Image above: David Ian
ArtsEd, the independent drama and musical theatre school in Chiswick which runs both a day school and courses all the way up to degree level, have announced a major donation of £250,000.
The gift has come from David Ian, who was appointed as a trustee to ArtsEd in November 2020. Chief Executive of the production company which bears his name, and the recipient of five Olivier awards and three Tony nominations, David is a world-renowned theatre producer with a highly successful career spanning over 30 years.
His donation launches the drama school’s fundraising campaign for the ArtsEd Playhouse, the final phase of a ten-year, £20 million investment in their Chiswick home.
Image above: Imelda Stunton in David Ian production Hello Dolly
New theatre for ArtsEd
Summer 2021 will see the official opening of the most recent element of this project, a three-storey extension into an underused courtyard that includes new rehearsal rooms, dance studios and classrooms. The project was launched in 2013 with the creation of the Andrew Lloyd Webber Foundation Theatre.
The ArtsEd Playhouse will replace the old Studio Theatre, enabling students to ‘develop the skills required to perform in more intimate spaces and ensuring that ArtsEd can continue to stage more than 20 professional standard productions per year.’
ArtsEd is one of the UK’s leading drama schools, offering conservatoire training on three-year BA (Hons) degree courses from its school of Acting and Musical Theatre and home to a Day School and Sixth Form. The school has been repeatedly praised by Ofsted as ‘outstanding’ and is ranked in the top 10% of all schools nationally for ‘value added’. Its reputation as a centre for excellence lies in the industry-focused expertise and calibre of staff, its intensive and practical training schedule, and strong focus on pastoral care.
Image above: David Ian production Cats
David said: “As a long-time friend to, and supporter of ArtsEd, I was delighted to be appointed to their Board of Trustees last year. Their Chiswick home has undergone a remarkable renovation and extensive addition to its facilities, ensuring it will remain at the forefront of performing arts training in the UK for many years to come. I’m pleased to kickstart their final round of fundraising, which will allow for the building of the ArtsEd Playhouse and complete their capital campaign.”
David took a tour of the new building in December, and Chris Hocking, Principal of ArtsEd, was pleased to show him the rehearsal studio named after him.
Chris said: “David’s generous donation means we are now close to finishing what has been a ten-year project to improve and increase the facilities of our Chiswick home. This investment in ArtsEd demonstrates David’s commitment to supporting us as we provide world-leading training in the performing arts, despite the many challenges to our industry over the last year. I can’t wait to welcome audiences to the new ArtsEd Playhouse very soon!”
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