The Musical Theater Academy, founded in 2009, will close at the end of this academic year.
In a statement posted to social media, the school’s principal / CEO Annemarie Lewis Thomas said that “the class of 2021 will be the last year of graduation from the college.” She said the reason for the closure is “not a lack of demand to train with us, there is a lack of funding to facilitate it,” given the financial impacts of the pandemic and a certain many other factors.
The school aimed to offer a musical theater course to aspiring professionals in two years rather than the conventional three years. The academy said it will continue to support all current students, including with all-day access to a mental health clinician.
Lewis Thomas issued a new warning, saying: ‘The UK vocational training industry has been completely decimated in recent years … we are not the first college to close, and we certainly will not be the last. , but the industry needs to wake up and see what’s going on. A conglomerate of “big” colleges shouldn’t be the ultimate goal here. Our industry screams about inclusiveness, diversity and celebrating the individual, but that goes out the window when we have a corporate training industry in the UK. “
She called for an independent body to regulate training and said that “despite tangible successes [including the fact that 100 per cent of students secured agent representation prior to graduating], even our own industry did not give us the support we asked for, with Equity and Spotlight refusing to recognize us as a graduate course, thus preventing our students from getting any of the various scholarships they endorse or manage. “
MTA Chairman Jon Harris further cited Brexit issues as an issue and that the removal of the Professional Career Development Loan program in 2019 also severely compromised students’ ability to apply to the course.
Patrons of the organization included Lara Pulver, the academy twice winning “School of the Year” in The Stage Awards.
You can see the full three page letter below:
– The MTA (The Musical Theater Academy) (@theMTAonline) July 19, 2021