schools and colleges info

NSDF welcomes all young people aged between 16 & 25. We recognise and value work by 16 year olds beginning their A Levels in exactly the same way as we recognise that of emerging companies in their mid-twenties. The Festival has a non-hierarchical structure, and all FestGoers are encouraged to contribute in every possible way - through writing reviews, watching the productions, performing their own work, airing their questions and opinions in discussions, and participating in the workshops.

If you would like to request more information, or a call back, please complete the short form at the bottom of the page!

The festival really teaches you about theatre. How to make it, watch it, talk about it, improve it.
For what you get over the week, it represents outstanding value for money.

Andrew Rogers  |  Teacher  |  Therfield School

We often have shows at the festival produced by schools and colleges: No Human is Illegal from Leyton Sixth Form College in 2017 (pictured above), Punk Rock in 2014 from Arts Educational London (pictured below) and Fete 2015 from St Benedict’s School in Ealing, London.

your visit

Tickets are £100 each and all teachers go free.

The ticket is all-inclusive. Eventbrite does charge a booking fee, if you would like to avoid this, we can send you an invoice.

We also have an Early Bird offer; if you book before November 30th, you'll get one free ticket for every ten booked.

To get an understanding of the Festival go to FAQ's.

If you are bringing a larger group, we may be able to programme workshops that are specific to your students' interests and/or curriculum. Please get in touch well at least 6 weeks before the Festival if you would like us to arrange something like this.


how to book tickets

You can book tickets online. However, we understand it may take a little more time for schools to make arrangements. If you contact Joseph Schofield at [email protected], they will guide you through the process, reserve tickets and send your school an invoice.

If you would like more information please call Joseph on 020 7036 9027 or send them an email.


The workshops are published ten days ahead of the festival online. There will be informal sessions that take place each morning, giving the students a chance to talk to actors, directors, writers, producers, designers and stage managers about the realities of working in the industry and get advice on how to launch their careers. 

On the Tuesday and Friday of the Festival week, we will programme two intensive days of practical workshops with leading industry practitioners. In 2016, Frantic Assembly (pictured below) the RSC, Transport, The Gate Theatre and many of the drama schools delivered workshops. There were voice, text, movement and verse workshops and many more besides. 

You or your pupils can browse the programme and then book online on a first come first served basis during the week before the festival starts.

arts award

The Festival is an Arts Award Supporter. Some of the Festival activity can contribute to your pupil's Arts Award and we will support them. For example: joining the Technical Team or Management Team and participating in workshops or writing reviews and articles for our Noises Off magazine which may then feature in a portfolio. They can submit a show for the Festival and detail that experience. People can come to NSDF as part of a group. They will see all the shows and participate in workshops run by theatre schools, professional companies and visiting artists. Or make a video at the Festival with their own reviews and comment about the productions and compare the styles of the plays they have seen. For more information go to the Arts Award website, or get in touch with us to discuss. 

our policies

The safety of your students is of paramount importance to us. We will do everything we can to make sure they have a wonderful time at the festival and feel fully part of it. 

However we cannot operate in loco parentis for groups or individuals between the age of 16 and 18 - so this age group must be accompanied by a teacher or adult (which is one of the reasons we offer free tickets to any teacher/adult who is at the festival).

  • Please see our Young Person's Protection Policy and our Equal Opportunities Policy on our Policies Page
  • Please note, we are unable to have anyone at the festival younger than 16 years old on the opening day of the festival.

more info