The latest talented young performer to win The Stage Scholarships at CPA Studios is 22-year-old Ryan Condy from West Lothian, Scotland. He is attending the school’s three-year full-time musical theatre diploma course.
Ryan said: “When I auditioned for CPA I felt like I was somewhere that I belonged. I had to go there. Unfortunately, due to my finances, I was unable to do the course.
“I was called into the Studios one day and told that I had won The Stage Scholarship, and I couldn’t believe it. Winning the scholarship is a dream come true for me, and without the support from CPA and The Stage I most definitely wouldn’t have been able to follow my dream.” An equally gifted and dedicated actor will follow in Ryan’s footsteps this year, with CPA Studios generously offering a £28,000 (90%) scholarship towards the winner’s fees.
CPA Studios, part of Colin’s Performing Arts Group in Romford, was founded more than 30 years ago by principal Colin Putz as a stage school for youngsters. Twelve years after the establishment opened its doors, the full-time college training began to take shape.
CPAG now comprises the school, the CPA Studios college and an in-house agency, as well as all the staff and industry professionals who visit as guest tutors. The three-year level six diploma in professional musical theatre is validated by Trinity London and College for Dance, Education and Training accredited.
The college focuses on “enabling students to develop their personal potential, allowing for growth and change to meet the current and future needs and trends of the ever-evolving entertainment industry”. The skills taught lead to students enjoying success in all aspects of the performing arts world, not just musical theatre.
One of CPA’s best-known graduates is actor James Buckley, who plays Jay in Channel 4’s The Inbetweeners. Others have gone on to work in West End and regional productions, UK tours, film, the commercial sector and the music industry (including Jessie J, and Rochelle Humes of the Saturdays). Other successes include Natalie McQueen (Wicked), David O’Reilly (The Book of Mormon), actor/singer Jack Shalloo (Dickensian), Dean-Charles Chapman (Game of Thrones) and Natalie Woods (Gypsy).
With an intake of 30 students a year, Putz is looking for applicants who show individuality. “There’s no specific type, just dynamic individuals who have talent, a flair for the industry, and personality,” he says. “We don’t want to clone students into performers who turn out looking, speaking and behaving the same.”
The talent and professionalism demonstrated by CPA students and graduates has always impressed school patron, award-winning choreographer Stephen Mear, whose latest Olivier nomination is for his work on Gypsy at the Chichester Festival Theatre/Savoy Theatre: “Students have been prepared and taught in such a way that this respect and hard-working attitude is one of the priceless attributes of their training.”
Course: Three-year musical theatre diploma
Educational level: Post-school
Number of scholarships offered: One
Value of scholarship: £28,000
What costs are covered? Fees (90%)
Where is the school? Romford, Essex
Likely audition date: April 25
Audition fee: £35
Audition requirements: Ballet class, jazz class, solo dance and an acting monolgue
How to apply: Complete the online form at cpastudios.co.uk before April 15. Applications are welcome from anyone who will be aged 16 or over on September 1 2016. There are no recall auditions.