Applications open for 2016 Rob Guest Endowment Awards

The Rob Guest Endowment Awards are up and running again for 2016! The Rob Guest Endowment provides financial assistance and industry support to the next generation of musical theatre stars, creators, and musicians. The 2016 prize package is valued at over $50,000, including the $20,000 major prize, the Rob Guest Endowment Award.

The performance awards put all applications through a long and gruelling audition process until finally six finalists are selected. They will showcase their talent in at the Rob Guest Endowment Concert, and the winner, announced on the night, will take home the Rob Guest Endowment.

The six finalists of last year's Rob Guest Endowment - Georgina Hopson, Blake Appelqvist, Hilary Cole, recipient Daniel Assetta, Ashleigh Rubenach and Robert McDougall - on stage at the Rob Guest Endowment Gala 2015, taken at the Lyric Theatre in Sydney, on Monday, 9 November 2015. Hosted by David Campbell and Lucy Durack, guest artists performing at the concert included musical theatre performers Rob Mills, Caroline OíConnor and Jemma Rix, Dirty Dancing star Mark Vincent, 2014 Rob Guest Endowment winner Josh Robson, and cast members from CATS and Matilda the Musical. The six finalists for the 2015 Rob Guest Endowment are Blake Appelqvist (West Side Story, new VCA Graduate), Daniel Assetta (Cats, Wicked), Hilary Cole (Carrie, Dogfight), Georgina Hopson (Into The Woods, The Pirates of Penzance), Rob McDougall (Les Miserables, Phantom of the Opera) and Ashleigh Rubenach (Anything Goes, The Sound of Music). The competition was judged by three of Australian musical theatreís finest creatives, Kelly Abbey, Peter Casey and Gale Edwards. The 2015 recipient was Daniel Assetta.
The six finalists of last year’s Rob Guest Endowment – Georgina Hopson, Blake Appelqvist, Hilary Cole, recipient Daniel Assetta, Ashleigh Rubenach and Robert McDougall 

Applicants also compete for Melbourne’s East End Theatre District Artist Development Award, a $5,000 prize and the Playbill Future Prospect Award, a cash prize of $1,500. The four remaining finalists will each take home $1,500.

Past finalists of the Rob Guest Endowment Award are currently making waves in musical theatre. Past winners and runners up include Daniel Assetta (WICKED, Cats), Blake Bowden (South Pacific, Fiddler on the Roof), Francine Cain (Grease), Andrew Cook (Matilda the Musical), Samantha Leigh Dodemaide (Violet, Singing in the Rain), Euan Doidge (Les Miserables, Kinky Boots), Edward Grey (WICKED), Glenn Hill (Matilda the Musical), Robert McDougall (Les Miserables), Joshua Robson (Les Miserables) and Gretel Scarlett (Grease, Singin’ in the Rain).

In addition to the performance awards, The Rob Guest Endowment Technical Award in Honour of Sue Nattrass and The Rob Guest Endowment Musician Award give a $10,000 cash prize  each, intended to help the recipients become leaders in their field. These awards are open to all practitioners working or seeking to work backstage and in orchestra pits of musical theatre shows around the country. The winners will be announced at the 2016 concert.

“This is a unique set of awards honouring a much-loved musical theatre star. Rob Guest was an inspiration to all, and a great teacher and mentor to those he worked with,” said John Frost, Rob Guest Endowment Patron.

“The Rob Guest Endowment Awards continue to inspire and foster the growth of the musical theatre industry, and it’s gratifying to see how it has assisted so many young musical theatre performers over the past seven years.”

The Rob Guest Endowment honours the memory and legacy of Rob Guest, a legendary local musical theatre star who led still talked-about productions of Phantom of the Opera and Les Miserables. He was a tireless supporter of young people in the industry, mentoring many musical theatre performers during his long and celebrated career.

Applications for all awards are now open. Winners will be announced at the Rob Guest Endowment Concert, which will take place in Sydney in November 2016. Entries for all awards can be submitted via by 1 August 2016 for the Performers Awards, and by 1 October 2016 for the Technical and Musician Awards.  



Cassie Tongue

Cassie is a theatre critic and arts writer in Sydney, and was the deputy editor of AussieTheatre. She has written for The Guardian, Time Out Sydney, Daily Review, and BroadwayWorld Australia. She is a voter for the Sydney Theatre Awards.

Cassie Tongue

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