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The Stage Scholarships 2013: D and B School of Performing Arts

A class in progress at D and B. The school prides itself on nurturing talent and encouraging hard work.

Enjoying a second year in The Stage Scholarship scheme is D and B School of Performing Arts in Bromley, south-east London.

Two scholarships are being offered. They are worth a total of £45,450 and cover full training fees for the school’s three-year, full-time musical theatre course.

Three years at a top vocational school and no need to worry about training fees. What an opportunity this is. Read on and find out if D and B School of Performing arts is for you.

D and B takes its name from its founders, sisters Donna and Bonnie Sullivan. The former is an ex-dancer and the latter a former actor.

“Donna and I set up the school to provide intensive quality training which will enable our graduates to work successfully on the professional stage,” says Bonnie. “We want our graduates to be well rounded and well informed and we aim to keep the fees low so that the training is open to everyone.

“We hope that The Stage scholarship scheme will open doors for even more students who are finding difficulty in affording the cost of training.”

An innovative element of the course is TV technique, in which students look at what happens behind the camera as well as in front. Unsurprisingly, they create their own show reels when they graduate.

Last year’s winners of The Stage/D and B scholarship were Rachel Rawlinson and Daniel Bell.

Rachel Rawlinson. Photo: Alex Brenner

Rawlinson had been at the part-time school at D and B for several years and has had roles in Chitty Chitty Bang Bang and Billy Elliot among others. According to course co-ordinator Nikki Gummer, Rawlinson is “extremely dedicated, fully committed and has a good head on her shoulders”.

Bell, despite being only 20, already has his own production company. Gummer says: “Daniel struck us with his musical talent at the audition, and he’s already producing shows and pantomimes. Both he and Rachel are extremely hard working and focused. They both know what they need to do to succeed.”

D and B has a management arm that actively looks for employment opportunities for the students during their training. These opportunities are short term – such as a few days filming on Holby City or EastEnders. But those opportunities will not detract from training, they will add flesh and useful credits to student CVs.

D and B has a prominent headquarters on a corner site in Bromley. It boasts seven excellent studios, a studio theatre and state-of-the-art sound systems and much else.

Daniel Bell. Photo: Alex Brenner

From the very beginning, the Sullivan sisters have encouraged a close-knit feeling to flourish at the school. They themselves are very much hands on, being at D and B every day and taking the annual tutorials. The annual intake is deliberately kept quite low. Strong working relationships between tutors and students are a part of school life – no one is a number.

“As soon as people come to us and meet the faculty and the students and see the studios, they fall in love with the place,” says Gummer. “They say there is such a good feeling. They say there is excitement in the place and they want to become part of our family. We are a small community and people want to join us in that.”

A strong, small community offering top skills and it’s in London – this school is well positioned to give young performers a great start in their careers. You’d better fill in the form – best not put it off.

Download the application form here (PDF file 508k)

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