Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Living the Dream When School Days Are over; A TEESSIDE School Has Invited Its Successful Former Students Back to Inspire Today's Pupils to Aim High. Hall Garth Community Arts College Boasts Former Pupils Who Are Now Making Their Mark on the International Arts World. Education Reporter JOANNA DESIRA Met Some of Them to Find out How Their Lives Are Progressing

Newspaper article Evening Gazette (Middlesbrough, England)

Living the Dream When School Days Are over; A TEESSIDE School Has Invited Its Successful Former Students Back to Inspire Today's Pupils to Aim High. Hall Garth Community Arts College Boasts Former Pupils Who Are Now Making Their Mark on the International Arts World. Education Reporter JOANNA DESIRA Met Some of Them to Find out How Their Lives Are Progressing

Article excerpt

Byline: JOANNA DESIRA

STAR students have returned to Hall Garth Community Arts College to tell of their successes and goals.

The school, on Hall Drive, in Acklam, Middlesbrough, has tracked down some of its most successful past pupils and invited them back to inspire youngsters who attend the school today.

The students returned to Teesside from colleges as far afield as Hollywood and London. In special performances and exhibitions, they showed off their talents in dance, drama and art.

They discovered and developed their talents while attending Hall Garth, and then won places at prestigious institutions elsewhere - opening doors for them in the world of art, stage and film.

STEVEN CHAMBERLAIN, 19, from Acklam, is studying at the American Academy of Dramatic Arts, which has been attended by top Hollywood film stars.

He won the place after applying via the academy's website and having a successful audition in Edinburgh.

He has now been accepted to study for his second year. It could lead to future performances on stage or in film in Britain or America.

He has come a long way since his first performance at Hall Garth in the chorus of Annie. "Annie was the first show I did, I was finding my feet then," he said.

"Hall Garth was where I first became interested in acting and was my first chance to do any kind of performance. I'm very grateful it gave me the chance to want to go and do something. It was great fun."

After Hall Garth, Steven attended Stockton Riverside College before jetting off to Hollywood. He has rubbed shoulders with stars including Paul Rudd, of Friends fame, and screen legend Donald Sutherland.

"It is a completely different culture over there - it gets you used to being productive and being an individual. I think it's important pupils today find out what they want to do and have the confidence to do it, because it is possible," he said.

NEIL HAINSWORTH, 22, of West Lane, and NATHAN JOHNSTON, 19, of Grove Hill, both Middlesbrough, attend the London Contemporary Dance School, where Neil has just completed his final year. They both began dancing at Hall Garth when teacher Nicola Robinson launched GCSE dance. …

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