For sixteen years, we have provided the chance for Victorian students to traverse economic, geographic and personal barriers to access the transformative power of theatre through an intensive drama program.
The Youth Scholarship Course, which is named in memory of the late Betty Amsden AO DSJ, is made possible at no cost to the participants and their families thanks to the generous support of the Betty Amsden Foundation.
The program is aimed at developing students’ self-esteem, confidence and theatre practice skills through workshops in The Lawler, Southbank Theatre.
A total of 24 students aged between 14 and 16 participated in the 2018 program, travelling from regional towns including Shepparton, Wodonga, Tyntynder South, Ararat, Mount Duneed, Inverloch, Briagolong, Fernihurst, Long Forest, Warrnambool and Mortlake, as well as outer-metro and Melbourne city suburbs.
The course included an excursion to see MTC’s production of The House of Bernarda Alba adapted by Patricia Cornelius after Federico García Lorca, at the Fairfax Studio, Arts Centre, Melbourne and a HQ tour to see where the sets, props and costumes are made for all MTC productions.
Students were able to overcome geographic barriers to participate in the program, which culminated in a performance for family, teachers and friends showcasing some of the activities and devised scenes created during the course.
The Betty Amsden Youth Scholarship course joins like-minded students from across the state to access theatrical possibilities and in doing so, form life-long friendships and a life-long love of theatre.
We are excited to continue the program in 2019 and welcome teachers to nominate students here.
Read testimonies from participants, their parents and teachers below:
‘I will take away a family, and also I will take away drama skills I’ve learnt’ – 2018 Participant
‘My son was so excited when he got accepted. When it started he was even happier. I saw a change in him that I’ve never thought possible. He was happy and he made lots of new friends [that would have been] otherwise impossible to meet.’ – Parent
‘I stayed around [after the presentation] and saw individuals in tears, lots of hugging and of course exchanging of numbers. What a wonderful opportunity you have provided for these young people.’ – Teacher, Warrnambool College
‘This course has been one of the most memorable experiences I’ve ever had and has not only helped build my confidence but has opened me up to the countless opportunities I could pursue within theatre.’ – 2018 Participant
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