The Gordon Hopson Award
Transferable life skills have always been a top priority for all who work at Ariel Drama Academy and over the past 15 years so many students have benefited from the important role Drama, Singing and Dance brings into adult life.
The Gordon Hopson Award was established to recognise students who embody the true spirit of Ariel Drama Academies. These students display many qualities including promoting Ariel’s belief in inclusion and diversity and perseverance in facing new challenges.
The award is in memory of a great supporter of Ariel over the last 25 years, Gordon Hopson, who was the late father to the Artistic Director Neil Hopson. A performer and director himself over many years, his positive ethos and love of the Arts was infectious. He always championed our students and strongly believed that the transferable life skills taught in Drama could be life changing.
The award came about not only to celebrate theatrical talent, but to recognise students who persevere when facing challenges, for their kindness and for being a good ambassador of Ariel Drama Academies. This award is given out annually in all six of Ariel’s Academies.
At this year’s Crawley Academy showcase at the Hawth Theatre, the award was presented to a magnificent group of young performers.
Historically this award goes to an individual, but unusually the whole class was nominated and won. It was agreed that as a collective, along with showing great empathy and warmth towards our Special Needs students, giving up their own time to support and mentor these incredible performers every week, their “can do” attitude was to be rewarded.
“These students truly encompass the importance of inclusion and to be recognised with the Gordon Hopson Award was so important to them all. They make us so proud week after week” said Principal Abigail Paige.
Crawley student Grace Graham said, “Having our Tempest group win the Gordon Hopson Award this year meant so much, because I believe we all work to our best ability and work in a group by encouraging and supporting one another. Additionally, being my last year with Ariel after nine years growing and learning, I felt all our hard work payed off. I wouldn’t wish to be a part of any other group at Crawley Ariel! Thank you very much to all our tutors especially Abi, our Principal and of course Nicci and Neil.”
Ariel has six established drama academies across Sussex in Burgess Hill, Hayward’s Heath, Crawley, East Grinstead, Horsham and Steyning.
For a free trial call 01444 250407 or visit the Ariel website.
There is no audition process and everyone is welcome. In addition Ariel has its own costume and equipment hire divisions. Ariel’s CrawleyAcademy is now accepting new applicants. Free trials are available, there is no audition process just come along and enjoy the fun and learn skills which will last a lifetime.
Picture by Stephen Candy Photography