Rob Guest Endowment Announces Major Changes
The Committee for the Rob Guest Endowment, one of Australia's most exciting scholarship programs providing financial assistance and industry support to the next generation of musical theatre stars, today announced major changes to the Endowment. The winner of the Rob Guest Endowment Award will now be awarded a $50,000 prize along with the coveted RGE Trophy, making the award the largest single Musical Theatre scholarship in Australia. Melbourne's East End Theatre District Artist Development award will also be increased to a $10,000 cash prize. The competition will now be offered biennially with the next Endowment in 2020 boasting a total prize pool of over $75,000.
The Rob Guest Endowment was created following the sudden death of one of Australia's finest musical theatre performers, Rob Guest OBE, in October 2008. In recognition of his achievements in the musical theatre industry, the Rob Guest Endowment was established in his honour with the aim of building and maintaining a community for emerging musical theatre artists and to provide them with support.
Previous winners of the Rob Guest Endowment Award have since been launched into the industry, starring in lead roles in musical theatre around Australia. Past winners include Annie Aitken (Thoroughly Modern Millie), Daniel Assetta (West Side Story), Blake Bowden (The Book of Mormon), Francine Cain (Grease), Samantha Dodemaide (The Wizard of Oz), Glenn Hill (Jersey Boys, Legally Blonde), Georgina Hopson (Evita) and Joshua Robson (My Fair Lady).
"For ten years the Rob Guest Endowment has proudly supported young Australian musical theatre talent, fostering burgeoning careers and helping artists to achieve their greatest potential," said RGE Committee Chairman Ross Hannaford. "Moving in to our second decade, we are now able to increase the financial assistance to our winners and truly make this award a life changing experience. I'll never forget how supportive Rob Guest was, and consider myself very lucky to have worked alongside him until his final performance in Wicked. The committee and I are thrilled to be ushering in this new era of the Endowment and continuing to celebrate the ongoing legacy of Rob Guest."
Kellie Dickerson, partner of the late Rob Guest and Founding RGE Committee member, added, "It's wonderful to see the development of this award over the past decade - a team of dedicated volunteers has finessed the RGE to become an incredibly valuable experience for any young artist. We have arrived at this next stage to become both more inclusive and more powerful, able to more meaningfully contribute to the training of a young artist and thus the future of our industry."