2011 Awardee: Philip Todd

Please accept my heartfelt thanks to the trustees …for this generous award and the opportunity it provides for my further development.

Biography

Born in Fife and brought up in Caithness, Philip graduated from RSAMD with a degree in digital film and television and the Paul Kelly Memorial Award. Philip possesses a wide range of talents and skills and is ‘something of a Renaissance man’ according to one of his former tutors, in that he sings, plays a musical instrument, dances, acts, aspires to direct films and speaks Gaelic.

While a student film-maker at RSAMD he was able to take part in drama workshops led by many well-known actors and directors, including Sir Richard Attenborough and James McAvoy.

As part of his degree Philip worked with actors on many film scenes as well as directing scenes in workshop. As a student film maker he has studied acting for screen techniques and while at RSAMD, wrote, directed and appeared in a number of personally-initiated projects, some of which were in the Gaelic language. Philip’s ultimate ambition is to combine acting for screen with film directing. He was accepted by Central School of Speech and Drama, London to study acting for screen.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award helped fund Philip through an MA in Acting for Screen at the Central School of Speech and Drama, London.

Philip Todd Actor Showreel from Philip Todd on Vimeo.

Please accept my heartfelt thanks to the trustees …for this generous award and the opportunity it provides for my further development.

2011 Awardee: Roslyn Paterson

Biography

Gourock-born Roslyn has been interested in acting since her school-days when she impressed with her natural talent. For five years, she was an active member of the Inverclyde Youth Theatre (Kayos Theatre Company), where she was cast in many leading roles to great acclaim.

While a pupil at James Watt College in Greenock Roslyn achieved an A grade in Acting and Performance and subsequently won a place at the Academy of Live and Recorded Arts in London part-funded by a Dance and Drama Award. She is studying for both a BA in Acting and a Diploma in Professional Acting at Trinity College, London. Roslyn is considered to be a huge talent not just in acting, but also in dance and singing.

Roslyn is entering the final year of her studies at ALRA.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help towards the additional costs of the final year of study.

2009 Awardee: Danielle Heron

Without your support, my dream of training at LAMDA and ultimately, making the first steps in becoming an actress that Scotland is proud of may not have been possible and for that reason I cannot thank you enough.

Biography

Paisley-born actress Danielle has toured all over Scotland with PACE Youth Theatre Company and performed at Glasgow’s SEC to thousands of primary school children. Former members of PACE include film actor James McAvoy and singer Paolo Nutini.

Dani was a member of PACE Theatre Company for over ten years and impressed as an enthusiastic, talented, diligent and determined young woman. Dani was a key figure in Renfrewshire’s ‘Take a Drink’ project, which aimed to educate secondary school pupils about the dangers of alcohol abuse. She was able to portray a believable and realistic character which won over a largely sceptical audience of young people.

Dani went on to take part in Strathclyde Police’s ‘Choices for Life’ project in 2008, aimed at young people to encourage them to make the right choices for their future. Once again, her believable and passionate performance hit the right note.

Dani’s aim is to become an actress Scotland can be proud of and has been accepted onto the degree course at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help towards Dani’s first year costs. After a successful first year, Dani’s funding has been continued into a second year.  Following a successful second year, her funding has been continued into a third and final year.

Without your support, my dream of training at LAMDA and ultimately, making the first steps in becoming an actress that Scotland is proud of may not have been possible and for that reason I cannot thank you enough.

2009 Awardee: Edward McGurn

The utmost gratitude is extended to all involved in the award-making process.

Biography

Glasgow-born Edward McGurn started his acting training at Coatbridge College where he was awarded the Ian Bannen Memorial prize for outstanding performance in his final showcase.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will helps towards the fees and living expenses for the year.

The utmost gratitude is extended to all involved in the award-making process.

2009 Awardee: Joseph Young

This award will help so much in my final year of study at GSA, I will be forever grateful.

Biography

From Alloa, Joseph Young is a student on the degree course in acting at the Guildford School of Acting. He describes himself as a ‘driven and hungry individual’.

At the end of his second year, he won the Director’s Award and represented GSA in Stratford-upon-Avon in an all-schools workshop with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Joseph’s ultimate ambition is to work with the RSC and in film. Joseph appeared in a new play staged at the 2008 Edinburgh Festival. He has been put forward to take part in the prestigious BBC Carlton Hobbes competition.

At the start of his third year at GSA, Joseph put on his own production of “Someone Who’ll Watch Over Me” by Frank McGuinness and was part of the GSA of “The Shakespeare Review” which went on tour at the end of 2008.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award helps toward the costs of Joseph’s final year at GSA.

Since the Award

Joseph graduated successfully in 2009 from Guildford School of Acting. Whilst still at GSA and with a group of fellow students, Joseph put on a production of Jonathon Lewis’s Our Boys in the Tabard Theatre, Chiswick. The play was extremely well received and led to Joseph being signed to an agent. He now works under the name Joseph Creeth.

This award will help so much in my final year of study at GSA, I will be forever grateful.

2008 Awardee: Fingal McKiernan

Can I ... say how delighted I am to have been selected for one of the awards. It was a surprise to me and words cannot express how thankful I am.

Biography

Dundee-born Fingal discovered a talent and passion for theatre at the age of 15, in particular for Shakespeare’s language and fantastical characters. He was a member of the National Youth Theatre from 2003-2006 and was their representative for the City of Edinburgh.

Fingal’s ideal job would be acting with the Royal Shakespeare Company. Already he has trained with actors from both the RSC and the National Theatre in London, has worked on television and, most recently, in the film ‘Hallam Foe’, starring Jamie Bell.

Before pursuing a career in acting, Fingal gained a science degree from Edinburgh University and, rather more romantically, worked as a spear fisherman in Greece as well as a crew member on boats operating out of the East Coast of Scotland. All of this has given him valuable life experience which he can put into future performances.

Fingal has gained a place on the postgraduate acting course at the Drama Studio, London, whose alumni include Forrest Whittaker and Emily Watson. The Drama Studio is particularly well-known for its exceptional training in classical acting, particularly in Fingal’s beloved Shakespeare. Fingal is considered to be highly talented, and already displays the instincts and artistic honesty of a professional actor.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help Fingal through his studies at the Drama Studio, London.

Since the Award

Since graduating, Fingal has appeared in two stage plays, played the lead in a WW1 feature film and in a new play for BBC radio. Following these jobs, he has been signed up by an agent. Fingal writes that the support from the Dewar Arts Awards, “has given me the opportunity to realise my dreams. I cannot express the feeling of gratitude I have in words..”

Can I ... say how delighted I am to have been selected for one of the awards. It was a surprise to me and words cannot express how thankful I am.

2008 Awardee: Lynsey Murdoch

I am absolutely delighted to formally accept the award .. for the completion of my film ‘Eat Me’.

Biography

Hailing from Cambuslang, Lynsey has been given an Award to concentrate on writing and producing her film ‘Eat Me’, about a young Scottish woman suffering from an eating disorder. As a past sufferer of bulimia, Lynsey knows a lot about the fear and obsession that can inhabit someone with an eating disorder.

Lynsey has proven writing and acting talent and was described as a ‘… new star of Scottish Theatre in the making’ for her performance in ‘Mad Cow’ at the Arches Theatre in Glasgow. In 2006 she was selected by the Playwright’s Studio Scotland for their mentoring scheme. During that time, Lynsey impressed by her commitment and the way in which she found her own voice and unique way of telling her story. Lynsey’s forte is in portraying issues which are affecting young people in society today, with an acute sense of observation and humour.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award is supporting Lynsey as she develops as a writer and performer

Since the Award

Lynsey describes the experience of writing and acting in her short film ‘Eat Me’ as “an absolute turning point” in her career.  The film was shot in May 2009 and completed later that year. It will be submitted to film festivals in the UK and worldwide.

I am absolutely delighted to formally accept the award .. for the completion of my film ‘Eat Me’.

2008 Awardee: Sharon Young

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and say that receiving this award will make such a huge difference, allowing me to focus more fully on my studies.

Biography

Sharon, originally from Helensburgh, gained a first degree in Eng. Lit. from Glasgow University before going on to study acting at RSAMD. There she has impressed with her range, depth, wit and flexibility in her acting. In her second year at RSAMD she was selected as a candidate for the prestigious UK-wide Laurence Olivier Bursary Competition.

Sharon’s ultimate ambition is to be deeply involved in Scottish theatre. She has already appeared with Oran Mor in Glasgow, with the NTS/Dundee Rep’s ‘Peer Gynt’, directed by Dominic Hill, and at Perth Theatre. Perhaps because of her first degree, Sharon is noted for a creative and intelligent engagement with the text, and she is particularly valued as a committed ensemble player. Sharon is passionate about Scottish theatre and hopes to contribute to the arts in Scotland in the future.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award has helped Sharon to finance the final year of her drama degree.

Since the Award

Sharon graduated successfully with a degree in acting and the Phil McCall Memorial prize. She has secured an agent and since worked at the Traverse Theatre, Edinburgh and the Young Vic in London. She looks forward to a long-term career in the theatre.

I would like to take this opportunity to thank you and say that receiving this award will make such a huge difference, allowing me to focus more fully on my studies.

2008 Awardee: Victoria Armstrong

I am sincerely grateful to the trustees for granting me this award for my exchange to Cal Arts, Los Angeles.

Biography

Originally from Ireland, Victoria Armstrong moved to Glasgow to study drama at RSAMD, where she quickly impressed as an intelligent and compelling acting talent.

Before going on to higher education, Victoria was part of the ‘Rainbow Factory’ drama group in Belfast for five years where she was able to communicate her skills and love of acting to young people. Victoria is considered to be an exciting actor, able to create convincing performances and always willing to explore new possibilities.

Victoria was selected to take part in an exchange programme with Cal Arts, Los Angeles which involved spending 3 months at Cal Arts in early 2008. Victoria describes it as ‘a once in a lifetime opportunity for me, and not one that I am ever likely to get again’.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award provided funding to enable Victoria to spend 3 months at Cal Arts College.

Since the Award

Victoria worked with a number of directors, actors and writers at Cal Arts and benefited from working with American texts in America. She writes that the main benefit of spending time at Cal Arts was that “it gave me the opportunity to experience different theatre training. I was able to ….learn a lot about the theatre community there and how differently American actors are trained.”

I am sincerely grateful to the trustees for granting me this award for my exchange to Cal Arts, Los Angeles.

2007 Awardee: Gayle Rankin

The money will be a tremendous help in funding my education in New York and will make my life so much easier .... It is a great honour and means so much to me to be recognised by the Dewar Arts Awards.

Biography

Gayle Rankin has long had an ambition to study drama at the Juilliard School in New York. This year she achieved her goal when she was one of 18 successful candidates – out of an estimated 3,500 worldwide – to be accepted this year. She was the only successful candidate from the UK and is, possibly, the first Scottish drama student ever at Juilliard.

For the last two years, Gayle, who hails from Kilmarnock, has been studying musical theatre at the Dance School of Scotland, Knightswood, where she was noticed as a truly talented performer excelling in acting, singing and dancing. Recently she was winner of an international fellowship award to study in Australia. She performed in the staging of The Prime of Miss Jean Brodie, with Siobhan Redmond in the title role.

Gayle has been offered a scholarship-funded place on the 4-year drama degree course at Juilliard School.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help towards the considerable expenses to study in New York.

Since the Award

After four years of Dewar Arts Award support, Gayle graduated from Juilliard with a degree in acting. She writes of that experience “Juilliard’s rigorous, four-year training program has changed my life and my career forever and has unquestionably been the most significant experience of my personal and professional life thus far….I am very excited to be at the beginning of a career here in the States and have found really great representation here.” As for us, we hope to see Gayle on the stage back in Scotland in the not-too-distant future.

The money will be a tremendous help in funding my education in New York and will make my life so much easier .... It is a great honour and means so much to me to be recognised by the Dewar Arts Awards.