• Outreach



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Gary Pillai


The Oxford School of Drama is committed to developing diversity in the arts and working proactively towards an increase in the range of actors training for the profession.  The outreach work aims to increase access for all those who aspire to train at drama school and to ensure that the students training at The Oxford School of Drama are representative of our wider national communities. 

It is important to us that those students who attend our outreach work can afford to access our training and we offer free auditions, help with travel costs and bursaries to students who attend the programmes.

Our outreach programme is headed up by OSD graduates, Gary Pillai (RSC, Sadler’s Wells, Royal Court, National Theatre, Body Guard, Game of Thrones), who works as an actor and acting tutor, and Sara Houghton (Yellow Earth Theatre, Arcola, BAC, Lyric Hammersmith) who is an actor and one of the school’s audition tutors.

Outreach Day

Our next Outreach Day is on Sunday 17 February 2019 and will be held at Graeae Threatre Company, London. The day will be a practical insight into auditioning, training and entering the acting profession including acting exercises and a voice and movement workshop. No preparation or particular experience is necessary for the workshop. The workshop is also open to those who

  • are a current UK/EU resident
  • are applying for our Three Year or One Year Course in Professional Acting
  • have a family/household income of £25,000 (before tax) or under

We are committed to equal opportunities, and particularly welcome participants from diverse cultural backgrounds. The programme is also open to those who are acting but have never had professional training.

To book a place please email Katherine Ellis, Admissions Administrator, for an application form This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. You will be asked to submit a brief statement (50 words max) explaining why you would like to join the Outreach Programme. Gary Pillai will then call you to discuss the programme and whether it is right for you. Places are limited.

Sara Houghton


Free auditions and help with travel costs

All of our 2018-19 outreach programme participants will receive one free audition at the school once they have participated in an outreach event.  We can also provide some help with travel costs to attend the audition.


Through a generous donation from the Garfield Weston Foundation, this year we are offering two bursaries worth up to £12,000 each to outreach participants who are successful in being offered a place at the School.  The bursaries are in addition to the government funding outlined on our funding page

Recipients must have a household income below £30,000 per year and have taken part in our 2018-19 outreach programme prior to being offered a place on either the One Year or Three Year Acting Course.  The bursaries offer two students £4,000 for each year of training up to a maximum of three years. 

For further information about our outreach programme contact Katherine Ellis on This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


Free workshops are held across the UK for aspiring actors of 18 years and up from groups that are under-represented in the arts, to develop their skills and capabilities as actors.  The aim of the programme is to broaden the range of talented actors applying to drama schools, including those:

  • state school educated
  • from BAME backgrounds
  • from families with lower incomes
  • with disabilities

The school also works in partnership with other arts organisations, such as the National Youth Theatre’s Playing Up course and Nonsuch Studios in Nottingham.  Details of workshops will be posted here and on our social media outlets or you can contact Katherine Ellis onThis email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.  for more information.