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The Stage Scholarships 2017: Win free training at Italia Conti

Italia Conti student showcase

Kyle Stevens was full of enthusiasm when he attended last November’s photoshoot for winners of The Stage Scholarships scheme in 2016.

“I got bullied at my previous school so the opportunity to go to the excellent Italia Conti and do something I really loved meant the world to me. I felt so exhilarated and excited,” he said.

“I’d like to say a huge thank you to Italia Conti and The Stage. Being at the school is going to open up so many opportunities. I really appreciate that they give this kind of help to lucky people like me.”

Kyle, from Bromley in Kent, hints at how life-changing the award has been for him, and fellow winner – Jessica Lowery, 12, from Hull – agrees wholeheartedly: “I was so overwhelmed when I found out I was going to Italia Conti – I didn’t think it was real,” she says. “The academic side of the school is amazing and I am learning so much about how to act and sing. I couldn’t have gone to theatre school without this scholarship.”

Italia Conti’s dedication to the scheme has been demonstrated by how many talented individuals the academy has helped in recent years.

In 2016, Jessica was given an 85% award (worth £44,115), while Kyle – who has already appeared in the London cast of Matilda the Musical – received a 70% scholarship (worth £36,330).

The value of the one full and two half-scholarships on offer in 2017 could rise to a total value of more than £95,000, depending on the age of the child joining the school (a full individual scholarship for a winner joining in year 7 would be £64,875).

In recent years, Italia Conti has raised its profile as the school featured in the CBBC series School for Stars, but the academy is regarded as the oldest performing arts training school in the world (founded in 1911).

In the late 1960s, the running of the school transferred to the Sheward family and Anne Sheward became principal in the 1980s. After 35 years, she stepped down in October last year, and her sister Samantha Newton took over.

Past students of the school include Pixie Lott, actor Daniel Mays and rising stars Layton Williams (in TV’s Bad Education and currently appearing in the 20th-anniversary tour of Rent) and Mimi Keene (Cindy Williams in EastEnders).

Scholarship winners attend the school, a modern, well-equipped building near London’s Barbican. They have the opportunity to work with a whole range of highly experienced teachers – sometimes up to 20 vocational tutors a week, many of whom are industry professionals.

The Italia Conti Agency allows pupils the chance to gain real professional experience in a wide range of film, TV and theatre roles.

Equally important to the principal and staff at Italia Conti is creating an environment in which pupils are nurtured and encouraged – where every student is treated as an individual. Class sizes are kept small with an annual intake of only 10-15 pupils.

Newton says: “As a comparatively small faculty, we strive for and value the high levels of contact we can provide between students and staff.

“The role of our college is to help talented students harness their dedication to become communicative triple-threat artists, with the pure passion and understanding to reach within themselves to affect and move audiences.”

Course: Theatre arts
Educational level: School age
Number of scholarships offered: One full and two half-scholarships
Value of scholarship: £95,000-plus (dependent on age – a full individual scholarship for a winner joining in year 7 would be £64,875)
What costs are covered? Fees
Location: Goswell Road, London
Audition date: March 22 Audition fee: £35 Audition requirements: One poem or acting piece, one piece of dance in any style and one song or a combined song and dance piece – all music for the individual pieces must be on a CD or iPod. The candidates will also take part in group dance classes. There will also be an academic test in English and maths.
How to apply: Applicants can download an application form from the website or telephone 020 7608 0044. The deadline for applications is March 10. Application form requires a passport-sized and full-length photograph, together with a copy of the latest school report.


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