Ensemble Theatre announce Sandra Bates Director’s Awards

Ensemble Theatre Francesca Savige and Shaun RennieEnsemble Theatre has announced the two winners of the 2nd Sandra Bates Director’s Awards at an exclusive function in the theatre’s waterfront foyer bar.

Supported by the Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation, Ensemble Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry announced Francesca Savige and Shaun Rennie as the recipients of this prestigious award. “It was so hard to decide on this year’s winners, it was such a tough list and I’d like to congratulate everyone who applied,” said Mr Kilmurray.

Francesca Savige is an experienced actor who has already directed for Bell Shakespeare’s Actors at Work program, QUT and Sport for Jove.

“The award couldn’t come at a more perfect time for me – I’ve been on the brink of finding the confidence to tackle the projects I want to do, for far too long,” said Savige. “I know that working with Mark and the Ensemble family will be invaluable in developing the tools, courage, and leadership skills I need to take my directing aspirations to the next level.”

“It is an honour to receive an award in Sandra Bates’ name, and I am profoundly grateful to the Ensemble, and to the Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation.”

Shaun Rennie is an experienced musical theatre performer who made his directorial debut in 2015 with RENT at the Hayes Theatre Company and has also directed other musicals for Hayes, Redline Productions and Free Rain Theatre Company in Canberra. He’s co-directed projects in London and was Assistant Director on The Phantom of the Opera at Parramatta Riverside.

“I am honoured and thrilled to be a recipient of the Sandra Bates Director’s Award for 2017,” said Rennie. “As a fledgling director, the opportunity to develop both skills and networks with the support of a major theatre company is exciting and invaluable.”

“I am incredibly grateful to Mark Kilmurry, the entire team at The Ensemble and of course Sandra Bates for this amazing opportunity and can’t wait to get stuck into it!”

Savige and Rennie will work as Assistant Director on two plays each in the Ensemble Theatre’s 2017 season, as well as directing a lunchtime play reading each as part of the theatre’s Boatshed events. Both winners will gain great experience in 2017 working alongside established professional directors.

For more information, visit: www.ensemble.com.au for details.

Image: Francesca Savige and Shaun Rennie (supplied)