One of Australia’s most exciting scholarship programs providing financial assistance and industry support to the next generation of musical theatre stars, creators and musicians, organisers of the Rob Guest Endowment have launched this year’s awards, calling for applications.
The performance-based awards seek out Australia’s brightest and most talented young rising stars by putting them through a gruelling audition process. Six finalists will showcase their talent at the Rob Guest Endowment Concert, with the winner taking home the highly coveted Rob Guest Endowment Award of $20,000.
Applicants will also compete for Melbourne’s East End Theatre District Artist Development Award – a $5,000 prize, and the Playbill Future Prospect Award – a cash prize of $1,500. The four remaining finalists will each take home $1,500. The total prize pool in 2016 is valued at over $50,000.
Past winners and finalists of the Rob Guest Endowment Award can be seen in lead roles in musical theatre around Australia, including: Daniel Assetta (WICKED, Cats), Blake Bowden (South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof), Francine Cain (Grease), Andrew Cook (Matilda the Musical), Samantha Leigh Dodemaide (Violet, Singing in the Rain), Euan Doidge (Les Miserables, Kinky Boots), Edward Grey (WICKED), Glenn Hill (Matilda the Musical), Robert McDougall (Les Miserables), Joshua Robson (Les Miserables) and Gretel Scarlett (Grease, Singin’ in the Rain).
The Rob Guest Endowment executive committee, Kellie Dickerson, Stephen Found and Bernadette Hayes, are thrilled that the total prize pool has increased to over $50,000 this year. Patron John Frost says the Rob Guest Endowment Awards are an incredible legacy and continue to give back to the industry as it grows.
“This is a unique set of awards honouring a much-loved musical theatre star. Rob Guest was an inspiration to all, and a great teacher and mentor to those he worked with,” said Mr Frost. “The Rob Guest Endowment Awards continue to inspire and foster the growth of the musical theatre industry, and it’s gratifying to see how it has assisted so many young musical theatre performers over the past seven years.”
Introduced in 2014, the Rob Guest Endowment Technical Award in Honour of Sue Nattrass and the Rob Guest Endowment Musician Award will again be presented in 2016. Fully funded by the Capitol Theatre and Sydney Lyric, these two awards include a $10,000 cash prize, and are open to all practitioners working or seeking to work backstage, and in orchestra pits of musical theatre shows around the country. The prize is intended to help the recipients become leaders in their field.
Entries for all awards are now open. Applications for the Performers Awards close 1 August 2016, while the Technical and Musician Awards close 1 October 2016. Details for the Rob Guest Endowment Concert will be provided at a later date. For more information, visit: www.robguestendowment.com.au for details.
Image: 2015 Rob Guest Endowment Finalists: Georgina Hopson, Blake Appelqvist, Hilary Cole, Daniel Assetta, Ashleigh Rubenach and Robert McDougall – photo by Robert Catto