As the application end date for The Stage Scholarships to Italia Conti draws near, Paul Vale speaks to the academy’s principal about what prospective students can expect in 2020 and catches up with last year’s winner Maddie Monti
For more than a century, Italia Conti Academy of Theatre Arts has been providing training and support for generations of performers.
Among its alumni, the respected academy boasts graduates including Bonnie Langford, Daniel Mays, Lucy Speed, Layton Williams, who is about to tour in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, and Sam Tutty, currently playing the lead in the West End production of Dear Evan Hansen. For 2020, the academy is once again partnering with The Stage to offer one full scholarship and two part-scholarships at its prestigious London home. In total, this is an offer of free training worth in excess of £64,875.
Principal Samantha Newton elaborates on what the academy has to offer students.
“Italia Conti Juniors offers the opportunity to build on their base of educational excellence, encouraging an ever-wider range of creative collaboration that breaks new artistic ground and also brings the uniquely valuable qualities of the arts to bear on the community around us,” she says.
“Through a rigorous curriculum, performance opportunities, and guidance from an accomplished faculty, Italia Conti Juniors students gain the necessary skills to pursue studies while developing their talents as artists, leaders, and as triple-threat performers.”
Academic training is valued as much as the vocational training at Italia Conti. Half of a typical day will be spent undertaking academic studies, such as English, maths, Spanish and history, while the afternoon is given over to classes in ballet, tap, acting and singing. These eventually lead to GCSEs, with vocational qualifications in dance offered through the ISTD syllabus in classical ballet, modern dance and tap dance, while acting examinations are through LAMDA.
Pupils will also take part in a variety of performances throughout the year, both in-house and at various venues around the capital. The main show takes place each year in the summer and is usually performed at a West End theatre.
Maddie Monti, aged 14 from Dagenham in Essex, won a full scholarship in 2019 and began training at the academy last September. Maddie had been dancing from the age of six, and had auditioned for Italia Conti before.
“I’d been singing since I could talk and dancing as soon as I could walk. I auditioned when I was younger and didn’t get in, but I kept training locally and became more determined. I felt so honoured to be given The Stage Scholarship opportunity. There are around 25 people in my class but the whole school is like a family – we’re all so close. I couldn’t ask for a better school.”
Course: Italia Conti Juniors
Educational level: School age
Number of scholarships offered: One full scholarship and two part-scholarships
Value of scholarship: More than £4,325 per term per student
What costs are covered? Fees
Location: Goswell Road, London EC1
Application date: By February 19
Audition requirements: Applicants will need to prepare two short acting pieces, lasting approximately one minute each for the acting auditions. Ideally, three contrasting dance disciplines should be shown, for example, ballet, jazz and tap and also a song, which can be in any style. There may also be tests in English and maths plus an interview by the principal, head teacher or their deputies following the audition.
How to apply: Go to italiaconti.com and click on The Stage Scholarship application form.