2017 Rob Guest Endowment Award Winners Announced
The winner of the 2017 Rob Guest Endowment Award was announced last night during the Grand Final Event held at the Capitol Theatre Rehearsal Room. Competing against five other outstanding Semi-Finalists with her performance of Glitter and be Gay and When Did I Fall in Love, Georgina Hopson took out the prestigious award after being chosen by an expert panel of judges, which included Roger Hodgman, Kellie Dickerson, Sharon Millerchip, Michael Tyack, Guy Simpson and Suzanne Jones.
Georgina Hopson took home $20,000 prizemoney, and the runners up Jayme-Lee Hanekom, Thomas McGuane, Imogen Moore and Morgan Palmer were each awarded $1,500. The Melbourne’s East End Theatre District Artist Development Award, an initiative of Mike Walsh and the Marriner family awarding a $5,000 cash prize to a promising young music theatre talent, went to Stefanie Caccamo. The Playbill Future Prospect Award went to Sam Ward. This award, generously sponsored by Playbill, is a $1,500 cash prize to a semi-finalist who didn’t make the finals but the judges wanted to encourage to return to the competition next year.
The six Finalists spent the day with the judging panel and creative team in musical, dramatic and movement sessions, allowing the judges to get to know the finalists and see how they work, better informing their decision. Following the Presentation, a social function was held for the finalists and award winners to connect with the industry professionals in attendance, and make direct contact with people who can 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.
This year also saw the return of two categories recognising further excellence in other fields of musical theatre. The Rob Guest Endowment Technical Award in Honour of Sue Nattrass was awarded to Natalie Carige and the Rob Guest Endowment Musician Award was won by Anthony Barnhill. Funded by the Capitol Theatre and the Sydney Lyric Theatre, both winners took home a $10,000 cash prize intended to help fund the tuition and experience needed to help them become leaders in their field.
The Rob Guest Endowment executive committee, Kellie Dickerson, Stephen Found and Bernadette Hayes, were blown away by the calibre of talent this year.