Acting for Screen FAQs

I don’t have any previous experience, is this OK? Yes! Acting For Screen includes the very basics of screen craft,  encouraging young people to get comfortable and confident in front of the lens. Sometimes starting with a clean slate can be advantageous.

I do have previous experience of screen acting, will the course still suit me? Absolutely, the training will really stretch members and is an opportunity to develop existing skills with consistent practice and guidance in a supportive and encouraging atmosphere.

Is acting for screen different to acting for stage? Why would I need to attend a different workshop? In essence good acting is ‘good acting’ but an actor needs to have a practical understanding of the challenges of playing to a completely different audience, because in screen acting the camera is your audience and it sees every detail. The scale of the performance is the biggest difference, but this goes beyond merely ‘doing less’ for screen work, a rather misleading phrase. Screen acting requires a shift in focus and an ability to be completely comfortable and confident in front of the lens, in a similar way that one must become comfortable in front of a live audience. If actors are looking to develop their screen craft, the only way to do so is to get regular experience in front of the lens – the learning is in the doing.

What techniques will we explore in this workshop? We will be exploring a vast array of different techniques from various practitioners including Meisner, Stanislavsky and Strasberg. We are aiming to develop our character work, our ability to listen and react, our vocal ability. We will explore how to use the lens to our advantage and how to train ourselves to scale performances without losing detail and specificity.

What might a typical session be like? All work is practical. Starting with a warm up and relaxation exercise to ground us, we will work our way through various activities to develop our skills before applying them to script work or improvisation, depending on the needs of the session. The nature of the training means that the work and activities will always be varied and evolving – but we’ll be working with the camera present every step of the way.

Will I have to read scripts as part of this course? Yes, due to the nature of screen acting, reading scripts will be part of what we do. However, the focus is not on your reading ability and we will help to develop your script-reading skills.

Will there be homework between sessions? Depending on the nature of the session, members may be asked to learn small amounts of dialogue for following workshop. If homework is set, it’s vital that it’s completed!

Do I need to attend the workshop every week? Yes, the more you attend the more experience you get and as the saying goes, ‘practice makes you pretty good!’ In addition, strength of group dynamics is crucial and it is important to have consistency and develop a good working relationship with your directors and your group.

Who is the director of Acting For Screen? Liam Bessell heads up Acting For Screen, having trained at LAMDA (The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art). Liam has spent many years working with actors both in front and behind the camera. He has vast experience as an actor, director and photographer and is perfectly placed to bring his knowledge to young actors at Playbox Theatre.

Will this course help to prepare me for screen auditions? It really will. The course will enable you to attend screen auditions with calm, confidence and experience. The team will be happy to help you prepare for specific auditions and will equip you with a range of skills and exercises to support you through the casting process.

What should I wear to Acting For Screen? You should always wear comfortable, practical clothing that will not restrict your movement in any way.

Ustinov Theatre School

How many people will be in the workshop? Will I have plenty of opportunity to get involved? There will be a maximum of 12 young people in the Acting For Screen workshops, enabling everyone to have maximum opportunity to work in front of the camera, and with the director.

If I am only a member of Acting For Screen, can I still audition for Playbox Theatre’s productions? No – you would need to additionally be a member of Playbox’s Theatre Training workshops, in order to audition for the company’s productions. We offer good discounts for young people attending multiple workshops, so do ask us for more information about these.

How much does it cost to join Acting For Screen? The seasonal fee is £150. Payments are made three times per year, as our seasons run in conjunction with the school terms. There are discounts for people attending multiple workshops with Playbox Theatre – please ask us for more information.

I love what I’ve read! How do I apply to join? Please email your name, date of birth, phone number, email address and postal address to We’ll then contact you as soon as a place is available and will look forward to welcoming you to the team!

We hope that you now feel ready to reapply for Acting For Screen with Playbox Theatre – we can’t wait to welcome you aboard!