The major awards allow existing performing arts practitioners who have trained at a performing arts school to develop their work overseas and return to Australia to share their experiences.
At a recent meeting representing the Trustees of the Foundation, Mark Gaal from NIDA, Matt Delbridge from Victorian College of the Arts, Brendon Lunney, Chairman of the Foundation, and Terence Clarke, the Secretary of the Foundation, considered the 17 applications and awarded three artists with the Fellowships.
“The standard of applications was very good and the committee agreed that had there been more funds to award we would have had no hesitation in offering more Fellowships,” said Brendon Lunney. “We agreed on three applicants who are all outstanding artists in their field.”
NIDA graduate and actor Robert Collins (Acting, 2013) said he will use the Fellowship to travel to Los Angeles to build on his extensive Australian experience. Collins is well known to Australian TV audiences in Cleverman on ABC and The Wrong Girl on Network 10 for which he won 2017 Best New Talent at the TV Week Logie Awards.
He has also appeared in feature films Top End Wedding and Angel of Mine and starred in Sydney Theatre Company’s Midsummer Night’s Dream, and as Mufasa in Australian national tour of the Disney musical, The Lion King.
“This is a tremendous career development opportunity for me to use the fellowship to travel to Los Angeles and gain insights into the American film industry,” said Collins. “I strive to forge meaningful links to industry for Indigenous actors through networks I have established, and actively seek out opportunities to share my knowledge.”
Writer, director and actor Sara West trained at Flinders Drama Centre Bachelor Creative Arts (2010). She applied to the Fellowship to attend a New York Film Academy Filmmaking Workshop where each student writes, directs, shoots and edits a series of short film projects of his or her own. While there she will also develop her understanding of the industry in New York.
West has worked with some of Australia’s leading theatre, television and film companies. Her credits include Belvoir’s London tour of The Wild Duck; Malthouse Theatre/Griffin Theatre Company’s Ugly Mugs; Sydney Theatre Company’s Travelling North and Griffin Theatre Company’s Dreams in White. West has worked on ABC TV’s Anzac Girls and Network 7s Winter, and was nominated for a Logie for her role Liza Minnelli in Shine Australia’s TV biopic – Peter Allen.
My career in the entertainment industry so far has been one of extraordinary opportunities,” said West. “I’ve reached a point however where I want to create, not just one character, but opportunities for other women to do the same. I want to make films.”
Director, creator, performer and NIDA Graduate Harriet Gillies (Directing, 2012) is using the Fellowship to travel to the east coast of North America, New York and Montreal, to develop skills and opportunities as a maker of avant-garde and interdisciplinary theatre. The opportunities include developing work, secondments and attending festivals.
Gillies has a wealth of international and Australian experience in multidisciplinary theatre roles, having developed work with Sydney Festival, Next Wave Festival, The Watermill Centre in New York, Underbelly Arts Festival, Melbourne Fringe and more. Gillies has worked with Sydney Theatre Company, Belvoir Downstairs, La Boite, Carriageworks, Bundanon Trust and others.
With the limited number of Australian festivals and the fiscally tight environment it is becoming increasingly difficult for emerging avant garde artists to compete against more established and esteemed international artists,” said Gillies. “This Fellowship will allow me to take up incredible professional opportunities.”
The Gloria Payten Foundation and the Gloria Dawn Foundation are an extraordinary gift to the performing arts in Australia. The Foundations represent the entire estate of Gloria Payten, a leading theatrical agent, who established International Casting Service in 1960.
It was Payten’s intention to honour the memory of Gloria Dawn, one of Australia’s foremost actresses, through these Foundations. The remarkable contribution of these women to the performing arts in this country now continues after their deaths. For more information, visit: www.nida.edu.au for details.
Image: Rob Collins, Sara West and Harriet Gillies (supplied)