Inaugural $35 000 scholarship on offer for lucky acting student

Firass Dirani

The words ‘actor’ and ‘student’ are often independently synonymous with two minute noodles and late nights in hospitality. Combine the two into the phrase ‘acting student’ and you’ve got a seemingly tough road ahead.

Thankfully, if you are thinking of studying acting this year, The Actors College of Theatre and Television (ACTT) have announced a full scholarship, potentially worth over $35,000 that will enable the winning applicant to study for up to three years full-time in the Advanced Diploma of Arts in Stage & Screen Acting, known as the ‘Professional Actor Program’ at ACTT.

Designed to give an aspiring actor the opportunity to undertake professional acting training and spend time developing their skills (not their ability to carry three plates at once in a fancy restaurant), the scholarship was created by ACTT and Firass Dirani, ACTT 2004 Graduate and celebrity actor.

“Acting is a tough profession; to survive you need more than just talent. We’re looking for people who have an undeniable raw passion for acting but also a focussed, determined spirit, which will drive them towards their goals.” says Firass Dirani, star of TV series Underbelly: The Golden Mile for which he won two LOGIE Awards early last year.

The scholarship recipient will have the opportunity to train with a team of professional tutors, all experts in their fields, and experience a learning experience that transforms people into highly proficient, physically capable and emotionally confident actors.

“From the first day Firass arrived at ACTT it was clear he has a natural talent and was dedicated to his training. This competitive scholarship aims to discover another Australian acting talent who after three years of dedicated professional training at ACTT may become the next Firass Dirani. I would encourage anyone who is serious about acting to grab this opportunity.” says Lesley Watson, Head of ACTT.

The Firass Dirani ACTT Scholarship aims to unearth another great Australian acting talent. The first year award value is $12,500 and the total value of the scholarship could be in excess of $35,000 to an individual student. Entry into ACTT is by audition and is competitive.

There are three more days of auditions left for this wonderful opportunity – email [email protected] or call 02 9213 4500  NOW!

Monday 23 January – Friday 27 January – SYDNEY at ACTT Sydney – ACTT Auditions for the Professional Actor Program and Music Theatre courses

The winner will be announced on the 2nd February, 2012.

The Audition Process:

To be eligible for this scholarship applicants must first successfully pass through ACTT auditions for entry into the Professional Actor Program:

Stage One: Candidates will be required to prepare and perform three monologues in front of a panel. Audition booklets for males and females are online at

Stage Two: Selected applicants will then be invited to attend Stage Two (no additional preparation is required). If they are successful they will be offered a place on the 2012 Professional Actor Program.

Stage Three: Anyone who has accepted their place on the 2012 Professional Actor Program will be invited to apply for the Firass Dirani ACTT Scholarship, this will involve completing a short written application as to why they believe they should receive the scholarship. A shortlist will be drawn up from these applications.

Stage Four: All those shortlisted will be invited to interview and perform in front of the scholarship panel which includes ACTT staff, industry and Firass Dirani. A winner will be selected and announced shortly after.

The ACTT Professional Actor Program

This radical program immerses students in the Morris System of studio-based training, with extensive Instrument Preparation and Performance Practice followed by public theatre performances and Australia’s finest TV & Film Industry show reel (with scenes shot on-location and in-studio). Students get access to agents, directors, producers and other industry insiders and leave with the skills and opportunities they need to gain representation and sustain themselves throughout a long and rewarding acting career. Graduates of this three year course leave with an Advanced Diploma of Arts in Stage and Screen Acting and have the option of exclusive matriculation into a 4th year BA Degree at University of New England.

Notable graduates from ACTT include double LOGIE Award-Winner, Firass Dirani (Underbelly: The Golden Mile, Killer Elite, The Straits) Helpmann Award-Winner, Luke Joslin (Avenue Q, Doctor Zhivago, Annie) Leeana Walsmann (Love is a Four Letter Word, Looking For Alibrandi, Star Wars: Episode II – Attack of the Clones), Chris Baker (Kokoda, Ned Kelly, Changi ), Matthew Holmes (Sea Patrol, Blue Heelers), Valentino Del Toro (Underbelly Files: Infiltration, Fool’s Gold, The Strip), George Houvardas (Packed to the Rafters).
For more information about the scholarship: email [email protected] or call 02 9213 4500


Erin James

Erin James is's former Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin James

One thought on “Inaugural $35 000 scholarship on offer for lucky acting student

  • Firass was wonderful in The Black Balloon.


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