Acting success for St Albans Theatrix drama school student Susanna during the pandemic

Susanna Willink

Susanna Willink - Credit: Supplied by Theatrix

A teenage student from a St Albans drama school has won a coveted place at a prestigious performing arts academy.

Theatrix student Susanna Willink, 17, has been offered a spot at Mountview Academy of Theatre Arts – one of the leading drama schools in the UK.

Susanna, who has studied drama and musical theatre at Theatrix since she was 10, was accepted for a foundation course after submitting a virtual audition displaying her considerable skills in performing arts.

Susanna Willink

Susanna Willink - Credit: Supplied by Theatrix

It’s an amazing achievement to obtain a place at one of the top accredited drama schools at such a young age.

Theatrix creatives said that all through lockdown when their students worked on Zoom, Susanna was always focused and upbeat as she chatted to her teachers and fellow young actors.

Susanna said: “I began preparing for auditions as early as I could, picking out the speeches I wanted to do months in advance, so I could know both the speeches and the plays they came from inside out by the audition.

"Completing drama school auditions this year was particularly challenging, as all auditionees had to take it upon themselves to film and edit all of their auditions in order to comply with COVID-19 restrictions."

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The effort proved worthwhile. Susanna, who has appeared as a Hogwarts pupil in the Fantastic Beasts series, said: "I am incredibly excited to be attending Mountview in September, and I largely owe this opportunity to the training and support that I have received at Theatrix over the last 10 years."

Susanna’s musical theatre teacher Elisha Mistretta, who trained at Mountview, said: “It’s no easy task to gain a place at Mountview – and Susanna has worked hard to obtain it and not just rested on her talent."

Her acting teacher, Alex Bell, who is a visiting lecturer at the Central School of Speech and Drama, added: “I have taught Susanna for several years and I have always found her to be a good and engaging student, who was always able to bring a mature understanding and warmth to her work. Very well deserved!”

Susanna is also a member of the Company of Ten and appeared in their Christmas show The Secret Garden.

Phil Reardon is youth director at the Company of Ten and currently Susanna’s Theatrix drama tutor working with her on Trinity Drama exams.

He said: “Susanna is a very generous and talented actor. She is also a great team player, a welcome attribute which will stand her in good stead throughout her training and certain entry into the profession.“

Theatrix principal Rosemarie Partridge added: “Susanna stands as an inspiration to all our students, particularly when the current circumstances have been so hard for young people to navigate."

Theatrix is a St Albans drama school. Established in 1980, it provides mainly young people from the age of five with opportunities to learn a wide range of theatre, speech, drama and communication skills.

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