The Boards that Mean Vienna’s World

Pursuing a career in acting, like most fields, requires perseverance and a strong belief in yourself

Have you ever wondered what it takes to become an actor? As with other artistic pursuits, it is not just about talent; acting requires skill, and skill requires training – intensive training. That is what Vienna’s English Theatre, which has been giving English-speaking actors performance opportunities for 55 years, now offers in the form of a two-year intensive program.

“The actor’s journey begins with a strong will, an open mind, and an active imagination,” says Adrienne Ferguson, head of the drama and artistic department of Vienna’s English Theatre Academy (VETA). To be successful, an actor must combine natural instincts with a solid foundation and technique, Ferguson said.

The academy launches in September with a two-year – four-semester – course of study that includes training in acting, movement, voice and singing, and culminates in public performances. The number of students accepted is intended to form a cohesive ensemble, around 15 new students per year. Th e last audition for the 2018-2019 academic year was September 1. Auditions for the 2019-2020 year will begin early next year. The academy will also be offering workshops and adult classes in the new year.

The academy builds on youth training programs offered by the theater since 2010 through its SHOWTIME program for Austrian schoolchildren and, since 2011, the VET Youth Ensemble.

The new academy course is an intensive, full-time course of study for which applicants must prepare and audition. Tuition is €3,750 euros per semester (vetavienna.com).

If you are not ready to make such an intensive commitment, but maybe want to explore acting to see if it might be right for you, there are other English-language options in Vienna. The SHOWTIME program of Vienna’s English Theatre offers students ages 4 to 18 years education in all three performing arts disciplines: acting, dancing and singing. It also offers workshops and acting classes for adults (showtime.co.at).

Part of training to be an actor involves performance experience in front of an audience. The VET Youth Ensemble, established in 2011, serves as a practical training ground for young industry professionals and actors in training (youthensemble.net).

If you seriously want to pursue acting as a career, don’t set boundaries, be realistic and open-minded. Th ere are many opportunities besides the stage, such as

voice-overs, commercials, student films etc. As with any career, networking is key, and with more than 100 theaters and cabarets in Vienna (you’ll find a list here: wien.gv.at/kultur/buehne/theater/).

There are many opportunities to meet people, especially at smaller venues, where actors and directors may be more approachable. And, of course, Vienna’s cafés have a long tradition as a meeting place for artists of all types, so you might find a good contact sipping a mélange at a nearby table at your favorite café!

Jennet Orayeva
Jennet Orayeva is a PR Specialist who has worked with international and intergovernmental organizations in Austria since 2011. Born and raised in Turkmenistan, she combines her knowledge of Central Europe and Central Asia with extensive experience in international development and diplomacy. A skilled storyteller and a technophile with a passion for publishing, Jennet is also a researcher, writer and PR strategist on atomic energy related topics and an expert in ICT tools and leading-edge media for individual and organizational capacity-building.

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