Wednesday, March 30, 2022

Catching up with Valerie Colgan, NSTT recipient 1958

It is always exciting to catch up with past scholarship recipients and learn about their achievements, especially those artists who began their artistic journeys many years ago.  Valerie Colgan received a Talent Trust theatre scholarship in 1958 to train at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Art.  After completing her training, Valerie remained in London where she has been acting and teaching theatre for the past 64 years.  

Valerie has had an exceptional career, with an extensive CV that includes film, television, theatre, and radio.  There are far too many roles to list, but some of her most famous roles include Lucilla Harris in Anne of Green Gables (1972), Outer Space Controller in Aliens(1986), and War Department Clerk in Saving Private Ryan (1998).  Her work also includes many plays with the Royal Shakespeare Company, West End, and Chichester Theatre Festival, as well as over 100 BBC radio plays.

She has spent many years teaching theatre at several universities and colleges.  She served at The City Literary Institute as the Head of Drama, Dance and Speech Department with 3500 students in 1990, and Head of Performing Arts Department with 7000 students in 1994.  Valerie is a Trustee of The Royal Victoria Hall Foundation, a charity that supports smaller-scale theatre projects in London.  She is also an Honourary Governor of Sadler's Wells Foundation, one of the world's leading dance organizations that supports and mentors emerging artists.

Now 86, Valerie is still acting and teaching.  She was thrilled to catch up with the Talent Trust to update us and express thanks for the support in starting her artistic career so many years ago: "I am writing to thank you very sincerely for helping me when I was young.  You gave me a grant in 1958 to train at the London Academy of Music and Dramatic Arts for three years and I have been acting and teaching acting in London ever since.  At 86, I can say I have had a wonderful life thanks to your early help.  Yours gratefully, Valerie Colgan."

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