Stagestruck Rebekah Grace Summerhill has taken a big step towards the spotlight.
Rebekah, from South Shields, who dreams of being a backing dancer for Beyoncé, has landed a place at one of the UK’s leading performing arts academies.
She will study musical theatre at The MGA Academy of Performing Arts in Edinburgh and begin full-time training this month to be a professional performer.
The 16-year-old was accepted onto the academy’s Foundation Musical Theatre degree course after impressing staff in an intensive audition in Newcastle.
She will live in Scotland while studying at a level equivalent to prestigious London performing arts colleges.
“I’ve known probably since I was seven that I wanted to leave school for a performing arts school and, when the opportunity with The MGA Academy opportunity came along, I jumped at it,” said the former Harton Academy pupil.
I’m looking forward to new experiences and meeting new people, experiencing a different part of the UK.Rebekah Grace Summerhill
“The auditions were in Newcastle and, a few days later, I opened a letter of acceptance and was absolutely buzzing.
“It’s not too far away from home and I didn’t want to move to London. I love the look of the course content –‒ it has everything I want to learn. All my friends and family have been incredibly supportive and I can’t wait to start.”
As a member of Starset Theatre in East Boldon, Rebekah has honed her skills in dancing, acting, and singing.
She performed in two big shows every year at Customs House in South Shields, including Les Misérables, Cinderella, Little Mermaid, Peter Pan, and Alice Through Looking Glass.
“I’m looking forward to new experiences and meeting new people, experiencing a different part of the UK,” said Rebekah.
“I hope in the next year to become a better performer. I’m looking forward to learning disciplines and techniques. I hope to then enrol on The MGA Academy’s degree course.
“My end goal is the West End. I would love to travel the world and to run workshops as a teacher.”
Rebekah has just started at The MGA Academy, which last year became the first full-time professional training academy in Scotland to be awarded accreditation by CDMT, the UK’s quality assurance and membership body for the professional dance, drama and musical theatre industries.
Co-founder and managing director Drew Gowland said: “We’re delighted to welcome Rebekah onto our Foundation Musical Theatre course.
“For more than a decade, we have been providing students like Rebekah with exceptional training on par with London’s leading dance and drama schools.
“We are thrilled our students will now also receive academic recognition from Bath Spa University when they graduate.
“Our training has allowed our graduates to build successful international careers on stage and screen and now they will also leave with a degree, enabling them to pursue professional teaching work and postgraduate-level study.
“We are currently holding auditions for courses starting in September 2019 and would welcome applications from people with similar aspirations to Rebekah.”