Broadway star Donna McKechnie is launching a new scholarship fund in her name at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, which will support emerging musical theatre talent.
The scholarships will aim to “nurture the full potential of exceptional applicants” across the RCS’s performance, production and musical directing degree pathways. It will cover parts of fees and/or maintenance and be awarded as part of the audition process, based on merit and/or need.
It is being supported by McKechnie who found fame for her portrayal of Cassie in A Chorus Line, for which she won the 1976 Tony award for best actress in a musical.
A fund to support the scholarship is being launched at a performance by McKechnie at the Crazy Coqs in London in June, directed by RCS visiting professor Andrew Panton.
McKechnie and Panton are currently working with six final-year BA musical theatre students who will perform with her in the invite-only show.
McKechnie said: “If young artists have the talent, passion and drive to succeed in this glorious, tough and life-affirming world of musical theatre, lack of finances shouldn’t derail them.
“As a dedicated mentor, I am committed not just to pass the baton, but to be able to continue inspiring, encouraging and being a positive influence for this new generation of performing artists.”
The RCS told The Stage it is wholeheartedly committed to widening access and inclusion and that as many scholarships as possible will be given, depending on the amount of funds raised. Each will be awarded for the full length of a degree programme.
A spokesperson for the RCS added: “We’re absolutely delighted to have Donna’s involvement in encouraging support of the next generation of musical theatre talent.
“Donna McKechnie is an inspirational artist and her support of and engagement with the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s musical theatre programme and our students is incredibly exciting.”
Donate here: rcs.ac.uk/scholarships