From the Road: Interview with John Bell Scholarship winner Oliver Crawford

1. Why did you apply for the John Bell Scholarship?

I applied for the John Bell Scholarship because I have had a slight obsession with Shakespeare for the past 4 years. When I heard about the scholarship, where I would spend a week with such a prestigious acting company focusing on Shakespeare, it just sounded like a dream.

2. What was the audition like?

The audition was a 15-minute workshop where I performed my monologue and was given feedback and suggestions on different ways to try performing it. Even if I didn’t get the scholarship, the audition process and what I learnt from it was extremely beneficial and eye opening.

3. Did this week teach you anything you weren’t expecting?

I don’t think I expected to learn so much from sitting in on a professional rehearsal process. Watching the company in their first week of rehearsals for The Miser really changed the way I thought professional rehearsals were run. Also watching the actors collaborate on breaking down the script and the questions that were put to them about their characters was fascinating, and has given me a few methods that I can apply to my own characters.

4. What was your favourite activity of the week?

It was all so amazing, so it’s hard to pick a favourite moment. However, performing my monologue for the Company was a real highlight for me. Everyone was so supportive, and it just felt amazing as I was doing it. It made me feel a lot more confident with my acting, and was just so fun.

5. How have you applied what you learned during the John Bell Scholarship week to your return to school?

Well I was just cast in the school’s production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream, so basically all I’ve done in drama is use everything I learnt at Bell Shakespeare about working with Shakespeare’s incredible texts, and just performing in general.

6. What would your top tips be for anyone considering auditioning for the John Bell Scholarship?

Just give it a go! Even the audition process is incredible, and if you are successful, it really is one of the best weeks of your life.

7. What are your plans once you finish year 12?
Hopefully something to do with the arts industry. Maybe acting, maybe something else!


Oliver Crawford was one of three recipients of the 2018 John Bell Scholarship. You can find our more about the scholarship and how to apply on our website.