After two rounds of vocal auditions and a high energy dance call, six finalists for the 2014 Rob Guest Endowment Award were chosen by a panel of judges, which included Todd McKenney, Stuart Maunder and Guy Simpson.
Competing against 30 other Semi-Finalists three male and three female finalists were chosen to compete at the gala concert on Monday October 13, where the judging panel will announce the winner of the 2014 Rob Guest Endowment Award – a $20,000 prize intended to help a current artist in the musical theatre genre gain the performance experience, media training and guidance to help them become a leading artist in the Australian musical theatre industry.
The top six for 2014 are Ben Bennett (2013 Rob Guest Endowment Semi-finals Encouragement Award), Andrew Cook (Strictly Ballroom), Joshua Robson (Les Miserables), Angela Scundi (The Rocky Horror Show), Monica Swayne (Wicked) and Karla Tonkich (Grease).
NSW Deputy Premier and Minister for Tourism and Major Events Andrew Stoner congratulated the Rob Guest Endowment Award finalists and said, “Making the finals of the 2014 Rob Guest Endowment Awards is an outstanding achievement and recognition for the hard work and dedication of these six talented performers. I wish each of them the best of luck for October’s awards night in Sydney.”
Photographer Kurt Sneddon attended the semi finals yesterday at Sydney’s Capitol Theatre to capture some of the action – check out his special facebook photo album here.
Now in its 6th year, the Rob Guest Endowment has also introduced two new award categories to recognise further excellence in the field of music 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.