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Student ascends from Basement

By UCOL on Wednesday, 21 October 2015

Centrepoint Theatre’s Frankenstein performance

Sarah-Paige Sturm of Awatapu College has been awarded the UCOL Performing Arts scholarship for 2016. The scholarship is awarded annually to a member of Centrepoint Theatre’s Basement Company.

"Sarah-Paige has shown dedication to her work throughout the year," says Basement Company director Craig Geenty. "She has a strong presence on stage and is a natural leader within the company."

The Basement Company is made up of Manawatu secondary student actors, selected by audition each year. This is the eleventh year Centrepoint Theatre has run the company, which is aimed at giving young actors a taste of working in a professional theatre environment. This year, in a first for the company, members were cast in the ensemble of Frankenstein, performing alongside two renowned Kiwi actors to sell-out crowds.

"Being part of the Basement Company and the cast of Frankenstein has fuelled my passion as a performer, and helped me grow as a person," says Sarah-Paige. "The opportunities this scholarship presents will allow me to gain and grow the skills required to succeed in the performing arts."

Centrepoint Theatre's Artistic Director, Jeff Kingsford-Brown says, "The UCOL theatre scholarship is a tremendous opportunity for one Basement student to extend their practical knowledge base, and hopefully put them on the first rung of the performing arts ladder. We value the difference this scholarship can make to the chosen student and their families."

UCOL's Diploma in Performing Arts is a one-year full-time course led by drama tutor Lilicherie McGregor, and offers introductory training for aspiring theatre professionals. Funded by UCOL, the scholarship covers one semester's tuition.

In congratulating Sarah-Paige, UCOL's Acting Head of School of Photography Art and Design Tricia Falkner says, "Once again Centrepoint Theatre's Basement Company has produced some stunning young candidates for the UCOL scholarship in the Diploma in Performing Arts. We look forward to working with Sarah-Paige in helping to develop her skills in 2016."