The Stage Scholarships 2019: Sylvia Young Theatre School
With its students frequently performing in the West End and on screen, the central London theatre school is offering to cover all fees for one student through The Stage Scholarships Scheme, Paul Vale writes
For more than 25 years, the Sylvia Young Theatre School has worked with The Stage to offer a scholarship at its full-time school. Founded by Sylvia Young in 1972, the school has helped more than 70 children pursue a career in the performing arts through The Stage Scholarships and other schemes over the years. Once again this year, a single full scholarship is on offer at the central London school, worth up to £70,000.
“We have a caring family atmosphere,” Young explains. “All students are encouraged to develop their individual talents and achieve high standards in both academic and vocational areas. We aim to develop confidence, communication skills and creativity. We take great pride in the school’s first-class teaching and the way we ensure students’ feet stay on the ground, whatever roles they play.”
The school, which has about 250 students between the ages of 10 and 16, offers a full curriculum of vocational and academic studies. From Monday to Wednesday, the students follow an academic programme, working towards GCSE examinations. In the latter part of the week they receive training in drama, dance and singing, while developing their individual performance skills.
Students have always enjoyed a healthy presence in the West End, on television and film. Students have recently appeared in shows such as School of Rock, Aladdin and Matilda the Musical, in which last year’s scholarship winner, 11-year-old Taziva-Faye Katsande, performed. Others have appeared recently in Christmas blockbuster Mary Poppins Returns.
It’s not always on stage or screen that graduates make their mark, however. Last year, one of the earliest scholarship winners, Chris Overton, won an Academy Award for best short film for The Silent Child.
Sylvia Young explains what she wants from those who audition in March. “We are looking for potential and ability in dance, singing or acting. However, applicants do not have to be fully trained. It is more about natural talent. For the auditions, we ask applicants to learn two acting pieces, present a song and a short movement or dance piece.
“If recalled, applicants will be asked to take a test in English and maths. The school also achieves very high standards in GCSE results and students go on to achieve scholarships in top independent sixth-form colleges and major dance and musical theatre colleges.”
Course: Sylvia Young Theatre School
Educational level: School age
Number of scholarships offered: One full scholarship
Value of scholarship: £70,000
What costs are covered? Fees – awards do not cover boarding fees, uniform(s), school lunches, external exams, travel passes or fares
Where is the school? Nutford Place, London
Audition dates: March 3, with recalls on March 10 and final auditions on March 13
Audition requirements: Applicants will be grouped according to age and will take part in workshop sessions in all drama, singing and dance. After the workshop audition, selected applicants will be invited back to attend a recall and/or final audition, when they will be asked to perform their individual pieces to an invited guest panel. Scholarship auditions are for students entering school years 7 and 8 in September 2019.
How do I apply? Register online at regonline.co.uk/sytsbursaries2019 before February 15. A registration payment of £15 per applicant is required during the online registration process.