Wednesday, 23 January 2013

The Value of Working Together

After a fantastic day today talking to people about the new Scholarships we have on offer and preparing for our first round of auditions on Monday I feel compelled to write a brief note about how much I love working so collaboratively with the fantastic folks in our industry.

Firstly, it has been so refreshing this year to find so many of the schools into which we feed being so open to working with our students.  By the end of this term we will have had visiting teachers from London Studio Centre, GSA, Birmingham School of Speech and Drama, Urdang Academy, Millennium Performing Arts, Mountivew and Arts Ed.  What a fantastic list of great schools, all of whom have seen the value of encouraging and nurturing incoming talent to their courses through foundation courses like ours.

Secondly, the schools and organisations who continue to support us by sending talented and well-trained students to us for audition and by publicising our courses to their students.  Tina Thomas at Northampton College; Juliette Caton and Sammy Fonfe at SOTA; Denise Gosney Hutton and Shelley Fitzgibbon at Razzamataz; Melanie Dudman at Allied School of Dance; Joanne Scanlan at Tap Attack; Dani Davies at Reading Between the Lines Theatre Company; and everyone else who lends us their support - Thank You.

Thirdly, our fantastic teaching faculty who work so hard at the college, and also go so regularly over and above the call of duty to help make contacts for us with students and colleagues outside of Read - most especially our supremely talented and brilliantly bonkers Head of Acting, Seamus Allen. What an incredible, talented, and dedicated team of folks.

Fourthly, our Board of Trustees who give us their time, knowledge and experience to help oversee the work that the college does.  How fantastic to be able to pick up the phone to the marketing officer at the Watermill Theatre, or the Chief Executive of a charity who has over 30 years of experience; a media business owner, the Head of 1st Year at a major performing arts college or even a Creative Technical Consultant at the National Theatre Studio. They are brilliant and we are blessed to have them. Equally our Board of Advisors including casting directors (James Hopson), agents (James Beresford), musical directors (Matthew Reeve) and teachers (David Ashley, Sean McNamara, Alison Desbois).

Finally, a huge thank you must go out to our wonderful students who, without fail and year on year, provide recommendations to their friends to come and audition for us too.  We are very proud of what all of our alumni go on to achieve, and for them to leave us a legacy in the form of other students for the future is brilliant.

It does puzzle me that there are still people out there doing similar things than all of these wonderful people, but doing it in such a way that they remain aloof and don't get involved with the arts and training communities around them.  There is so much positivity, support and camaraderie out there to be had that surely it can only be a good thing to open yourself up to it as an establishment and get out there to work with people ?

Just a thought :)

Tuesday, 15 January 2013

Our new patron and our new scholarships!

Read Dance and Theatre College - the UK's leading independent vocational school for foundation training in the performing arts - is delighted to announce the appointment of our newest patron, Bobby Cronin.

Bobby Cronin is an award-winning composer/writer based in NYC. His pop/rock musical WELCOME TO MY LIFE (W2ML) with co-book writer Alicia Dempster is under a Broadway option. He and book writer Allen Mogol were recently awarded The Alec Baldwin Fellowship in NYC for their musical 'TIL DEATH DO US PART. He is the first American commissioned to pen an original musical called THE CONCRETE JUNGLE for London's esteemed Arts Ed School (Andrew Lloyd Webber, President), which also just received an International Cast Studio Recording produced by Burlington Productions and Nick Lloyd Webber & James D. Reid (book by Bobby Cronin & Crystal Skillman, music & lyrics by Bobby Cronin). 

DAYBREAK (add'l material by Brett Teresa; 2011 New Jersey Playwrights Contest winner) premiered in NJ & London's Tristan Bates Theatre, June 2012. Music and songs for the web series THANK YOU, NEXT (LAWebFest Award, Best Original Song). Other: Lincoln Center Songbook Series, Joe's Pub, Birdland, Symphony Space, London's The Players Theatre, more. "Reach The Sky: Live at The Beechman" on iTunes. Yale graduate, Member of ASCAP, Dramatists Guild. Educator at CAP21/NYU, with workshops taught around the world including: Read College, The Royal Academy of Music London, Arts Ed, MTA, and more. He is currently developing two new musicals: MARY & MAX and SUNSET CITY. Visit

In other news, we are thrilled to say that, for 2013, we have joined the prestigious scholarship scheme run by leading industry publication, The Stage.  We will have two scholarships available worth £7,050 each for students applying to our foundation courses this year - one for our Acting course and one for Musical Theatre.  The scholarships will run alongside our existing bursary funding scheme, which is created by running charity events and concerts throughout the year, plus having people on the staff who are mad enough to run long distances for sponsorship!

Full details of the courses at Read, how to apply, and how we have succeeded year on year to get our alumni into some of the top dance and drama colleges in the UK can be found at