STARS of stage, television and screen have been writing and emailing in support of the campaign against the closure of popular theatre courses at a Kirkcaldy college.
Actors including Dougray Scott and Shirley Henderson have spoken out in support of the Adam Smith College courses which launched them on the path to stardom.
Support has also come from throughout the industry, from theatres, colleges, politicians and the business sector.
Proposals to axe all 13 theatre arts courses at the college have been put forward by management who described them as “unviable” in a review of the college curriculum, sent to staff two weeks ago.
Glenrothes-born Dougray, star of Mission Impossible 2 and Desperate Housewives, who studied acting and performance during the 1980s, said: “It’s tragic and very short-sighted. Without this course I would not have become an actor. It’s as simple as that.
“It seems that the arts in our society are always seen as a luxury which I find offensive.
‘‘Perhaps the powers that be should imagine a world without theatre, cinema, art galleries, museums, television drama.”
Jenna Ushkowitz, who plays Tina in hit television show ‘Glee’, posted a message of support on her Twitter page.
Former student Shirley Henderson, who appeared in ‘Harry Potter’, ‘Trainspotting’ and ‘Bridget Jones’s Diary’, has also given her support, as has TV presenter Lorraine Kelly, radio DJ Edith Bowman and Steven Robertson who appeared in ‘The Tourist’ and ‘Kingdom of Heaven’.
Steven, who was Student of the Year during the 1990s, wrote a long letter to Maggie MacMillan, curriculum head, expressing his dismay at the proposals.
He said: “This department has been chosen as it is a soft target and cuts in this area are an easy sell to the rest of the college and to the public at large.
“The fruits of the college’s labours, in my opinion, do not lie in a financial study that sets out how much monetary come-back there has been in the immediate area as a direct result of investment in certain studies.
‘‘The real success, as with all good colleges, comes from the development of the individuals themselves.”
A petition has attracted more than 2000 signatures.
A protest was held two weeks ago at an open day, while a bigger one is planned for next week.