This year there are 20 places on courses up for grabs at ArtsEd. Paul Vale finds out how the school plans to offer everybody who applies the opportunity to audition, no matter where they live
For the third year running, Arts Educational Schools London is teaming up with The Stage to offer scholarships on several of its varied part-time and weekend courses. In 2020 there are 20 places available – five for the Saturday Skills Academy and 15 for summer courses, both as part of the ArtsEd Extra programme. The total value of the courses available with The Stage Scholarships from ArtsEd is £10,000.
Founded in 1919, ArtsEd has an internationally acclaimed reputation for excellence. The School of Musical Theatre and School of Acting offer full-time BA and MA courses, while the Musical Theatre course is recognised as the best in the UK. ArtsEd Extra provides enthusiastic young people with a taste of arts training in a variety of disciplines, from musical theatre to movie making.
James Wilson, senior administrator for ArtsEd Extra, who co-supervises the weekend courses, offers some insight into the audition process this year.
“Everybody who applies this year will be able to audition. We are aiming for a relaxed environment where we get to see the applicants, but also, no matter what the outcome, they will hopefully get something from the day. It will be more like a workshop, so we get to know them, and they get to know us and get a feel of the building.
“We understand that some people may not be able to come, but Jessie Hills, the manager of ArtsEd Extra, is keen to allow people to self-tape as well. So for anyone who can’t travel in, for whatever reason, it is a bit more accessible.”
The Saturday Skills Academy offers weekend opportunities for four to 16-year-olds to learn and develop skills in the performing arts in a fun, vibrant and friendly environment. These courses in acting and musical theatre give young people the opportunity to learn from professional teachers, developing their performance skills, teamwork and confidence.
The week-long summer courses are aimed at ages five to 16-plus, offering a range of programmes including Junior Drama Company and Make a Movie. The variety of choices is incredible and the faculty ranges from qualified graduates to West End creatives.
“We have a pool of current students who assist, because in the classes we feel it’s important to have an assistant there with the teacher – just for that extra support. On one hand it provides a link with the main school and on the other, it’s part of the environment that ArtsEd offers – it’s quite a family atmosphere here.”
Marlon Lee, aged 11 and from London, won a place in 2019 on the Become a Film Star weekend course. “I’ve been acting for quite a while now in school shows and this course was really fun. In the first part, we were acting using scripts, and in the second section we made a music video. It’s definitely spurred me on to do more acting. I love the way ArtsEd is so creative. It’s not like other schools. They make it more fun.”
Course: Saturday Skills Academy for four to 16-year olds; summer courses for five to 16-plus
Educational level: School age/ post school
Number of scholarships offered: Five for the Saturday Skills Academy and 15 for the summer courses
Value of scholarships: £10,000
What costs are covered? Fees
Where is the school? Various venues in West London
Likely audition date: May 5, but audition dates for courses vary
How do I apply? Apply online by April 13 at artsed.co.uk