Teach Drama

A new guide with everything you need to know to make a living as a freelance drama teacher

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Maybe you’re an actor, or you’ve just finished a degree in drama. Whether or not you have experience with children, if you have trained—or you’re training—in drama, applied theatre or acting, then you can be a freelance drama teacher.

And if you’re already teaching drama, this guide will show you how to double, or maybe even triple your income.

Earn £25+ an hour teaching the subject you love.

As a freelance drama teacher, you will be paid, on average, £25-£30 an hour. Or you could set up your own after-school club and earn £40-£90 an hour. Teach Drama will show you how to do both.

But of course being a teacher isn’t just about making money: it’s about changing lives. A well-taught drama class will give students confidence, a place to be creative and a platform to let off emotional steam. I’ve seen drama change lives over and over again.

‘An invaluable resource for aspiring drama workshop leaders. I’m recommending it to everyone. Why wasn’t this book around when I was starting up!?’

Lauren Senatore, Managing Director, Bigfoot Arts Education

A blueprint for success

The guide covers everything you need to develop your career, whether you’re just starting out or have professional experience already:

Life as a Freelance Drama Teacher
This chapter explains how much you’ll be paid, what kind of work is available and how it fits in with your life and your other projects.

Getting Started
Next we’ll look at how to produce the kind of CV which will find you work—even if you don’t have teaching experience, plus some creative strategies to find the best jobs.

The Interview
Drama teaching interviews are getting scarier, with teaching in front of other interviewees becoming more commonplace. But together we’ll go through everything you need to keep calm, stay in control and land the job.

Lesson Plans
As well as links to some top resources on finding ideas for use in your lessons, I’ve included three fully-developed sample lesson plans for different age groups.

Being a Good Drama Teacher
The key to finding enough good quality work in the long term is building a reputation for excellence. In this chapter we look at how to deal with students, parents and clients, and how to level-up as a teacher.

Classroom Discipline
After applying the techniques in this section of the guide, you’ll be able to walk into a classroom and feel calm, confident and in control, whether you’re teaching three year olds or teenagers.

Directing a Show
Love it or loathe it, the time will come to direct a show, and panicking isn’t an option. This chapter is packed with practical tips to make your shows a success, as well as information on licensing, writing and devising.

Setting up an After-School Club
Setting up after-school clubs can be daunting. Here we go through everything you need to do, step by step, to end up with a profitable, rewarding and fulfilling business.

Insurance, Health and Safety
Here’s exactly what you need to know about before you can move on to more fun things.

Contacts
Here are the contact details of clients who are actively seeking freelance drama teachers on a continual basis, throughout the whole of the UK. Included in the directory: Stagecoach Theatre Arts, Perform, Bigfoot Arts Education, The Pauline Quirke Academy, Theatre Bugs,  Pyjama Drama, Jigsaw Performing Arts, The Helen O’Grady Drama Academy, Debutots and many other companies hiring drama teachers.

The book also includes interviews with Sally Catlin, Principal and Managing Partner of Stagecoach Theatre Arts Chiswick, Adam Davenport, Creative Director at The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts, and Lauren Senatore, Managing Director at Bigfoot Arts Education. Plus a foreword by David Farmer of Drama Resource and advice from other company directors and a variety of successful freelance drama teachers.

Download a sample chapter

Chapter One: Life as a Freelance Drama Teacher

As seen on…

‘Full of solid-gold tips and invaluable advice from someone who has clearly demonstrated their knowledge and success in the field.’

David Farmer, Drama Resource

About me

I studied Drama, Applied Theatre and Education at the Royal Central School of Speech and Drama in London. I then worked as a freelance drama teacher for ten years, from Stagecoach academies in leafy suburbia to deprived schools in East London.

I worked for theatre companies, youth theatres, and state, private and special schools. In 2012 I set up my own youth theatre, which quickly grew into one of the largest regional youth theatres in the UK with over 250 students attending each week.

And now I’d like to share everything I learned about being a freelance drama teacher with you.

— Samantha Marsden

How to buy the guide

with 20% off launch discount!

1 Just the book

e-book

  • PDF, ePub and Kindle
  • Instant electronic delivery

£13.99

£11.19

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print edition

  • 160 page paperback

£16.99

£13.59

plus £3.49 UK delivery
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Have a voucher code? Click 'Buy now' then 'Change code'

Information for bookshops and distributors

2 The silver package

  • 160 page paperback (including UK delivery)
  • e-book in PDF, ePub and Kindle formats
  • 35 ready-to-use scenes for classroom use adapted from timeless classics, supplied in Word and PDF formats
  • Three Alice in Wonderland scripts, adapted for three different age groups, and licensed for performance
  • Professional music for an Alice in Wonderland production, with music cues included in the scripts

£49.99

£39.99

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Have a voucher code? Click 'Buy now' then 'Change code'

Included in the silver and gold packages

Alice in Wonderland

Scripts and licensed music for 3-8, 9-12 and 13-18 year olds

  • Three tried-and-tested scripts for an adaptation of Alice in Wonderland, fully licensed for unlimited performances
  • Microsoft Word and PDF format, so they can be adapted further
  • High quality production music licensed for performance, ready to load onto your iPod or burn to CD (a £180 value)

All three of these productions are very chorus based, with the whole cast being on stage for approximately 50% of the show. There are many speaking parts and opportunities for group physical theatre work. If you have a small cast many of the speaking parts only have two or three lines, therefore it’s possible to give one cast member two, and sometimes even three different parts.

For 4-7 year olds

The language and sentence structure has been kept very simple in this script to help this younger age group learn their lines.

  • Running time: 20-25 minutes
  • Cast size: 12-40 students
  • Speaking parts: 23 (one cast member can take on several parts)
  • Nonspeaking chorus: maximum 18

Download sample page

For 8-11 year olds

  • Running time: 40-50 minutes
  • Cast size: 15-60 students
  • Speaking parts: 36 (one cast member can take on several parts)
  • Nonspeaking chorus: maximum 24

Download sample page

For 12-19 year olds

  • Running time: 50-60 minutes
  • Cast size: 15-60 students
  • Speaking parts: 39 (parts can be doubled, even tripled up)
  • Nonspeaking chorus: maximum 21

Download sample page

Licensed, professional music

The silver and gold packages include ten tracks of fully-licensed music from Cinephonix, and each track is referenced in the Alice in Wonderland script with full music cues.

Listen to 30 second samples of the music here.

If you need music for your other shows, I strongly recommend browsing Cinephonix's catalogue.

Madelaine Ryan, freelance drama teacher Madelaine Ryan, freelance drama teacher and actor, on the silver package

‘There’s a diverse collection of acting scenes, drawing on well known and well loved classics, that have been brilliantly adapted to suit younger students and teenagers.

From duologues to scenes for small groups, each one gives every student the opportunity to work on a substantial character. I also love the fact these scenes can be presented and enjoyed with minimal or no costumes/props.

The full length plays of Alice in Wonderland are great fun and the perfect length. They have been adapted for large groups giving everyone a role, with opportunity for ensemble moments amongst the action.

The material choice is extensive, making it a real time saver, while also providing a good guideline for finding future scenes and plays. As a freelance drama teacher, I cannot recommend the package enough.’

The silver package:

£49.99

£39.99

Buy now

Have a voucher code? Click 'Buy now' then 'Change code'

3 The gold package

  • Everything in the silver package, plus...
  • one 45 minute Skype session with me to discuss your drama teaching career and ask any other questions
  • one personalised review of your CV, cover letter and/or marketing materials

£149

£119.20

Buy now

Have a voucher code? Click 'Buy now' then 'Change code'

Teach Drama is a fantastic resource for aspiring freelance drama teachers.’

Adam Davenport, Creative Director, The Pauline Quirke Academy

Questions? Answers:

Which package should I buy?
Obviously, the gold package is the absolute best. But the silver package is excellent value: just buying the music alone would cost £180, and you also get the scripts, scenes plus the book itself both as a print book and e-book. All for only £49.99.

I’m already working as a drama teacher. Is this for me?
There are some sections aimed at people just starting out. However, even if you have plenty of work, the strategies I’ve included will help you to raise your rates and attract the best clients.

I’m not based in the UK. Should I still buy it?
The book is aimed at teachers working in the UK. About half the chapters are relevant to people teaching anywhere, but all of the material covering finding work, contacting potential clients, setting up after-school clubs and the legal aspects is strongly focused on the UK.

What does the ‘Alice in Wonderland’ license include?
Your script and music license allows you to perform your production at any venue, to any audience size. You can charge for tickets, and you can put on the show for profit, if you want to. You may amend the script to make it work with your cast.

Can I be a freelance drama teacher and actor at the same time?
Absolutely. Many companies prefer to take on actors and will bend over backwards to accommodate them, allowing them time off for auditions and short term acting jobs. However some companies avoid actors and prefer more reliable teachers. From my experience I’ve noticed about 50% of clients are happy to take on auditioning/working actors. 

How can I pay for it?
The website accepts most major debit and credit cards. Sorry, we don’t accept PayPal.

Is your website secure?
Yes, your transaction is processed by Stripe, one of the world’s leading credit card processors, and we don’t store card details (or even see them ourselves).

I don’t have a degree in drama or acting, can I be a Freelance drama teacher?
Yes, but you may find it harder to get work. Some organisations require that you are studying on, or that you have a degree, whereas others are happy to take on teachers without a degree. I got my first freelance teaching job at a Youth Theatre aged 18, two years before I began my degree.

Is there enough work out there?
Yes! If you are professional, do your research and you deliver high quality drama sessions you will be turning away work. There are many extra curricular drama groups always on the look out for good teachers. Plus many schools are desperate for freelancers to set up after-school drama clubs.

I don’t live in London, will there be enough work for me?
Yes, there are many drama groups all over the UK, many of which are listed in the book. In fact, areas outside London are some of the best places to find work—if you know where to look.

Wait, you haven’t answered my question!
Please drop me an email: sam@dramafountain.com.

What they’re saying

‘A really useful book for anyone starting out as a freelance drama teacher.’

Becky Luzi, Director, Chippenham Youth Theatre and Bright Lights Drama School

‘An inspiring, engaging and educational book especially for freelance theatre practitioners like myself. It's motivational and gives you a “go out there and get it” feeling, and it’s very relatable!’

Roman Pedro Berry, Artistic Director, Divergent Theatre Collective

‘This book will be a resource throughout my studies and beyond, a must read for any future drama teacher.’

Rosanna Threakall, Drama student at UWE