New Earth Academy

The only programme of its kind in the UK, New Earth Academy provides free, specialist training and opportunities for British East and South East Asians* (BESEA) aged 18+ who are interested in developing their skills and engagement in the performing arts.

Initially a week-long acting summer school based in London, the Academy has grown over its 13 years to encompass a range of disciplines and locations. New Earth Academy plays a key role in addressing the under representation of BESEA* artists on UK stages and screens, both on and off stage, by providing a safe and supportive environment to gain access to professional training, develop new skills, join creative networks and engage with industry professionals.

* We use the term BESEA to mean those who identify as East Asian or South East Asian living and working in the UK. East and South East Asian descent includes: Brunei, Burma, Cambodia, China, East Timor, Hong Kong, Indonesia, Japan, Laos, Malaysia, Mongolia, North Korea, Philippines, Singapore, South Korea, Taiwan, Thailand, Vietnam and their Diasporas.

If you have any questions about the programme, please read the Frequently Asked Questions. If you require the documents to be in a different format or need any adjustments made in order to apply, please get in touch with us by emailing

New Earth Academy is run in partnership with The Lowry, Birmingham Hippodrome, Royal Central School of Speech and Drama, Leeds Playhouse and New Vic Theatre with support from HOME, Royal Exchange Theatre, Factory International, Horizons Collective, Regional Theatre Young Directors Scheme, Z-arts, Royal Birmingham Conservatoire of Acting, York Theatre Royal and Arts Council England.

Click on an individual programme below to get more information on course dates, guest tutors and locations.
Applications have now closed. Follow us on social media for news on the academy, opportunities and upcoming productions.

Performers Academy

1-week intensive training courses in London, Leeds and Birmingham.

Academy Plus

Bridging the gap between introductory courses and professional opportunities.

Off Stage Academy Plus

A paid one week residency at the New Vic Theatre.

“Being a part of this Academy has given me a very rare insight into an industry that can sometimes feel inaccessible as an artist of East Asian descent and I have not only learnt valuable skills that will help me on my career journey, but also that there is indeed a space for people like me in the acting community; thanks to the amazing work of New Earth.”


“The sense of belonging, I’ve never met so many people who I felt like I didn’t have to justify cultural differences or why I felt a certain way when talking about certain spaces, because it was already understood.”


“Had the Academy not been free, there was no way I would’ve been able to participate in, what was for me, a life changing experience.”


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