The Stage Scholarship 2018: how you can win free training at Emil Dale Academy
With nearly £60,000 up for grabs, the Hertfordshire school offers excellent opportunities for budding triple-threat performers, writes Lisa Martland
Benjamin Kempton, 16, won a full scholarship for the two-year musical theatre course at Hertfordshire-based Emil Dale Academy in 2017, one of five awards offered last year through The Stage Scholarships.
He says: “Being awarded a scholarship to Emil Dale was undoubtedly a moment I won’t ever forget. I felt so privileged to have been awarded such an opportunity. It feels like it was meant to be. I cannot thank The Stage and the school enough and would never have been able to pursue my career in this way otherwise.”
Now the school has an even more generous package on the table with full and part-scholarship places being offered on both the two-year and three-year musical theatre diploma courses, as well as the gap year/foundation programme – worth just under £60,000 in total.
In the past nine years, Emil Dale Academy has gone from strength to strength. When the then 23-year-old Dale, an Arts Ed graduate and performer, started offering part-time training, there were 22 youngsters taking classes in a small primary school hall.
Now, in addition to those attending the weekend lessons, there are more than 100 full-time students on the books.
The recently introduced three-year vocational diploma is designed to train performers to be industry-ready and offers a 36-plus contact hour timetable (including hot yoga and personal training group sessions), together with a guaranteed London showcase.
Dale says EDA training courses are “affordable, extreme triple-threat musical theatre”, adding: “Our courses are popular because we offer value for money: an incredible level of contact hours, streamed ability classes, shows with very high production values and one-to-one singing lessons are included in the fees.”
He also emphasises that efforts to charge students as little as possible for courses don’t lead to shortcuts in the quality of teaching.
With an impressive, 60-strong list of guest teachers visiting the academy – including cast members from Hamilton on Broadway (Okieriete Onaodowan) and in the West End (Cleve September) – Dale also feels it is vital that students have continuity in core disciplines.
As a result, the resident team of professionals doesn’t just teach, but runs the business too. He continues: “This means the resident staff are so in touch with the mechanics of the entire school, it gives a much better understanding when teaching the students.”
Students and staff have the full use of a transformed three-storey, 12,000 sq ft disused factory in Hitchin (40 minutes from central London), with five studios, six one-to-one rooms, singing rooms and a 200-seat theatre, the Factory Playhouse, which can accommodate large-scale shows and a 12-piece band.
Dale is particularly pleased to be able to offer a series of scholarships through The Stage, which he calls one of the few publications that “offers quality, independent advice”. He adds: “Through The Stage, we will attract potential students who really want to do musical theatre for the right reasons.”
How to apply
Course: Two-year and three-year musical theatre diplomas; one-year musical theatre foundation
Educational level: Post-school
Number of scholarships offered: One full, one half scholarship and two part scholarships for the three-year course; one full, one half scholarship and two part scholarships for the two-year musical theatre course; one half and two part scholarships for the one-year foundation course
Value of scholarships: Full scholarship (£23,400), half scholarship (£11,700) and part scholarships (£6,000 total) for the three-year course; full scholarship (£7,900), half (£3,950) and part (£2,000 total) for the two-year course; and a half (£2,950) and part (£2,000 total) for the one-year course
What costs are covered? Fees
Where is the school? Hitchin, Hertfordshire
Audition dates: January 29, February 12, March 5
Audition requirements: One monologue and one musical theatre song. Applicants will also be expected to take part in a jazz dance class (but do not have to prepare anything for this part of the audition). Applicants will also be interviewed by a member of the senior faculty.
How to apply: Online via emildale.co.uk (£30 audition fee applies) or email email@example.com. Quote ‘The Stage’ when applying.