Bursaries for performers

REGISTRATION for the prestigious annual Arts & Culture Trust (ACT) scholarship awards closes at the end of this month and, since there are always talented performing artists coming out of the Eastern Cape pool, organisers are encouraging as many entries from the province as possible.

The sixth ACT Dalro Nedbank Performing Arts Scholarship awards enable youngsters to pursue a performing arts course at any accredited tertiary institution in South Africa.

Participants are assessed on acting, dancing and singing potential through a countrywide search, with the process culminating in a final showcase before a panel of industry judges. Auditions are also held to choose a young MC for the event.

Three scholarships to the value of R150000, R105000 and R60000 will be awarded this year. The winners will be announced after the final performance at the University of Johannesburg on October 13.

"It is an immense privilege to be able to support young people through their education, especially given the limited scholarships and bursaries available for education in the arts. With Dalro and Nedbank's support, the ACT has been able to award nine scholarships through an investment of more than R900000 to date," ACT chief executive Pieter Jacobs said.

The scholarship programme is aimed at pupils in their final year of secondary education who wish to pursue undergraduate studies in the performing arts. Also eligible are individuals aged between 18 and 25, not considered to be professional.

For the auditions, participants must prepare a prescribed monologue, song and dance. They will also get an opportunity to perform a monologue of their own choice.

During the preliminary round a panel of judges comprising Jacobs together with programme coordinator Deidré Schoeman, and Jade Bowers from Dalro, will select six finalists.

"We have seen a steady increase in the quality of the auditions and we look forward to what this year's auditions hold," Jacobs said. Schoeman, who has extensive performing arts experience, is originally from Port Elizabeth and, like Jacobs, will be conducting auditions for the fifth year in a row.

Participants may register to audition in six cities, starting with Durban and Cape Town at the end of June. The Eastern Cape auditions will be at the PE Opera House on Wednesday July 2, followed by auditions in Johannesburg, Nelspruit and Bloemfontein.

The closing date for registrations is next Saturday May 31 – visit www.act.org.za to register. Auditions for the MC of the event will take place at the same time.

Interested participants may e-mail rahiem@act.org.za, who will confirm time-slots and provide preparation material. - Arts Correspondent