Submissions open for the 2019 Sandra Bates Director’s Award

Ensemble Award Liz Arday, Janine Watson, Genevieve Hegney and Catherine MooreSydney’s Ensemble Theatre has announced that the 2019 Sandra Bates Director’s Award (SBDA) is now taking submissions from emerging directors across Australia who would like the opportunity to work alongside Ensemble Theatre’s directors on two plays throughout next year.

Mark Kilmurry initiated the Award as a legacy to former Artistic Director Sandra Bates, after she retired from her 30 years at the helm of Ensemble Theatre. “The Award nurtures emerging theatre directors by giving them the opportunity to work as Assistant Director on two Ensemble Theatre productions each year,” says Kilmurry.

“The Award offers a wonderful opportunity for emerging directors to work with established professional directors to help develop and fine tune their craft.”

Each year the two winners are offered a paid position of Assistant Director on two of Ensemble Theatre’s main stage productions and then assist in the delivery of Ensemble Theatre’s Boatshed program, each directing a staged play reading and helping with other Boatshed initiatives. The $16,000 Award is offered to two people who will each receive $8,000.

One of last year’s recipients was Liz Arday who was Assistant Director for the hugely successful play, Unqualified, directed by a previous recipient, Janine Watson. Liz then directed a rehearsed reading of Tracey Trinder’s new work, Killing Katie: Confessions of a Book Club, and she will be Assistant Director for The Norman Conquests trilogy opening in October.

Previous recipients, Shaun Rennie will direct Tennessee Williams’ Baby Doll and Priscilla Jackman will direct Melanie Tait’s The Appleton Ladies’ Potato Race in 2019.

Submissions for the 2019 Sandra Bates Director’s Award are now open and close on Friday 21 September. The two winners will be announced on Thursday 18 October 2018. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Liz Arday (left) a recipient of the 2018 Sandra Bates Director’s Award and (right) Janine Watson, 2016 recipient with Genevieve Hegney and Catherine Moore in the recent Ensemble Theatre production, Unqualified.