Awardee News: Alyth Ross

Dewar Awardee Alyth Ross will make her professional stage debut in James V Katherine this Spring.

Alyth Ross will make her professional stage debut in James V Katherine, the latest instalment in Rona Munro’s renowned James Plays.

Alyth received a Dewar Arts Award in 2019 to support her studies at the Guildhall School of Music and Drama. Speaking at the time she said:

“The Dewar Arts award has provided me and so many other young people with a life-changing opportunity; to achieve things I never dreamt I would. As a Scottish student from a rural background, I had never anticipated that I’d have to pay for my higher education, and so when I was first offered my place at Guildhall I almost had to turn it down due to funding. However, thanks to the incredibly generous support from Dewar Arts, I’ve been able to continue my training at this exceptional institution, which is without a doubt everything I’d anticipated and more. I am extremely grateful. From the bottom of my heart, thank you.”

Since graduating from Guildhall in 2021, Alyth has appeared in various TV and radio productions, including Traces, Dalgliesh, and Bad Sisters. Her first major TV role was in Last Light (2022), in which she appeared in five episodes. Her appearance in James V: Katherine marks her professional stage debut.

James V: Katherine is the fifth instalment of Rona Munro’s renowned James Plays. A Raw Material and Capital Theatres co-production, the production will receive its world premiere in Edinburgh in April, before embarking on a tour of smaller-scale venues across Scotland.

Visit the Raw Material Arts website for more information on James V Katherine

Visit Alyth Ross’ Awardee Profile

2020 Awardee: Ellie Jack

ellie jack actor

“The Dewar Award has made it possible for me to attend BOVTS and focus on my studies. It is an honour to be supported by this award and I thank them greatly for believing in me.”

Biography

Hailing from Glasgow, Ellie is a spirited actor and theatre performer. In 2018 she joined the Citizen’s Theatre ‘Young Co’, a theatre group for 18-23 year olds, and soon established herself as a committed and talented member.

in 2019, Ellie played an integral part of a production looking at teenage relationships which toured Glasgow secondary schools. Following on from this, in 2020 she held one of the lead roles in a play addressing issues concerning the mental health of young people.

After working on her craft for 3 years in Glasgow, Ellie gained a place at the prestigious Bristol Old Vic Theatre School, which is a dream come true for her.

How the Award Helped

Her Dewar Arts Award will help Ellie throughout her drama studies at The Old Vic Theatre School in Bristol, allowing her to focus purely on her training.

ellie jack actor

“The Dewar Award has made it possible for me to attend BOVTS and focus on my studies. It is an honour to be supported by this award and I thank them greatly for believing in me.”

2020 Awardee: Charlie Duncan

charlie duncan actor

"The Dewar Arts Award has provided me with what I so deeply crave; the ability and peace of mind to work relentlessly and completely on becoming a professional actor and the training that I believe is necessary to do so."

Biography

Growing up in Johnstone, Renfrewshire, Charlie was always determined to do something in the ‘Arts World’. Making her way up through different levels of actor training, Charlie decided to finally take the leap and audition for drama schools in the UK.

Her studies took her from an HND in Acting & Performance at Glasgow Clyde College in 2015, to working with the Citizens Theatre Young Company in 2018. Here she went on to perform in productions of ‘The Kids are Alt Right’ by Guy Hollands, and ‘Scarfed for Life’ by Martin Travers.

 

Charlie found success in her auditions, receiving offers from both Bristol Old Vic Theatre School and The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. After much deliberation, she decided to study in Glasgow and stay immersed in the Scottish arts community.

Whilst progressing through the Conservatoire, Charlie found her admiration for that inspiring community continued to grow. She has featured in RCS performances of ‘Macbeth’ and ‘August Osage County’, as well as a short film, ‘Pink/Silver/Orange’ by Michael Guest.

How the Award Helped

Charlie has been able to pursue her aspirations and further her training at The Royal Conservatoire of Scotland thanks to her Dewar Arts Award.

charlie duncan actor

"The Dewar Arts Award has provided me with what I so deeply crave; the ability and peace of mind to work relentlessly and completely on becoming a professional actor and the training that I believe is necessary to do so."

2019 Awardee: Calum Moore

"The Dewar Award has allowed me to grant my degree the time and dedication it requires without having to worry about finding funds for living costs. For this, I am incredibly grateful."

Biography

Calum is a writer-director who applied to the Dewar Arts Awards whilst living and studying in Glasgow.

In 2018, Calum gained a first class degree in English Literature from Stirling University, specialising in Creative Writing.  As part of his dissertation at Stirling University he was able to write his first play, ‘The King’s Child’, and chose to present this in full iambic pentameter.

Through this process, Calum discovered his desire to create a series of Verse Dramas, using the same poetic imagery and witticisms as traditional Shakespearean verse but with modernised language, references and relationship dynamics (a sub-genre of ‘New Verse’). From here, Calum spent six months working to achieve an ATCL in Directing at Acting Out Drama School in Edinburgh, for which he gained a Distinction. This proved extremely helpful in achieving a place to study on the Masters in Classic & Contemporary Text at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

Calum has worked alongside Scottish Youth Theatre’s National Ensemble Project, has been an Assistant Director with Fizzgig Theatre, an ensemble member of the Dundee Troupe in the National Theatre of Scotland’s FUTUREPROOF Project, and a Free Fringe Performer with Some Kind of Theatre.  He has also served as a Theatre Teacher at the International Summer School for Teens.

How the Award Helped

Calum’s Award enable him to accept his place to study on the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland’s MA Classic & Contemporary Text Programme (MACCT) as one of only four directing students.

Since the Award

Update January 2020:

Calum writes “the course has gifted me knowledge in Acting/Directing Technique, as well as lessons in Movement, Voice and Textual Analysis. It has granted insight into my personal strengths as an artist and given me the confidence in my craft to some day join the theatre directing industry professionally. Additionally, the MAACT programme grants its directing students the chance to lead their own creative projects – including a Movement-based Ensemble Project, a Realism Unit focussing on Chekhov’s Writing, the chance to direct a full modern Contemporary Production along with the opportunity to Assistant Direct for Professionals in the field.

Significantly for my own practice and artistic aspirations, our cohort will be spending a month residency at the Globe Theatre (January 2020). This grants us the chance to learn from professionals specialising in Shakespeare and Verse Drama and is thus an opportunity of a lifetime.

My course is a full-time project, with classes and creative research tasks keeping me busy 7 days a week, and thus one I could not balance alongside extended working hours. The Dewar Award has allowed me to grant my degree the time and dedication it requires without having to worry about finding funds for living costs.
For this, I am incredibly grateful.”

Some Kind of Theatre Production of The Steampunk Tempest (2017)

Graduate in Directing from Acting Out Drama School (2019)

National Ensemble with Scottish Youth Theatre (2019)

SYT’s ‘Act of Repair’ (2019)

Futureproof | Radial (2018) from National Theatre of Scotland

Teaching with ISSFT

"The Dewar Award has allowed me to grant my degree the time and dedication it requires without having to worry about finding funds for living costs. For this, I am incredibly grateful."

2019 Awardee: Irina Vartopeanu

"For this award you offered me, which gives me great support, I am very grateful. My studying has helped me to develop my learning, commitment and ambition in theatre and film and has also encouraged me in developing my own ideas for making work in the future."

Biography

Irina is a performer from Romania who moved to Glasgow to study a BA Performance in BSL and English at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland.

In her home country, Irina toured and appeared on television as part of No Limits dance group. The group reached the 2012 final of Romania’s Got Talent.  Irina also worked with Catalin Baicus on a production of ‘Dance or Die’.  Hungry for opportunity, Irina felt frustrated by a lack of support for deaf performers.

When taking part in the Solar Bear’s Connect and Collaborate initiative with the Beethoven School in Craiova, Irina met Mark Stevenson, a lecturer at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland. He was impressed by her capacity as a performer and encouraged her to apply for a place to study at the Conservatoire in Glasgow.

Irina’s theatre credits include ‘Glory on Earth’ (RCS), ‘August: Osage County’ (RCS), ‘Sonder’ (RCS), ‘The Gashtlycrumb Tinies’ (RCS), and ‘Heartsore’ (Macrobert Art Centre).  She has also performed in film, including the RCS short film ‘Anger Management’.

How the Award Helped

Irina received a Dewar Arts Award to support her studies at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, on a specialist course for deaf performers .

"For this award you offered me, which gives me great support, I am very grateful. My studying has helped me to develop my learning, commitment and ambition in theatre and film and has also encouraged me in developing my own ideas for making work in the future."

2017 Awardee: Calum Paterson

"I feel very honoured and privileged that the Dewar Arts Awards have decided to support my talent."

Biography

Calum Paterson is a sound designer, composer and theatre artist of exceptional talent.  When working on a production, he shows rigorous commitment to the ideas of the team, as well as contributing true flair, imagination and innovation.

A graduate of the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland, Calum has worked extensively across Glasgow, Edinburgh and beyond.  After designing the sound for a sell-out run of ‘Chess The Musical’ at the Edinburgh Festival Theatre, he was hailed as a ‘rising star of the creative industries’ by The Lighting and Sound Industry Magazine.

Calum made his Off West End of London debut, as Sound No.1 for ‘Working A Musical’ at the Southwark Playhouse. The show received three nominations for Offies Awards including Best Musical Production.

Outside of theatre, Calum can be found producing music and sound for a variety of new media, including voiceovers and sound effects for film, tv and radio.

How the Award Helped

Calum’s Award allowed him to purchase essential new equipment, enabling him to develop his artistic form, create new and exciting work with collaborators across the UK, and offer an even greater range of sound design and compositional services.

"I feel very honoured and privileged that the Dewar Arts Awards have decided to support my talent."

2017 Awardee: Jack Nurse

"I am delighted and honoured to receive this award...allowing me to put this learning into practice and develop my individual director’s craft."

Biography

Jack Nurse is a talented, creative and hard working director and theatre maker.

Brought up in Dumfries & Galloway, Jack studied Contemporary Performance Practice at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland before going on to co-found the Glasgow theatre company Wonder Fools.

Wonder Fools create new work based on current and historical real-life stories, which Jack directs. Their varied and dynamic programme explores different forms – verbatim theatre, historical theatre, participatory performance, performance installations – in tandem with wide-ranging subject matter.

The company quickly became one of six Graduate Emerging Companies on attachment at the New Diorama Theatre, London, and Jack gained membership of the Almeida Theatre’s Resident Director Network as one of ten emerging directors.

The company’s work has been performed across the country, in venues including Tron, Traverse Theatre, Macrobert Arts Centre, New Wolsey Theatre, Camden People’s Theatre, New Diorama, and Citizens Theatre.

As an assistant director, Jack’s credits include This Restless House (Citizens Theatre/National Theatre of Scotland), Blackbird (Citizens Theatre), The Winter’s Tale (Royal Lyceum), Hay Fever (Royal Lyceum/Citizens Theatre) and The Broons (Selladoor) for which he was also Staff Director on its Scottish tour.

How the Award Helped

Jack’s Award gave him the invaluable opportunity to direct a professional production at the Citizens Theatre; the culmination of his training there as an assistant director.

"I am delighted and honoured to receive this award...allowing me to put this learning into practice and develop my individual director’s craft."

2014 Awardee: Martin Quinn

It is no exaggeration to say that I would find it impossible to train at Guildhall without the support of the Dewar Arts Award. Needless to say, I am very grateful!

Biography

A proud Scottish actor, Martin grew up in the Gallowhill area of Paisley, where he was a member of drama groups from the age of six.  From early beginnings at his local youth theatre PACE, Martin went on to attend the Scottish Youth Theatre (SYT).

Through the SYT, Martin gained experience in devising and performing interactive shows for children and also auditioned for the National Theatre of Scotland’s production of Let the Right One In. He landed the lead role of Oskar and went on to perform at the Dundee Rep, the Royal Court Theatre and the Apollo Theatre on Shaftesbury Avenue.

Whilst performing in the West End, Martin auditioned for drama school and gained a place at the illustrious Guildhall School of Music and Drama.

How the Award Helped

Martin was granted an award to support his studies at Guildhall, where at the outset he reported:

“This training is really pushing me out of my comfort zone and forcing me to take on new challenges such as Shakespeare and eventually TV and Radio modules. It will equip me with the vocal skills and physical fitness necessary for a varied career as well as building up my confidence so that I can enter the industry with the strongest skillset I am capable of. Only a few months in and already I can see how this three year course should make me ultimately more attractive to employers.”

Let the Right One In – National Theatre of Scotland

It is no exaggeration to say that I would find it impossible to train at Guildhall without the support of the Dewar Arts Award. Needless to say, I am very grateful!

2013 Awardee: Paul Brotherston

Without this award I would not be able to train as a theatre-maker. Simple as that. It really has made all the difference.

Biography

Originally from Kelso in the Scottish Borders, Paul studied English Literature at the University of Edinburgh and gained a first class honours degree.

During his time as a student, Paul directed a number of critically-acclaimed theatre productions with the Edinburgh University Theatre Company (EUTC) and the Edinburgh University Shakespeare Company (EUSC). Through this experience he proved himself to be a passionate and driven director, demonstrating a desire and ability to push boundaries along with a clear and detailed vision for his work.

Paul has since directed productions for the Tron Theatre, The Arches and The Traverse Theatre, as well as working as an assistant director at Oran Mor and in physical theatre with the Company of Wolves.

How the Award Helped

The award allowed Paul to take up a place on the Classic and Contemporary Text masters course for directors at the Royal Conservatoire of Scotland as well as completing a month long residency at Shakespeare’s Globe in London.

Without this award I would not be able to train as a theatre-maker. Simple as that. It really has made all the difference.

2011 Awardee: Jordan Blackwood

I would like to send a deep thank you to the trustees...your support is deeply valued and I cannot thank you enough for it.

Biography

Renfrewshire born and bred Jordan was a pupil at Johnstone High School. At an early age he joined the Paisley-based PACE Youth Theatre, where for many years he was an enthusiastic member, rising through the ranks to become a Drama Worker during his Gap year. During that time he also trained in acting and voice at the Spires Theatre School, the training wing of PACE Youth Theatre. It was here that he was introduced to theatre directing.

Over the years, Jordan has developed a broad knowledge of theatre and arts and is considered to be a young Scottish theatre director of great potential. As well as directing the classics, he has written and produced much of his own work.

Jordan is considered both talented and creatively inspiring and has strong foundations to become an exciting theatre director and practitioner. He will add an exciting new voice to Scottish theatre.

Jordan has been accepted to study theatre practice: performance arts at Central School of Speech and Drama in London. He writes that he is “very passionate ….about the theatre/arts [and] ..very excited about beginning my studies at one of the best drama schools in the UK.” His aim is to become a theatre director of note.

How the Award Helped

The Dewar Arts Award will help with the first year of his studies at CSSD.

I would like to send a deep thank you to the trustees...your support is deeply valued and I cannot thank you enough for it.