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The Stage Scholarships 2016: D&B School of Performing Arts

Boys’ ballet class at D&B School of Performing Arts Boys’ ballet class at D&B School of Performing Arts

Chloe Hare was brimming with enthusiasm: “I have always been a believer in the quote, ‘If you can dream it, you can do it’, especially as D&B has been my dream college to train at for many years. I can’t wait to begin my career path in musical theatre.”

The 19-year-old, from Rainham in Kent, had just won the 2015 scholarship to attend D&B School of Performing Arts’ full-time musical theatre course.

The school is taking part in The Stage Scholarships scheme for the fifth year running. The Sullivan sisters, who founded the school in 1988 (ex-dancer Donna and former actor Bonnie) are offering a scholarship worth £24,525, covering full fees for three years’ training in musical theatre at the headquarters in Bromley, south-east London.

They are well aware of how difficult students find it to afford the intensive training the school offers, as Donna explains: “We are so proud to offer a full scholarship to an individual who might not otherwise be able to pursue their dream career.

“We aim to find the most talented person whose financial circumstances might not match their determination to pursue a career in the performing arts. With a curriculum covering TV, film and theatre, we train our students for all aspects of the industry.”

First-class professionalism is a priority, but equally important is nurturing a close-knit community. This is shown in their involvement in the everyday running of the school and the decision to keep the intake low.

Donna says: “The college is very selective. With a maximum intake of 25 per year, every student is treated as an individual. We know the students inside out and encourage them while making sure that no one slips under the radar.”

Part of D&B’s ethos is to encourage students to work professionally in short-term engagements while training, through the school’s agency D&B Management, all of which gives them invaluable experience. Recent credits have included leading roles in TV, film and West End shows.

This approach didn’t do past student and patron Marvin Humes – formerly of JLS and a host on The Voice UK – any harm. Two young actors have also joined the cast of EastEnders: Jacqueline Jossa as Lauren Branning and Tilly Keeper as Louise Mitchell.

Last year, 17-year-old Chelsie Austen, from Goffs Oak/Cuffley in Hertfordshire, also won a scholarship to attend the full-time musical theatre course last year. Chelsie has ambitions to be a singer-songwriter and return to the West End: “At the age of about 10, I was lucky enough to get my first West End job in Oliver!. It would be fabulous to have the chance to take on the challenges as an adult performer.

“I am really looking forward to what the future brings. I intend to make every minute count and work as hard as I possibly can for the next three years.”


Course: Three-year musical theatre diploma
Educational level: Post-school
Number of scholarships offered: One
Value of scholarship: £24,525
What costs are covered? Fees
Where is the school? Bromley
Audition date: May 10
Audition requirements: Applicants will be expected to take part in a ballet class and a jazz class. They need to prepare two contrasting songs with sheet music and a monologue. This process is followed by an interview. If you are successful in your audition and decide to accept your place on the course, you will be invited back to audition for the full scholarship.
How to apply: Download a standard application form from D&B’s website, quoting “The Stage Scholarship” when applying. Closing date for applications is May 5

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