SPAA launches online auditions, interviews amid COVID-19 pandemic

SPAA launches online auditions, interviews amid COVID-19 pandemic

In just two weeks, more than 40 applicants from six countries used the online audition and interview process to become part of the Sharjah Performing Arts Academy, SPAA.

The online auditions and interviews were conducted to continue SPAA’s global search for talented students following the closure of all schools and higher education institutions due to the coronavirus, COVID-19 outbreak.

Executive Director of SPAA, Professor Peter Barlow, said, “In these challenging times, young people from all over the world who want to become professional performing and production artists are staying positive and getting creative with their applications. We are in a very lucky position to be able to connect with our current students and engage with potential students through online platforms. The quality of the applicants using video auditions and interviews has been outstanding. We are still supporting the professional performing arts in these challenging times by moving some expectations and practices from the physical world to the virtual world; we are lucky to have the technology to keep building our successful and exciting academy.”

Despite global discouragement to travel and social distancing rules, the SPAA has seen a positive response to its online auditions and interviews from applicants around the world and has witnessed a 300 percent increase in applications from 25 countries compared to 15 last year.

Samantha Lloyd, Student Administration Manager at SPAA, said, “We are living, working and operating during unprecedented times, which calls for innovative measures to engage and support our SPAA students and the wider community. The SPAA is committed to ensuring that current and future performing arts students are given every opportunity to pursue their higher education goals and professional, performing arts ambitions. Advanced and accessible technology brings people together and keeps them connected, even when situations call for social distancing and isolation. We are thrilled to have had such a positive response to our online video auditions and interview admissions process.”

Lloyd added, “This situation has shown us that creative people will find ways to pursue their ambitions and dreams and that there is certainly a need and demand for higher education performing arts training here in the Middle East.”

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