Fourth Monkey Actor Training Company announces the support of six new patrons: Jorge de Juan, Jonjo O’Neill, Paula Paz, Guillaume Pigé, Rich Rusk and Brigid Zengeni. They represent leading theatre professionals working across acting, directing and dramaturgy – onstage, in film and beyond. Each patron will be the custodian of their own student scholarship, granted to actors in training entering the Fourth Monkey Two Year Rep course from September 2019.
Jorge de Juan is an actor as well as Artistic Director and Founder of The Spanish Theatre Company and Cervantes Theatre. He supports the Jorge de Juan Scholarship which is awarded to a talented individual who does not speak English as a first language, to ensure our student cohort remains international and inclusive, even beyond Brexit. Jorge has worked extensively with Fourth Monkey, directing shows including The Grain Store (2016) and The Public (2015). He also stages the Two Year Rep summer showcase season of international new writing at his venue, the Cervantes Theatre.
Actor Jonjo O’Neill is patron of the Jonjo O’Neill Scholarship which seeks out a male applicant who displays exceptional talent, individuality and personality: a unique award for a uniquely talented individual. A well-known British stage actor and Associate Artist with the Royal Shakespeare Company, Jonjo is currently appearing in The New World Order / Mountain Language and The Pres and an Officer as part of the ‘Pinter at the Pinter’ season in London’s West End. Jonjo has commented, ‘I love Fourth Monkey because there is a sense of punk and rock n’ roll about the place. It feels fresh, passionate and up for it.’
Paula Paz is Co-founder and Associate Director of Cervantes Theatre and has given her support for the Paula Paz Scholarship, to be awarded to a young woman who aspires to make theatre as well as train to be an actor. This award is for a creative; someone destined to be an actor, maker and collaborator. A former professional ballet dancer, Paula has previously worked with Fourth Monkey students and explains her passion for the company: ‘Every time I see an actor walking into an audition I can tell if they have trained at Fourth Monkey, it’s like a signature. As a director it is a joy working with actors so well trained and I am truly honoured to be a patron of Fourth Monkey.’
Guillaume Pigé is an actor and Artistic Director of Theatre Re. He directed Fourth Monkey’s recent sell-out hit, The Woman and the Canvas (Edinburgh & Camden Fringe Festivals). He gives his support for the Jacques Copeau Scholarship, recognising the talent of an applicant with exceptional movement ability. He comments, ‘I am extremely proud and excited to join Fourth Monkey’s journey to explore the best way forward in training for theatre.’
Associate Director of Gecko Theatre, Rich Rusk is a multi-international award winning theatre maker, who has created 35 original five-star productions for the Edinburgh Fringe Festival, as well as a further 200 original productions for touring since 2001. The Rich Rusk Scholarship will offer a bursary to the winning piece or company of the Two Year Rep Experimental Fringe project. The fund will enable onward development for the winning students, as well as the formation of their own company and work post-graduation. Rich said, ‘Fourth Monkey prides itself on doing things differently. I believe this philosophy will lead to the development of some truly special theatre-making brains.’
Actress Brigid Zengeni supports the Brigid Zengeni Scholarship for a female applicant displaying exceptional talent and ability as an actor. Brigid’s most recent credits include A Christmas Carol (RSC) and Fortitude (Sky Atlantic). She said, ‘I believe that Fourth Monkey offers the student actor an outstanding training in a supportive and innovative environment. I am delighted and excited to be part of the Monkey family.’
These scholarships signify support for one in six students entering the Two Year Rep course and are currently financed by Fourth Monkey. All scholarships are based on audition outcomes, personal circumstances and financial need, and are means tested accordingly to ensure the financial award is given to those who would otherwise be unable to train as an actor. These scholarships are in addition to the already established Emrys Johns Scholarship, awarded to a student from a rural part of the UK who demonstrates exceptional talent, commitment and investment in the ensemble, as wells as the Ronnie Collash Scholarship, in honour of the late Ronnie Collash, granted to a multi-talented student who embodies his joyful outlook on life.
In addition, Fourth Monkey announces their new extended Two Year Rep Actor Training Programme. In response to receiving a growing number of high calibre applications to train at Fourth Monkey, the Two Year Rep programme is now able to admit more of these applicants across a larger number of smaller classes. Students will receive a greater amount of contact time and enjoy tuition from a wider selection of working practitioners, with new additions to our faculty including:
- Shane Dempsey (Associate Director, National) who will direct the Contemporary season
- Rich Rusk (Gecko Theatre) will teach Devising
- Helen Tennison (Director, Former Head of Year at Drama Studio London) will teach Viewpoints and direct as part of the Classical season
- Brigid Zengeni (Actress and Fourth Monkey Patron) will teach Audition Preparation