A budding drama student is fulfilling her acting dreams after securing a place at a famous American drama academy, thanks to a charitable trust.
Gemma Hutchinson, from Blyth, is studying at New York-based AMDA (American Music and Dramatic Academy), following a grant from the Sunday for Sammy Trust.
She will be able to perform in full-scale stage productions and student-directed films plus audition for parts.
Gemma said: “Without the help of Sunday for Sammy foundation I would never have been able to come to America and live this unique opportunity while studying at AMDA.
“I will be forever grateful for the help and support Sunday for Sammy offers north east talent. I cannot thank them enough.”
The grant came from the proceeds of ticket sales for the biannual Sunday for Sammy concerts and DVD sales.
The concerts raise funds via the Sunday for Sammy Trust to support performers, writers and directors at the outset of their careers.
Show producer Ray Laidlaw said: “75 per cent of the profit from Sunday for Sammy DVD sales goes directly to the Sunday for Sammy Trust and helps fund the work we do supporting new performers at the start of their career.”
“We are currently funding individuals at RADA in London, AMDA in New York and LIPA in Liverpool: we are also financing lots of new regional drama, a couple of short films plus a major 12 month drama project at Walker Technical College in the East End of Newcastle.
“Support of this sort doesn’t come cheap.
“The 2016 Sunday for Sammy was a roller-coaster of a show packed with brilliant music, hilarious sketches, wonderful stand-up and an emotional tribute to Brendan Healy.
“The DVD is a perfect memento for those who attended the show and a fantastic treat for the thousands who wanted to be there but couldn’t get tickets.”