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Jenna Russell Announced as Patron of JGH Academy

Applications are now open for their September 2021 intake for anyone aged 16 plus with a view to obtaining a career in the performing arts.

Olivier Award-Winning, Jenna Russell, has been announced as the second and final patron of JGH Academy of Theatre Arts in Canterbury, Kent.

JGH Academy was founded by theatre producer, Joseph Hodges, and casting director, Jay Gardner, in January 2021 to bring an intensive full-time training academy to Canterbury, Kent, from September 2021, specialising in outstanding Musical Theatre training.

Pooling together their many years of performing arts experience from across the globe and unique set of contacts and relationships within the professional musical theatre industry, they will offer two courses (a two-year Sixth Form and a one-year Intensive) that allow their students to gain the knowledge, training and skills to audition for further performing arts training or prepare for a career in the arts.

Jenna Russell is an Olivier Award-Winning and Tony-Nominated actress and singer who's inspirational stage career in the West End and on Broadway includes roles such as Dot in 'Sunday in the Park with George' (Tony Nomination, Winner of the Olivier-Award for Best Actress in a Musical), Samantha Lord in 'High Society' (Sheffield Crucible), Young Sally in 'Follies' (Shaftesbury Theatre, West End), Sarah Brown in 'Guys and Dolls' (Piccadilly Theatre, West End), The Bakers Wife in 'Into the Woods' (Regents Park Open Air Theatre), Helen in 'Fun Home' (Young Vic), Mary in 'Merry We Roll Along' (Harold Pinter Theatre, West End), and Penelope Pennywise in 'Urinetown' (Apollo Theatre, West End).

She's also had a vast and varied career in television to phenomenal acclaim with notable roles including playing Christine in the ITV Comedy 'Home to Roost', Maggie Lomax in 'On the Up' and most recently as Michelle Fowler in BBC One Soap-Opera 'Eastenders'.

Each year, one very lucky Sixth Form student will be awarded the 'Jenna Russell Scholarship' for both years of their training with us and Jenna will be joining us from time to time for exciting workshops to share her invaluable knowledge and skills with our lucky students.

Both courses will be geared towards performance and technical skills, as well as audition technique, with training in the following disciplines: Singing, Voice, Acting, Musicianship, Ballet, Tap, Jazz, Acrobatics, Contemporary and Commercial.

Their academic calendar, which runs from September to July, will feature two performances at the nearby Malthouse Theatre:

  • A Musical Theatre Showcase in March, to be performed to an invited audience of top agents, casting directors and representatives from professional theatre colleges. a??

  • A full-scale musical production in July, to give students the opportunity to experience a professional rehearsal process and how to fully develop a character from start to finish performed with a live orchestra.

They're joined by a faculty of teachers, who will ensure a high standard of training is maintained throughout all disciplines including: Head of Acting, Katie Ray (Joseph, The Sound of Music, Million Dollar Quartet), Head of Singing, Louise Young (Mamma Mia, The Marvelous Wonderettes, Friends), Head of Ballet, Anna Stevens (West Side Story, Miss Saigon, The Phantom of the Opera), Head of Contemporary, Victoria Collins (We Will Rock You), Head of Commercial, Jacob Fearey (Chicago, Bat Out of Hell) and Guest Specialists Sinead Kenny (Disney's Aladdin) and Sophie Camble (42nd Street).

Applications are now open for their September 2021 intake for anyone aged 16 plus with a view to obtaining a career in the performing arts. The application and audition process is completely free of charge and can be accessed online at

There's lots more information on their website They're also on Twitter, Facebook and Instagram @JGHCanterbury.

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