A talented performer who attended Sunderland College is celebrating after being awarded a place at a prestigious performing arts institution.
Lauren Waine, aged 18, will move to the North West this week to take up her spot at Liverpool Institute for Performing Arts (LIPA) where she will study BA (Hons) Acting.
The aspiring actress went through a rigorous audition process to gain a coveted place at LIPA, whose lead patron is Sir Paul McCartney, and she competed against thousands of applicants to impress the institute’s elite judging panel.
Lauren, from Seaburn, has studied at Sunderland College for the past two years and achieved an A* and two As in her English Literature, Drama and Theatre Studies, and Media Studies A-Levels last month.
She said: “Winning a place at LIPA was totally unexpected. The audition process was gruelling and required a lot of hard work, yet I believe I’m very lucky and am very excited to be on the course.”
Lauren’s passion for performing arts began at a very early age and she has taken part in a variety of professional performances including starring as ‘Sleeping Beauty’ in The Tyne Theatre’s pantomime, touring in a production of ‘Dracula’ by Ed Waugh, and playing Nancy Kelly in Catherine Cookson’s ‘The Fifteen Streets’ at The Customs House in South Shields.
She was able to do this alongside her full-time college studies and was supported by lecturers and support staff to ensure she could follow her dream.
Lauren said: “The college was very accommodating allowing me to both further my career and remain studying. I felt I was given the help and advice that I needed, particularly when applying to drama schools and my lecturers were very helpful in supporting my time off to attend auditions and professional work. Had they not been so accommodating, I may not have been able to attend the number of auditions and recalls I was given and gain my place on the course at LIPA.”
The gifted teenager is committed to a career in the performing arts industry, and she is excited about where the future will take her.
She added: “I am aware that acting is an incredibly hard profession, with a multitude of knock backs, low income, if any, and lots of hard graft. Yet I believe it to be one of the most rewarding when you get to see someone cry, laugh and totally immerse themselves in your work.”
Gemma Whelam, Lauren’s drama lecturer at Sunderland College, said: “Lauren is extremely talented and I’m absolutely thrilled she will be training at LIPA. She is a natural all-round performer and I’m positive that she will have a very successful future in this industry.
“We believe it is essential to offer our students as many opportunities as possible to enable them to fulfil their potential, and to ensure they have the guidance and flexibility they need to pursue their aspirations. The college’s alumni includes a breadth of gifted performers and we are proud to say we have been a part of their journey.”
Sunderland College has just opened a brand new Visual and Performing Arts building to enable students on a range of courses including music, drama, dance, photography and art to learn in a state-of-the-art environment.
The facilities includes a theatre; film screening room; media/T.V, drama, dance, art and fashion and clothing studios; two industry standard recording studios; a music technology suite; photography studio; dark room and film processing facilities.
Lauren added: “Having access to such brilliant facilities will benefit any aspiring performing arts students, as I believe the college has the ability to help people grow in a new and exciting environment.”