Join the likes of Gary Oldman and Rosalie Craig by studying at Rose Bruford College, which is offering a full scholarship worth £8,250 with The Stage. Paul Vale finds out more
Following a very successful collaboration with The Stage last year, Rose Bruford College of Theatre and Performance is once again offering a full scholarship on its acting foundation course. This is a full-time training course, providing more than 30 hours of contact teaching per week, valued at £8,250. Last year’s successful winner was Yadel Gebeyehu from Leicester, who impressed the judges by demonstrating a passion for acting in his audition. Since completing the course, Yadel has performed in a show at the Stratford Circus and is currently auditioning for further training at drama schools.
Course director Pat O’Toole explains the importance of this unique partnership with The Stage. “This scholarship needs to be about providing opportunity for someone who wouldn’t necessarily be able to go on a course like this, and I’m very mindful that we need to be providing as many scholarships and bursaries as we can to support people such as Yadel. There is no way he would have been able to do this course without it.”
Rose Bruford is arguably one of the best-known drama schools outside the capital and boasts among its alumni Gary Oldman, Katie Brayben and Rosalie Craig.
The 22-week acting foundation course, based in Sidcup, Kent, offers students training in a variety of disciplines and provides preparation for further vocational study at drama school, whether a bachelor’s or master’s degree. It is designed to support the student’s development as an actor in training, auditioning and in a career, in a way that is rigorous and professional.
There are classes in voice, movement, singing, acting, ensemble, film and TV as well as regular masterclasses such as building your audition portfolio, acting through song and stage fighting and unarmed combat. Each student has a personal tutor and is expected to keep a personal development journal, which is reviewed at one-to-one tutorials every term.
‘This scholarship needs to be about providing opportunity for someone who wouldn’t necessarily be able to go on a course like this’ – course director Pat O’Toole
Students at Rose Bruford will also be offered support and advice regarding applications for further study and managing career opportunities. Foundation actors will have tutorials each term with the course leader to review progress and receive feedback.
This year Rose Bruford is also partnering with Graeae. However it’s not a new relationship as far as Rose Bruford is concerned. O’Toole says: “We’ve been involved with Graeae for a very long time: 15 years ago we worked together on the Arts Council’s Best Practice in Disability and Inclusion. We also worked to ensure our training and processes were accessible to people with disabilities.
“Jenny Sealey, Graeae’s artistic director, has taught with us a number of times and that’s been incredibly valuable to us, because we want to make sure we have more access to our programmes – not just for higher education but across the board. We have more students with disabilities now than ever, so this partnership is ideal.”
Auditions take place in May, and O’Toole says the audition day is “relaxed and fun, where applicants are able to be themselves”. Over a three-hour period, there will be three workshops in movement and ensemble, voice and acting with text. There are always foundation ambassadors present at auditions whose role is to answer applicants’ questions and offer support when necessary. Applicants will also get an opportunity to look around the facility and to perform monologues.
This year, for the first time, Graeae Theatre Company, which specialises in training and creating theatre with D/deaf and disabled artists, is supporting The Stage Scholarships. It will provide advice, support, guidance and a professional mentor for up to three students identifying as D/deaf and/or disabled and recruited through the scheme. If you would like to be considered, please indicate this on your application.