills, lots of drama games, and an opportunity for us to see how you work in the rehearsal room.


We will take time to review the applications after the second round audition. You will receive an email in February 2024 to let you know if you have been offered a place. We will also let you know if you have made the reserve list for the course.

For those that have not been offered a place, we will direct you to alternative programmes for you to participate in at NYT that we feel would benefit you.

We are aiming to bring together young people from a range of backgrounds and create a balanced cohort that will successfully learn and grow together during their time on the course.

National Youth Theatre Accredited Courses are part funded by Adult Education and delivered in partnership with Registered Training Providers. The care and support and creative outputs enabled through these programmes cannot be achieved only through these funding routes and philanthropic donations and trusts and foundations are essential supporters of our work in this area.

National Youth Theatre would like to thank the following people and organisations for their support of Playing Up in the 2021/22 academic year: The JGA Group, The Portal Trust, The Clothworkers’ Foundation, Jacqueline Worswick and Jack Petchey Foundation
We would also like to thank our principal supporters Arts Council England