I can tell you, as a budding actor, having Jack Lemmon put his hand on my shoulder and say, 'That was terrific, kid; you oughta do this professionally' was a big deal for me.

Kevin Spacey


    Over the course of my career, I've been fortunate enough to have success as a stage and screen actor, running the film production company, Triggerstreet, and as Artistic Director of one of the world's best-loved theatres - London's Old Vic.

    When I first started out, I was lucky enough to meet Jack Lemmon who encouraged me to become an actor. He subsequently became a great mentor in my life. Jack had a phrase that he used all the time that I've now adopted as my own. He believed that if you've been successful in your chosen path, if you’ve been able to realize your ambition, then you are obligated to 'send the elevator back down'.

    That's why I've set up The Kevin Spacey Foundation (KSF).

    We enable the creation of new work via KSF Grants, design bespoke education opportunities through KSF Learning, and offer free university places via KSF Scholarships.

    I'd love you to help me keep the elevator moving, and in good working order, so that we can bring along as many passengers as possible. 

    Kevin Spacy signature

    Kevin Spacey

    No matter how successful you get, always send the elevator back down.

    Jack Lemmon

    here to
    It was one of the best experiences of my life.

    KSF project participant


    Kevin Spacey was born in South Orange, New Jersey and spent most of his youth in Southern California.

    As a teenager Kevin attended a drama workshop led by his idol, Jack Lemmon. On seeing Kevin perform, Jack put his hand on his shoulder and said:

    ‘That was a touch of terrific, kid. This guy is an actor. You need to go to New York and study to become an actor’ which is exactly what Kevin did. He attended The Juilliard School in 1979.

    Kevin made his first Broadway stage appearance as Oswald in Ibsen’s Ghosts in 1981. His break through theatre performance was in Eugene O’Neill’s Long Days Journey Into Night opposite his now mentor, Jack Lemmon.

    Whilst always harbouring a love for the stage, Kevin went on to work in television and subsequently movies. He won an Academy Award for his portrayal of Verbal Kint in The Usual Suspects and an Oscar for Best Actor as Lester Burnham in American Beauty.

    On stage, his performance in O’Neill’s The Iceman Cometh was recognized with the Lawrence Oliver Award for Best Actor and a Tony nomination.

    In 1997 Kevin founded TriggerStreet Productions, an entertainment company that has produced The Social Network and the Netflix original series House of Cards

    In 2003 Kevin became the Artistic Director of the Old Vic Theatre and moved to London. He focussed on the importance of encouraging young people to build confidence through drama and developing emerging talent with the award-winning Old Vic New Voices programme.

    Kevin made his UK Shakespearean debut in Richard II at the Old Vic in 2006 and in 2008 he was appointed as Cameron Mackintosh Visiting Professor of Contemporary Theatre at Oxford University. In 2010 Kevin was named honorary Commander of the British Empire as recognition for his exceptional work in theatre.

    Kevin set up the Kevin Spacey Foundation in the UK in 2010 and in the US in 2013, with the aim of continuing and expanding his work of  ‘sending the elevator back down’ by supporting new artistic talent.

    Over the course of his career, Kevin has led many acting workshops for young people - sharing his knowledge and experience in the way Jack Lemmon did for him as his mentor. He has delivered classes for emerging artists all over the world through the inaugural Kevin Spacey Foundation project: Richard’s Rampage.

    To see Kevin’s full biography visit: www.kevinspacey.com


    The Kevin Spacey Foundation (KSF) works in partnership with universities in the UK and the US to offer KSF Scholarships and funding support to talented applicants of performing arts courses.

    KSF Scholarships and funding support are currently available for the following courses at the listed educational institutions:

    Regent’s University London, UK
    Regent’s School of Drama, Film & Media (RSDFM)

    Acting and Global Theatre BA (Hons)
    3-year undergraduate degree course

    Screenwriting and Producing BA (Hons)
    3-year undergraduate degree course

    The Kevin Spacey Foundation team support Regent’s University London in the KSF Scholarships audition process, seeing applicants in both the UK and the US. In addition, students will experience master classes with Kevin Spacey.

    Pace University, New York, US
    Pace School of Performing Arts (PPA)

    One-year KSF Scholarship support for 5 students studying on any of the following programs:

    BFA Acting
    BFA Acting for Film, TV, Voice-over and Commercials
    BFA Commercial Dance
    BFA Musical Theater
    BFA Production and Design
    BA Directing
    BA Stage Management

    One-year funding support covering travel expenses for 10 students on the PPA’s International Performance Ensemble program.

    Fear seldom stops you. What stops you is the fear of failure.

    Jack Lemmon

    here to

    Eligibility for consideration for a KSF Scholarship or funding support is specific to each course and institution. Please follow the links below for full details:

    Regent’s University London, UK
    Regent’s School of Drama, Film & Media (RSDFM)

    Acting and Global Theatre BA (Hons)

    Screenwriting and Producing BA (Hons)

    Pace University, New York, US
    Pace School of Performing Arts (PPA)

    All performance programs

    International Performance Ensemble Program

    The scholarship completely opened the door for me.

    Michael Wiseman, Scholarship recipient


    To be eligible for KSF Scholarships or funding support you must first apply to the course or program you are interested in. It is then possible to apply for a KSF Scholarship at Regent’s University London.

    KSF Scholarships and funding support at Pace University are allocated by the Pace financial aid department.


    Please follow the links below for full details:

    Regent’s University London, UK
    Regent’s School of Drama, Film & Media (RSDFM)

    Acting and Global Theatre BA (Hons)

    Screenwriting and Producing BA (Hons)

    Pace University, New York, US
    Pace School of Performing Arts (PPA)

    All performance programs

    International Performance Ensemble Program

  • Scholarships: frequently asked questions

    Kevin Spacey Foundation -
    Scholarships frequently asked questions:

    Please find information about the KSF Scholarships at Regent's University London below. All questions regarding Pace University scholarships and funding support can be found at the Pace University website.



    • When will I be able to apply for the KSF Scholarship?

      You will be eligible for consideration for the KSF Scholarship if you have received either:

      A conditional or unconditional offer for the BA (Hons) Acting & Global Theatre, including having successfully passed an RSDFM acting audition. Applications for the scholarship will need to be submitted on or before the deadline of 31 May 2014

      OR a conditional or unconditional offer for the BA (Hons) Screenwriting & Producing including successfully submitted script and essay. Applications for the scholarship will need to be submitted on or before the deadline of 31 June 2014



      Acting & Global Theatre Scholarship application deadline is 31 May 2014

      Screenwriting & Producing Scholarship deadline is 30 June 2014

    • Can I apply for admission to the university and the KSF Scholarship at the same time?
      Yes, but only applicants who have received a conditional or unconditional offer and successfully passed their RSDFM audition, will be considered for scholarship shortlisting.
    • Can I apply for the KSF Scholarship if I am already studying for the BA (Hons) Acting & Global Theatre or the BA (Hons) Screenwriting & Producing?
      No, the scholarship is only available to students who will commence studying from the September 2014 intake.
    • Is the KSF Scholarship available for all degree courses?
      No, the scholarship is only available to those applying to study for the BA (Hons) Acting & Global Theatre or the (BA) Hons Screenwriting & Producing.
    • Will I receive an acknowledgement of my KSF Scholarship application?
      When you apply for a scholarship using our online scholarship application form you will see an automatic acknowledgement page after you submit your application. You should save or print this page for your records and keep it safe. If you do not receive this last page please contact KSF@regents.ac.uk
    • What should I do if I realise part of my KSF Scholarship application is incorrect after I have submitted it?

      We are not able to change your form once you have submitted it and you will not be able to send a second application for the same scholarship. We can, with your permission, delete your application and you can start again. To request this please email KSF@regents.ac.uk.  

      Please note that you cannot make changes to your application form after the advertised closing date.

    • How will I know if I have been successful with my KSF Scholarship application?
      Successful and unsuccessful applicants will be notified via email by mid-June.
    • If I change my course of study will it affect my scholarship application?
      The KSF Scholarship is only available for the BA (Hons) Acting & Global Theatre and (BA) Hons Screenwriting & Producing.
    • Can I still receive the KSF Scholarship if I defer my offer until the following year?
      You will not able to defer your scholarship. Should you wish to defer you offer, you will need to apply again for the scholarship the following year.
    • When will auditions for the Acting & Global Theatre KSF Scholarships be held?
      Auditions for those applying to the BA (Hons) Acting & Global Theatre Scholarship will be held in New York and London in mid-July.  Applicants will be sent a pre-audition pack and will be given at least two weeks to prepare. Please note travel expense will not be covered.
    • When will interviews for the Screenwriting & Producing KSF Scholarships be held?
      Interviews will be held the week beginning July 7th 2014. Applicants are encouraged to visit the Regent’s University London campus (please note travel expense cannot be covered) to discuss their script and essay, however those who are unable to travel are welcome to be interviewed using Skype or by telephone.

    Download PDF


    The KSF Grants support emerging artists to develop creative projects in the performing arts (drama, dance and music) or film.

    At the start of your creative career and looking to develop a new performance piece, installation, exhibition, film or script? The KSF Grants are designed to give you the time you need to get your project off the ground.

    I wouldn't have been able to finish making my first feature film if it hadn't been for a KSF grant. It was a real boost to my confidence and the project.

    KSF Grant Recipient


    Anyone* starting a career in the arts can apply for a KSF Grant and we will consider projects from across the performing arts (music, dance and drama) and film, as long as the ideas are innovative and exciting. We are particularly interested in theatre projects.

    We offer three levels of grant:

    • £500
    • £1,500
    • £2,500

    and open to receive applications once a year (for 5 weeks):

    • March 3 2014 – April 7 2014

    To apply complete the online application form.

    Please only submit a KSF Grant application during the advertised open dates above. KSF will not accept applications made outside of these open dates.

    Details of 2015 KSF Grant application dates will be posted here soon.

    The Trustees may use their discretion to offer KSF Grants of above £2,500

    Have a question? Click here to see Frequently Asked Questions

    (*UK and US residents only at present although KSF is exploring how it might fund projects outside of the UK and US in the near future.)


      We advise you to download the PDF version and to complete it offline. Please save the pdf version for your own records and then copy and paste your answers into the online form below and click submit.

      All sections of the form must be filled in before your form can be submitted.

      Which Award level are you applying for?
      Next step

  • Grants: frequently asked questions

    Kevin Spacey Foundation -
    Grants frequently asked questions:

    • How do I choose which level of Grant is best for my project?
      Make sure you have a clear idea of what you will use the Grant for. If during the assessment process the Grant level you have applied for is deemed too low or too high KSF will suggest an alternate level.
    • If I am successful, do I have to spend my KSF Grant within a certain time?
      Yes. You must use your Grant within 6 months of having received it. (This is negotiable on receipt of the Grant and depends on the Project and the level of the Grant).
    • My project will be a group effort – can we apply as a group?
      Yes. KSF will accept applications from individuals or groups – please clarify whether you are applying as a group in the Project Outline. The person (whether representing themselves or a group) who makes and submits the application (the “Applicant”) is considered the key contact with KSF if successful (i.e. the Grant Recipient).
    • I am not a UK or US resident, can I apply for a KSF Grant?
      No. KSF requires the Applicant to be a UK or US resident at present. However, KSF is exploring how it might fund projects outside of the UK and US in the near future.
    • Can I apply for a KSF Grant to help finance educational courses or training?
      No. KSF provides training opportunities through its KSF Scholarships with the London School of Film, Media and Performance at Regent’s University – please click here to find out more.
    • Can I buy equipment with the KSF Grant to help make my project happen?
      No. KSF will not accept applications for the purchase of equipment (i.e. computers, cameras etc.).
    • I have already secured some funding for my project can I still apply?
      Yes. KSF will consider applications for projects that already have part funding but will require evidence of said funding (i.e. a copy of a letter of agreement).
    • What happens to my application after the closing date?
      In the first instance the KSF team will check all applications to ensure they are complete and comply with the criteria. A shortlist will be drawn up and presented to the KSF Trustees, Programme Director and Projects Manager who will make the final decision. You will be contacted within 5 weeks of the deadline date as to whether or not you have been successful.
    • If I have applied before can I resubmit my project for consideration?
      No. KSF will not consider an application that is unsuccessful more than once.
    • My application was unsuccessful will KSF give me feedback?
      No. KSF cannot provide feedback to unsuccessful Applicants.
    • I applied last year, can I apply again with a different project?
      Yes. However, we cannot accept two applications from one Applicant in the same year.
    • If I am successful in receiving a Grant, will I be expected to report back to KSF on the progress of the project?

      Yes. KSF will ask you to submit a report when your project is complete or at its next developmental stage as outlined in your application.

      You will also be expected to contribute to online content about the project such as photographs from rehearsals, blogs or films etc.

    Download PDF

  • GRANTS: Funding Strategy

    KSF WILL allocate Grants of £500 - £2,500 to:

    Individuals / groups (UK or US residents) at the start of their careers in the performing arts (drama, dance and music) or film who present projects which:

    are innovative and exciting;

    are feasible (in reference to the project budget outline, the Award amount applied for and any other funding already received for the project); and

    will take place within a 6 – 12 month period from the deadline date.

    Hearing from Kevin Spacey, such an influential and talented person, will forever resonate with me.
    KSF project participant

    KSF Learning supports secondary schools and students in secondary education. 

    We create bespoke creative learning projects that use theatre techniques to inspire young people to be aspirational. All of our projects are offered free of charge and either see us working in your school or a central location. Our projects are created and facilitated by highly experienced teachers and actors. We aim for excellence and uniqueness, relying on teacher/student feedback in order to achieve that aim.

    Fantastic day with fabulous people. Inspirational, creative, thought provoking and co-operative.

    KSF Learning Student

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    Thanks so much for an incredibly memorable day of learning. The kids had the experience of a lifetime, as did I.



    Our projects take us across the world so as long as you have drama on the school curriculum you can apply to take part. 

    We recognise how hard drama teachers work and believe they should be supported by the industry. In turn we like you to be passionate and committed, telling us exactly why you believe your school would benefit from working with us. However, we’re realistic and recognise the time constraints and lack of space manifest in most schools so we’ll always work with you to make a visit possible. Your application is always welcome.

    I really found the session enlightening and my pupils have already begun trying out similar ideas within their current devised work.



    We do one project a year. Application is through a simple online form. A panel assesses each application. A representative from KSF will then contact you by phone to have an informal chat about what you hope to get out of the project. 

    Only one application can be take per school, although we encourage joint applications with another member of staff to ensure the widest possible reach. 

    Join our email list.

    I cannot express just how appreciative we are to have had this opportunity. Excellent, talented actor-facilitators – friendly, professional and knowledgeable.

    Richard’s Rampage Teacher


    Our Learning Projects inspire aspiration in young people through theatre based techniques. See our work below.


The Kevin Spacey Foundation aims to train, support and mentor emerging artists in the performing arts and film.

KSF Grants

Through KSF Grants the Foundation supports emerging talent in the performing arts (drama, dance, music and film) enabling the practitioners of the future to realize exciting, innovative creative ideas.

KSF Scholarships

The KSF Scholarships give anyone wanting to attain a higher education in the arts the chance to attend university. The Foundation partners with universities to give selected students financial support and exceptional learning experiences. 

KSF Learning

KSF Learning supports secondary schools and students in secondary education. The Foundation creates bespoke learning projects that use theatre techniques to inspire young people to be aspirational. All of our projects are offered for free.

KSF completely opened the door for me
Michael Wiseman, Scholarship Recipient
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I truly felt inspired from all that I learnt
Richard’s Rampage Participant
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