So you’ve decided that you want to work in musical theatre. That’s great news. Some people will spend years trying to decide what they want to do with their lives, so well done for figuring it out so soon – that was the easy bit though.
Most performers knew from a young age that they wanted to be on the stage. Maybe they were inspired by a particular actor or production, or maybe they just grew up with a love of singing – whatever it was that first sparked that interest, once the fire was lit it couldn’t be dampened. The hard part comes after they made that decision. Stretching ahead are the years of hard work and training, of rejection and self-doubt… but even before all of that comes the first tough choice that has to be made, where do you get started?
There are a multitude of theatre schools in the UK, each just as good as the next. There’s the Central School of Speech and Drama (CSSD), The Guildford School of Acting (GSA) The Royal Academy of Dramatic Art (RADA), The London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art (LAMDA)…the list goes on and on. So which one do you go to? Do you decide by geographical location? By reputation? By financial cost? Well, if you were to take the advice of theatrical newspaper The Stage, the school of choice is The Musical Theatre Academy (MTA).
The MTA has just been named the School of the Year 2012 in The Stage 100 Awards. It was set up in 2009 by principal Annemarie Lewis Thomas, who herself graduated from Middlesex Polytechnic with an honours degree in Performing Arts and has worked as an MD/Arranger on several London productions, regularly teaming up with Perfect Pitch. The concept behind the MTA was to create a school which concentrated solely on the area of musical theatre and focused on giving the students all the skills they would need to work in the industry in an intense, fast-tracked programme over two years, instead of the standard three. The MTA only accepts a maximum of 22 students per year, which allows them to add the personal touch to the course; something Lewis Thomas felt was an important factor in training.
By Julie Robinson (@missjulie25)
10th January 2012