‘CALENDAR Girl;, Elaine C Smith, is backing a campaign to raise scholarships for drama students in Scotland as the world-famous Royal Scottish Academy of Music and Drama celebrates 60 years of drama training.
She will be joined in the year long campaign by many of the Academy’s alumni world-wide in a bid to raise £60,000 of much needed scholarships for the drama students of the RSAMD.
On launching the 60th anniversary scholarship campaign, Ms Smith said: “The artistic and creative life of Scotland is as vital as our commercial and educational life.
“Our great artists, poets, painters, dancers and actors bring light and soul into our lives.
“For our young people to aspire and dream of the life and country they wish to have it is vital that there are centres of excellence around the country which will train and educate them.
“The RSAMD is one of those vital places in our artistic heritage and our artistic future.
“By investing in our young artists we are investing in the future of this great country.”
The 60th anniversary year is the highlight of the Academy’s 2010/11 Academic session.
Professor Maggie Kinloch, vice-orincipal of the Academy and herself an alumna of the RSAMD, said: “Our School of Drama attracts applications from over 1,500 people each year. From that list we recruit just over 100 students. The standard is extremely high and those who are offered a place come from all walks of life but all share one thing, they are immensely talented. However, every year, many successful applicants are forced to turn down the offer of a place with us because they cannot afford the tuition fees.
“What makes the difference is whether or not we can offer them tuition scholarships. Whilst we have some funds to offer, we know that we lose gifted students because we cannot offer them enough support.
“Our students come from all over the world, and on graduation they make a contribution to performance here and in their own countries. Scotland’s reputation as a place to train in vocational drama is developed by the graduates who are our ambassadors worldwide. We need to be able to attract the very best; we need RSAMD to be the institution of choice for all of those to whom we make offers.
“Your help to grow the scholarship funds available, will make a major contribution to our ability to impact on the quality of our profession across the world. And it will change the lives of talented young people who want to work in theatre, film, television and education.”
The 60th anniversary celebrations run throughout the year with One Night, Sixty Performances presented by the final-year students of the Contemporary Performance Practice programme.
60 Songs Cabaret Session at the Academy and Oran Mor will include everything from Sondheim to Sinatra and Basie to Bassey – all with a sixtieth twist.
Life begins at 60, with 60 people, aged 6-60, planned over six weeks will present a 60 minute promenade piece of theatre between the Old Athenaeum Theatre in Buchanan Street and the New Athenaeum Theatre in Renfrew Street.
And 60 drama alumni speak for 60 seconds to camera about their Academy memories.
There will be a number of world premieres and brand new works in progress from the School of Drama, including the first ever public staging of scenes from The Play of Gilgamesh by Edwin Morgan.
Gilgamesh opens at the Academy in November (as part of the IETM programme).
Directed by Tam Dean Burn, with musical direction by Tommy Smith, it combines the forces of both schools to bring alive this ancient story.
There will also be three new specially commissioned works in progress by playwrights Nicola McCartney, Peter Arnott and Chris Hannan at the Tron and Traverse Theatre in September.
Alumnus and Hollywood composer Patrick Doyle returns in March 2011 to conduct our symphony orchestra and to talk to students as part of the Creative Conversation series.
In April, second-year ballet students will perform a new piece created by Diana Loosemore, a soloist with Scottish Ballet, called 60 Steps.
The Academy’s annual residency at Shakespeare’s Globe sees a performance of selected Shakespearian scenes and also south of the border, a co-production of As You Like It at York Theatre Royal as part of the second year of the Academy’s collaboration involving acting and technical and production arts students.
Also in its second year, the Springboards professional partnership with The Citizens Theatre presents a Brecht double bill with performances of The Good Person of Szechuan and Baal.
There’s fun for all the family with the Academy’s panto, Pinocchio, written by the crack team of writer, Alan McHugh, and directed by Alasdair Hawthorn.
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Notes to Editors
- Alumni from the the School of Drama include James McAvoy, Billy boyd, Alan Cumming, Robert Carlyle, Richard Madden, David Tennant, Greg wise, Daniela Nardini, Maureen Beattie and Denis Lawson
- Our BA Acting graduates are regularly seen in national theatre productions and national and international film and TV companies
- Students from a total of 45 countries attend the RSAMD
- We offer a wider curriculum than any other UK conservatoire – Music, Drama Dance – and the first one with degree awarding powers. The only conservatoire outside of the Julliard to offer the 3 disciplines.
- We stage over 300 events each year attracting audiences of 50,000 – tours opera, theatre and music performances to professional venues across the UK
- Amongst our student body we have a 2009 RTS Student Television Award for the Academy’s award winning Digital Film and Television degree programme for their humorous zombie film with a twist, Choreomania. The same film also won the Celtic Media Festival student film award. We also have an Olivier winner, an Olivier nomination, a Fringe First, two Scottish BAFTA awards (BAFTA Scotland Best New Screenplay 2006 & BAFTA Scotland Best New Work 2007) a UK BAFTA nomination, three Royal Television Society awards, six Scottish Student on Screen awards and several performances selected for the National Review of Live Art.