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Apply now for National Theatre School

Author: 
Cheryl Petten, Windspeaker Staff Writer, MONTREAL
Volume: 
18
Issue: 
9
Year: 
2001

Page 30

Young Canadians wanting to train for a career in the theatre will get a chance to be considered for enrollment in the National Theatre School of Canada (NTSC) as the school begins gearing up for its annual audition tour.

To be considered for enrollment for the next school year, applications must be in to the school by Feb. 15. Interviews and auditions will then take place in major centres across Canada in March, April and May.

For each of the 40 years it has been in existence, the National Theatre School has held a national audition tour to select new students.

?It?s a national body, and I think when it was formed it was really, in a way, to kind of unite all Canadians in the theatre arts, in the theatre discipline. So it?s like we really actually try to target, to make sure we don?t leave anyone, a community of Canada, out of these potential auditions,? said Christopher Diraddo, publicist for the NTSC.

The school offers both English and French programs, and, this year, in addition to the acting, playwriting, scenography and technical production programs, the school has added a new directing program, and apprenticeship programs in props building and scenic art.

Currently, there are 154 students enrolled at the National Theatre School, spread out over three years of study. Following the next round of auditions, about 50 more will join their ranks.

Last year, 1,145 applications were received by the school, with only 53 of those applications being successful.

According to Diraddo, the NTSC has a lot to offer potential students.

?About 85 per cent of our graduates find work almost right away in their fields. It?s actually kind of crazy. A lot of people know that we don?t have many students. But the quality of the teaching is really, really, really good . . . they get to learn in an environment that unites all the theatre disciplines. The actors will work very closely with the playwrights, who also work very closely with the set designers and the costume designers, who also work closely with the people in charge of lighting design. It?s not like you learn in a vacuum. Whereas at other schools, maybe they only teach acting, and you don?t really know what its like to work with other people. So I think that?s one of the strengths of the school, that you get to have this environment, this creative environment, and you get to learn not only about your job, but the jobs of the other people who you?ll be working with in the future.?

Does Diraddo have any pointers for preparing for a successful audition?

?I think what they?re looking for is a desire and talent, I guess, above all,? Diraddo advises. ?I think it?s important that they be themselves, and basically be prepared to just demonstrate how much they love this art. Exactly how much they want to be a part of this school.?

?These [students] are exposed to people who work in the field. So, they?re not just being taught by professors, they?re being taught by professors who actually work in the field. It gives them a lot of hands-on knowledge. I think what they?re looking for is someone who will take that knowledge and use it.?

Application forms can be obtained on-line on the National Theatre School website at www.ent-nts.qc.ca, by calling 514-842-7954, or by e-mailing the school at info@ent-nts.qc.ca.

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