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The Stage Scholarships 2018: Pauline Quirke Academy Studios London

PQA Studios London students. Photo: Brian Thomas PQA Studios London students. Photo: Brian Thomas

In its inaugural year, the London-based academy gives free places on three of its courses, says Lisa Martland

The Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts has been a loyal member of The Stage Scholarships for a number of years – offering hundreds of opportunities at its weekend schools across the UK.

The Stage/Pauline Quirke Academy of Performing Arts scholarship winners 2017

Now, PQA has returned in a different guise, with fully funded places available on each of the three courses launched in the inaugural year of its full-time performing arts school, PQA Studios London.

“We were looking for ways to celebrate the 10th anniversary of our weekend academies,” says artistic director Adam Davenport. “Our new full-time academy feels like the perfect way to support our students with the next steps towards a career in the performing arts.”

Scholarships are on offer for the two-year diploma in performing arts; one-year foundation in acting; and one-year foundation in musical theatre (worth a total of £35,000).

In addition to the courses focusing equally on singing, acting, dance and film and television, there will be private red-carpet cinema screenings of short films made during the course; open-air Shakespeare performances in Gasholder Park; a trip to New York that includes workshops with Broadway performers; and projects co-delivered by industry partners including Trestle, Little Angel Puppet Theatre and True Edge Stage Combat.

Davenport outlines how students will receive one-to-one singing and acting lessons as part of their core study and individual vocational tutorials to discuss progress and development.

Those attending PQA Studios will also benefit from an initiative called Industry Week, a week-long series of workshops and Q&As with guests from different areas of the profession, including casting directors, actors, agents, producers, and representatives from the major drama schools.

Davenport continues: “We seek as many opportunities as possible for our students to work alongside professional theatre companies during their training.”

In another move to boost students’ careers, the school has a close relationship with Q Management, a boutique agency representing actors between the ages of 18-30 in theatre, film and television. Their agents will regularly attend performances by students.

“We are looking for students with potential to work in the industry professionally, coupled with passion, an open mind, and the ability to contribute generously to an ensemble,” says Davenport.

Now celebrating 50 years in the industry, Pauline Quirke adds: “Drama school training is almost unrecognisable now to when I was young, and we hope that we have created a training experience that is fresh, current, and reflects the demands of today’s performing arts industry, while retaining the traditional values and approaches that got me hooked.”


Course: Two-year diploma in performing arts; one-year foundation in acting; one-year foundation in musical theatre
Education level: Post-school
Number of scholarships offered: One per each course mentioned above
Value of scholarship: Two-year diploma in performing arts (£17,100 total); one-year foundation in acting (£9,000); one-year foundation in musical theatre (£9,000)
What costs are covered? Fees
Location: Pentonville Road, London N1
Audition dates: February 21, April 18, June 13 for the one-year foundation courses; February 22, April 19, June 14 for the two-year diploma. Two-year diploma – applicants must be 16 years or over at the start of the course. One-year foundation courses – applicants must be 18 years or over at the start of the course. Candidates for all courses will participate in group workshops in dance/movement, singing and improvisation. All applicants will also have an individual interview with faculty members.

Candidates should prepare the following:
Two-year diploma: one monologue (two minutes maximum); one musical theatre song (two minutes maximum)
One-year foundation in musical theatre: one monologue (two minutes maximum); two contrasting musical theatre songs (two minutes maximum for each)
One-year foundation in acting: two contrasting monologues of no longer than two minutes each (Elizabethan/Jacobean – usually Shakespeare); contemporary (written after 1950)

How do I apply? There is an online application form via pqastudios.com/fta-apply/

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