Situated in the ‘Cultural Capital of the Arab World’, Sharjah Performing Arts Academy offers students world-class training in an international environment. Paul Vale explains what a scholarship winner could expect
This year, The Stage is delighted to join forces with Sharjah Performing Arts Academy in the United Arab Emirates to offer two full scholarships on any one of its three new degree courses. This state-of-the-art facility is the only one of its kind in the Middle East and is currently operating BA courses in Acting, Production Art and Musical Theatre. In total, the value of these scholarships is £48,000.
SPAA director Peter Barlow, who has been teaching actors for more than 30 years, was chief executive officer at Guildford School of Acting and was chair of the Conference of Drama Schools in the UK.
“I am so excited to be able to offer The Stage Scholarships for students wishing to train at our new academy in the UAE. This is truly an adventure and the most creative project I have ever been involved with. We are creating a unique opportunity for students to train as performance and production artists in an international environment where we bring different cultures and experiences together to make new styles in performance and production. Our graduates will have skills and knowledge that will make them valuable professionals in the world of creative arts,” he said.
The academy is in Sharjah, which is considered the ‘Cultural Capital of the Arab World’. The facility consists of a 432-seat theatre and a studio theatre, multiple rehearsal studios, recording studios and a green-screen TV studio. There is also a fully equipped gym, with qualified health and well-being staff, plus gallery spaces, cafes and student accommodation.
The BA Musical Theatre programme is a full-time, four-year programme offering world-class training and an opportunity for international collaboration. The teaching week consists of a minimum of 30 contact hours per week, including daily classes in dance, acting, voice and singing. There is also an option to gain a qualified dance teacher status (DDE) through ISTD, and with Estill International in gaining a CMT vocal tutor certification.
The BA Acting programme is dedicated to producing professional actors who are international contenders for a global, performing arts career. This four-year, full-time acting degree is a collaborative process, where students are exposed to a variety of training techniques, genres and styles. The average day comprises of skills-based morning sessions in dance, singing, voice and acting, while the afternoon sessions concentrate on project work.
To work backstage or as part of a creative team in theatre requires imagination, enthusiasm and invention. The BA in Production Arts aims to train the best stage managers, technicians and designers. By the final year, students will be working on SPAA productions and an external professional placement, providing the opportunity for practical, hands-on experience.
Courses: BA Acting, BA Production Arts or BA Musical Theatre
Educational level: Degree course
Number of scholarships offered: Two full scholarships
Total value of scholarships: £48,000
What costs are covered? Fees
Where is the school? Sharjah, United Arab Emirates
Likely audition date: London auditions and interviews will take place on March 13 at Spotlight, from 10.30am–5.30pm.
How do I apply? Head directly to the application portal at ams.spaa.ae/login