The Stage Scholarships 2017: Win innovative training at Fourth Monkey
Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company inhabits a unique role as part of The Stage Scholarships, offering “innovative and forward-thinking” vocational actor training with a difference, rather than conservatoire-style education.
Successful applicants are invited to learn their craft as part of an ensemble repertory company at Fourth Monkey’s purpose-built venue in Finsbury Park, the Monkey House.
There are two half scholarships (worth a total of £19,000) up for grabs and an opportunity to pursue the company’s accelerated two-year actor training programme, working across four terms a year for 40-plus hours per week – not just in the UK, but also overseas.
This includes a month-long residential training in Commedia dell’arte in Italy, with all travel and accommodation included in the fees.
Students also participate in four showcase seasons of productions in London in repertory before completing their training.
The company places an emphasis on physical theatre and collaboration, with partners including Complicite, Told by an Idiot, Theatre Re, All In and Canterbury’s Marlowe Theatre.
During the next few months alone, second-year students will be delivering a repertory season of The White Devil and Julius Caesar, prior to several contemporary European plays and a touring, site-responsive piece.
Underpinning the approach is the creation of a strong and diverse ensemble made up of artists versatile enough to work as actors as well as theatremakers, with numerous successful alumni companies delivering work nationally and internationally.
Notable alumni companies include Les Enfants Terribles, Human Zoo Theatre Company, the all-female ensemble About Wolves, absurdist and experimental creative partnership Attila, and site-specific company Shrink.
Former students are also working extensively in theatre, TV, film and commercials both in the UK and internationally, with alumni working in the West End, on television and touring.
Following in the footsteps of these artists will be 2016 scholarship winners Jazz Brown, 21, from Battersea in south London, and Jade Amber Shepheard, 21, from Whitstable in Kent.
Jazz felt Fourth Monkey was the perfect fit for him: “I was looking for a school that would push me mentally and physically, that would embrace my differences, and I fell in love with the ethos at Fourth Monkey straight away. The company celebrates your uniqueness and refines that, makes that credible. Winning the scholarship has been the validation I needed.”
For Jade, the nurturing of students as theatremakers particularly attracted her to Fourth Monkey: “I loved the idea of creating my own work, so when I discovered I could train as part of an ensemble company rather than on a traditional training course, I knew Fourth Monkey was where I needed to be.”
An ongoing investment in students’ creative prowess continues well beyond graduation. Performers have gone on to join the Fourth Monkey Ensemble, a professional touring company made up exclusively of its graduates.
Fourth Monkey’s artistic director Steve Green explains: “We want our training to have a contemporary resonance for what we feel the industry requires now, and for our actors to be industry-ready in two years, but the training also encourages them to develop the knowledge and ability to create work for themselves, something we see as essential and valuable to both the actor and the industry itself.”
Course: Two-year rep actor training programme
Educational level: Post-school
Number of scholarships offered: Two half-scholarships
Value of scholarship: £9,500 per half-scholarship (£19,000 total)
What costs are covered? Fees, plus travel and accommodation for one-month Italy residency
Where is the school? Finsbury Park, London
Audition date: March 4
Audition fee: £25
Audition requirements: Two monologues (two to three minutes each), one classical, one contemporary. These are delivered in the morning, then a tour of the school with alumni to enable the applicant to ask questions, followed by an interview before lunch. Afternoon of ensemble and physical workshops with the emphasis on collaboration and physicality. Suitable movement clothing will be required, as will a sense of play.
Every applicant will work with members of the core team of practitioners, including the school’s artistic director.
If accepted on to the training, please ensure you have a valid passport.
How to apply: Via fourthmonkey.co.uk. State ‘The Stage’ when referencing where you heard about us.
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