ArtsEd was declared School of the Year at a ceremony at the Theatre Royal, Drury Lane. The prestigious Stage Awards celebrate the industry’s best performing theatres and theatre makers and categories include the Best Regional Theatre, Best Producer, International Award and School of the Year.
ArtsEd’s nomination came as a direct result of the School of Acting’s exceptional achievements in 2015. Juma Sharkah (pictured) made her professional debut in Liberian Girl at the Royal Court in January before she'd even graduated from the BA Acting course, while ArtsEd Patron Sir Trevor Nunn directed third-year acting students in his first ever production of Shakespeare’s The Two Gentlemen of Verona. The Stage noted that graduates from ArtsEd Acting and Musical Theatre BA courses are “making an ever-stronger and more noticeable mark in productions across London and the rest of the country”. They also commended ArtsEd's stellar cast of industry patrons, recently enriched by playwright Jessica Swale and director Matthew Dunster.
In an interview with We Are the City, Juma Sharkah highlighted the benefits of her training: “The whole ArtsEd experience allowed me to grow so much as a person – being around such a supportive network of staff and students was the perfect way for me to find out what I am fully capable of. I was always told – we want you to be the best version of yourself – you are the training. It made me feel very safe. I still warm up the ArtsEd way before all my auditions and performances and keep in touch with everyone.”
Principal Jane Harrison is delighted with the result: “ArtsEd has been and will continue to be champions of diversity and inclusion. Winning this award is a clear endorsement of our commitment.”