2018 Rob Guest Endowment Finalists
The Rob Guest Endowment has announced the 2018 Rob Guest Endowment Finalists. Competing against over 200 applicants, six outstanding artists were chosen by an expert panel of judges, which included Dave Skelton, Kellie Dickerson and Chris Parker.
The Finalists are Annie Aitken (Melba, Muriel’s Wedding), Joel Granger (She Loves Me, Cry-Baby), Todd Jacobsson (The Book of Mormon), Courtney Monsma (Mamma Mia), Ashleigh Rubenach (Cry-Baby, My Fair Lady), Lyndon Watts (Aladdin, Singin’ In The Rain).
The 2018 Rob Guest Endowment finalists will be judged at an invitation-only Presentation on Monday 19 November in front of a wide selection of industry professionals. Finalists will have the chance to have musical, dramatic and movement sessions with judges and coaches on the day. They will workshop their chosen material with the judges prior to the Presentation, allowing the judges to get to know the finalists and see how they work, better informing their decision. Following the Presentation will be a social function where finalists and the winner will be introduced to the industry professionals attending, and make direct contact with people who may assist them in developing their career. This fulfils the aim of the Rob Guest Endowment to better connect young performers with industry professionals who can encourage, mentor and advise them.
The six finalists will compete for the winning prize of $20,000 intended to help them gain the performance experience, media training, guidance and a public image to help them become a leading artist in the Australian musical theatre industry. Applicants also compete for Melbourne's East End Theatre District Artist Development Award, a $5,000 prize, and runners up will each take home $1,500. In addition, the Playbill Future Prospect Award, a $1,500 prize, is presented to a Semi Finalist who displays promising talent.
This year also sees the return of two categories open to competitors recognizing further excellence in the field of musical theatre. The Rob Guest Endowment Technical Award in Honour of Sue Nattrass is a $10,000 cash prize intended to help a current member in a technical department of musical theatre fund the tuition and experience needed to help them become a leader in their field. Applicants could be from departments including, but not limited to, stage management, mechanists, sound, lighting, wigs and wardrobe. The Rob Guest Endowment Musician Award, also a $10,000 cash prize, is intended to help a current musician in the musical theatre genre fund the tuition and experience needed to help them become a leader in their field.