Genesis Foundation celebrates the appointment of its 25th Genesis LAMDA scholar

14 November 2016

The Genesis Foundation today announces the appointment of its 25th Genesis LAMDA Scholar: Stuart Thompson.

John Studzinski instigated the Genesis LAMDA scholarship endowment in 1998, following a conversation with Dame Janet Suzman DBE, about the socio-economic inequality of the intake in the major London drama schools. Since then John Studzinski and the Genesis Foundation have supported LAMDA by helping the Academy nurture and develop talented young actors through an annual Genesis LAMDA Scholarship.

This year, a panel headed up by LAMDA Vice-President Dame Janet Suzman DBE, Genesis Foundation’s Managing Director Harriet Capaldi Genesis LAMDA alumni Ben Aldridge and LAMDA’s Principal Joanna Read auditioned a number of students selected by LAMDA. Genesis LAMDA Scholars have their tuition fees paid in their entirety over the three years of LAMDA’s BA (Hons) in Professional Acting and receive a contribution towards their living expenses.

Commenting on the celebration of the 25th Genesis LAMDA Scholar, John Studzinski, Founder and Chairman of The Genesis Foundation said:

I’m thrilled that the Genesis Foundation and LAMDA have reached such a milestone. To have supported twenty five great young actors over three years – in effect 75 years of training – is something worth celebrating. The Genesis Foundation was formed from the conviction that access to the best training mustn’t only be the preserve of those from comfortable backgrounds. Art and creativity suffer if that happens and then we all suffer. It gives me particular satisfaction to watch these Genesis Scholars become professionals and help other actors so that the Genesis network of nurture and support continues to grow.

Janet Suzman commented:

The ongoing struggle to open doors in the arts for the unrich in this class-driven country is spearheaded by John Studzinski and the likes of him. He and his Foundation are training young actors and playwrights to ensure that theatre’s many treasures are brought to life.”

Stuart Thompson applied to LAMDA and was delighted to be accepted on to the three-year BA (Hons) Professional Acting as a Genesis LAMDA Scholar and will graduate in July 2019. Raised in a small mining village in the North East of England, Stuart Thompson began performing from a young age, firstly in dance and musical theatre. At the age of 16, Stuart moved to London to take up a full scholarship place at ArtsEd on their BTEC Extended Diploma in Musical Theatre, with A-Levels in Dance and Drama. As part of his A-Level, Stuart played the role of Katurian in The Pillowman and it was this experience that led to his decision to pursue a career in acting.

Many of the Genesis LAMDA Scholars have gone on to enjoy active careers in television, films and the theatre. The first ever recipients of a scholarship was Samuel Barnett, who says:

“There is no way I could have gone to drama school if it hadn’t been for Genesis. Investment in young people at grass-roots level is critical if we want to continue to be a country at the forefront of artistic excellence.”

Lewis Bruniges, Carys Bowkett and Stuart Thompson are the three current Genesis LAMDA scholars.

For more information on the Genesis Foundation please contact Cécile Beauvillard Burman at, 020 3077 4940.

Editors’ Notes

About Genesis Foundation

Established by John Studzinski 15 years ago, the Genesis Foundation works in partnership with the leaders of prestigious UK arts organisations such as the Royal Court, The Sixteen, Welsh National Operaand the Young Vic. Its largest funding commitment is to programmes that support directors, playwrights and musicians in the early stages of their professional lives.

In addition it awards scholarships to exceptional student actors at LAMDA and commissions stimulating new works, from choral compositions to light installations.

In 2015 the Genesis Foundation launched its first partnership outside the UK, funding residencies for playwrights at New York’s Signature Theatre.