Rob Guest Endowment Semi-Finalists Statement.

The former semi-finalists in the Rob Guest Endowment Award have "categorically refuted" claims that the competition was cancelled in order to protect them from bullying or intimidation.

In a statement released today on their behalf from the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance the artists describe the "significant trauma" caused by the various actions and statements made by the Rob Guest Endowment - which saw this year's competition cancelled.

Here is the statement in full.

Kate Mulvany Wins Top Prize for Women Playwrights

Hailed by the judges as a ‘blazing talent’, stage and screen writer/actor Kate Mulvany has won the coveted Mona Brand Award for 2020 — Australia’s only prize for women stage and screen writers.

A prolific playwright, screenwriter, poet and novelist, Kate Mulvany OAM was awarded the $30,000 Mona Brand Award for Women Stage and Screen Writers for her extensive body of work comprising more than 30 plays over a 25-year career.

Rob Guest Endowment Announces Cancellation of 2020 Scholarship

Stage Whispers acknowledges the strong criticism on Facebook for posting this latest media release from the Rob Guest Endowment, announcing the cancellation of their 2020 scholarship, following the furore over the lack of racial diversity among this year’s semi-finalists.

It’s totally valid criticism. We rushed to post the sensational industry news, sharing the announcement quickly, verbatim from the organisers, without seeking any alternate comments from other parties involved.

Statement from the Rob Guest Endowment – Future Changes

For over a decade the Rob Guest Endowment (RGE) has provided vital support and encouragement to young emerging performers, musicians and technicians, awarding over $400,000 in scholarships to assist them in their pursuit of excellence in their chosen discipline within the commercial musical theatre genre.

The competition seeks out the best emerging performers and works to broaden their experience, contacts and knowledge of the industry so they are equipped to further engage confidently into the world of commercial musicals.

Artists of Colour Initiative

The Artists of Colour Initiative (AOC) has launched a scholarship competition designed to provide financial assistance and industry support to six exceptionally talented theatre performers based in Australia that identify as Bla(c)k, Indigenous or as People of Colour (POC).

Ensemble Theatre Conversation with Lee Lewis

Ensemble Conversations, a weekly series hosted by Ensemble Theatre’s Artistic Director Mark Kilmurry, has generated over 116,000 views since April. 

This week Queensland Theatre Artistic Director Lee Lewis joins Mark Kilmurry on Ensemble Conversations.

Queensland Theatre To Reopen With World Premiere

Queensland Theatre will reopen the Bille Brown Theatre to audiences for the world premiere season of the Queensland Premier’s Drama Award (QPDA) 2018–19 winner The Holidays by David Megarrity, from 14 November through to 12 December. 

“This is wonderful news for our performing arts landscape, and I am delighted the Queensland Theatre can celebrate its 50th anniversary with the much-anticipated QPDA 2018–19 winner,” Premier Annastacia Palaszczuk said.

Hamilton Leads Screen Bonanza

There has never been more live theatre available on our screens. Since July the world’s biggest musical, Hamilton has been streaming on Disney+. Will the smorgasbord of live theatre available during the pandemic whet the appetite of theatregoers to return to live venues or encourage them to stay home? David Spicer investigates.

I went to extreme lengths to get a ticket to see the original cast of Hamilton on stage. On a 2016 trip to New York, my alarm went off at 3:45am and I walked the three blocks from my hotel to the theatre.

To keep up with the latest news and reviews at Stage Whispers, click here to like us on Facebook, or follow us on Twitter.