Bursary introduced to support drama, dance or music student

Tara Wilkinson

Tara Wilkinson

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Douglas Choral Union - the society which brought Les Miserables and Miss Saigon to the Isle of Man - has introduced a ‘DCU Bursary’ to support the development of local students pursuing further education in drama, dance, music and theatre.

The bursary is intended to aide funding for local students planning to study any aspect of Theatre at College, University, be it on-stage or off.

The bursary is available for anyone up to the age of 25 and you don’t have to be a member of the society to apply. However, the society would be keen to see chosen individuals participating in school visits and workshops with a view to passing down their newly acquired skills, experience and knowledge.

Tony Jones, chairman of the Douglas Choral Union, said: ‘The DCU has received such fantastic support from the Isle of Man public over the last few years that we find ourselves in a position where we can help directly to improve the standard of theatre and arts on the island. By helping students to complete studies we hope their knowledge and skills will filter back to the island and keep Manx theatre at the highest standard, the standard the Manx public expect today.

‘I would also like to take this opportunity to thank our title sponsors, Dougherty Quinn Advocates, without whom we wouldn’t be able to provide such exciting opportunities for the island’s talented individuals.’

Each applicant will be asked to complete an application form before meeting with the committee, which will assess that applicant’s future plans.

The closing date for the committee to consider applications is July 31 for courses starting in September 2014.

Meanwhile, following the success staging The Who’s Tommy, the DCU have already been working hard behind the scenes on their next production – the musical comedy Sister Act.

The production - to be staged in February 2015 - will again be sponsored by Dougherty Quinn.

Sister Act tells the story of Deloris Van Cartier, a would-be diva whose life takes a surprising turn when she witnesses a crime and the cops hide her in the last place anyone would think to look – a convent.

Under the suspicious watch of Mother Superior, Deloris helps her fellow sisters find their voices as she unexpectedly rediscovers her own.

This production will see the return of the DCU’s team of director and choreographer, Tara Wilkinson and musical director Andrew Hilton.

Having starred in many West End productions playing lead roles in such hits as Starlight Express and Saturday Night Fever, Tara brings a huge amount of knowledge and exciting ideas to the Gaiety stage and has already directed such hits at the Gaiety as Miss Saigon and Tommy.

Andrew is currently with the national tour of Singing in the Rain.

Both Tara and Andrew were involved in the direction of the national tour of Sister Act.

Auditions for Sister Act will be taking place on Sunday, July 13, and Monday, July 14, and everyone is welcome.

For more information and audition pieces, email membership secretary Kayleigh Parkinson at kayleighdcu@hotmail.com for more information.

Application forms for the bursary are also available from Kayleigh Parkinson at the same email address.

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