2014 Finalists Announced!

The six Finalists for the 2014 Rob Guest Endowment Award were announced last night at the Capitol Theatre, Sydney. Competing against 30 other Semi-Finalists, six outstanding performers were chosen by an expert panel of judges, which included Todd McKenney, Stuart Maunder and Guy Simpson.

The 2014 finalists are:

  • 925 Bennett, Ben HSBen Bennett
    (2013 Rob Guest Endowment Semi-finals Encouragement Award)
  • 1805 Cook, Andy HSAndrew Cook
    (Strictly Ballroom)
  • 1550 Robson, Joshua HSJoshua Robson
    (Les Miserables)
  • 1815-Scundi,-Angela-HS-1Angela Scundi
    (The Rocky Horror Show)
  • 1640 Swayne, Monica HSMonica Swayne
    (Wicked)
  • Karla Tonkich HSKarla 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.”

Stay tuned to find out more about our fabulous finalists in the weeks to come!


Announcing the 2014 Rob Guest Endowment Semi-Finalists!

After seeing over 200 applicants at the first round auditions in Melbourne and Sydney, our judges have selected the 30 semi-finalists for the 2014 Rob Guest Endowment Award!

The semi-final auditions will be held in August, during which the judges will have the difficult task of choosing just 6 finalists. These 6 finalists will go on to perform at the Gala Concert on 13th October to find out who will win the Rob Guest Endowment Award for 2014 and take home the $20,000 prize!

  • 915 Assetta, Daniel HSDaniel Assetta
  • 925 Bennett, Ben HSBen Bennett
  • 1045 Cole, Hilary HSHilary Cole
  • 1805 Cook, Andy HSAndy Cook
  • 1040 Davis, Thomas HSThomas Davis
  • 1045 Downing, Daniel HSDaniel Downing
  • 1100 Emsworth, Vivien HSVivien Emsworth
  • 1135 Freeland, Anna HSAnna Freeland
  • 1125 Gardner, Nelson HSNelson Gardner
  • Hedger,-Nick-HSNick Hedger
  • 1215 Holly, Matt HSMatt Holly
  • 1230 Hopson, Georgina HSGeorgina Hopson
  • 1255 Hunter, Loren HSLoren Hunter
  • 905 Isaako, Graeme HSGraeme Isaako
  • Kirby Lunn HSKirby Lunn
  • 1405 McKee, Katie HSKatie McKee
  • 1000 McKenna, Lauren HSLauren McKenna
  • Emily-Mercurio-HeadshotEmily Mercurio
  • 1400 Matthew Moore, Seann CVSeann Matthew Moore
  • 1515 Parnis, Joel HSJoel Parnis
  • 1600 Raso, Daniel HSDaniel Raso
  • 1550 Robson, Joshua HSJoshua Robson
  • 1815-Scundi,-Angela-HS-1Angela Scundi
  • 1220 Selley, Rebecca HSRebecca Selley
  • 1655 Smith, Zach HSZach Smith
  • 1640 Swayne, Monica HSMonica Swayne
  • 1645 Sweeney, Connor HSConnor Sweeney
  • Karla Tonkich HSKarla Tonkich
  • 1735 Vushe, Tarisai HSTarisai Vushe
  • 1805 Wright, Sophie HSSophie Wright

2014 Entries open

Organisers from The ANZ Trustees Foundation: Rob Guest Endowment have today announced two new awards for 2014 bringing the total prize package to over $45,000 and called for competition entries.

The Rob Guest Endowment Award, now in its 6th year, is awarded annually to an emerging musical theatre performer selected by a panel of industry experts. It seeks out Australia’s brightest and most talented young rising stars by putting them through a gruelling audition process. Six finalists showcase their talents at the Rob Guest Endowment Gala concert, and this year the 2014 winner will take home $20,000, an $8,000 increase on the 2013 prize package. Runners up will each take home $1,500. The prize is intended to help a current artist in the musical theatre genre gain the performance experience, media training, guidance and a public image to help them become a leading artist in the Australian musical theatre industry.

This year also sees the introduction of two exciting new categories opened to competitors recognising further excellence in the field of musical 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.

The Rob Guest Endowment (RGE) executive committee, James Thane, Bernadette Hayes and Kellie Dickerson are thrilled that the 2014 prize pool has reached over $45,000, and RGE Patron, John Frost, says that this growth in prizes helps demonstrate how the cause is continuing to give back to the industry as it grows. “This is a unique set of awards honouring a great man of the theatre, who was an inspiration to all he worked with and a teacher and mentor to all,” said John Frost. “We are thrilled this year to be able to expand the awards to encompass not only performers, but to theatre technicians and musicians as well.”

It was also announced that, through the support of Destination NSW, the 2014 Rob Guest Endowment Gala Concert will be held on Monday 13 October, 2014 at Capitol Theatre, Sydney. Like past concerts, this night promises to be a highlight on the musical theatre calendar, showcasing the 2014 finalists alongside some of Australia’s finest professional musical theatre performers. More information on guest artists and tickets will be provided in August.


2013 Winner

The 2013 Winner is Samantha Leigh Dodemaide!

On Monday 25th October 2013 the winner of the annual Rob Guest Endowment was announced at the Gala Concert hosted by Bert Newtown at the Sydney Lyric.

SAMANTHA LEIGH DODEMAIDE knew she wanted to perform from a very young age, and when it was time to make her dreams a reality, she spent 4 years studying at Patrick Studios Australia, singing show tunes, speaking Shakespeare and tapping toes. Since then Sam has appeared in Anything Goes, The Producers, and A Chorus Line in which she understudied and performed the role of Cassie, as well as understudying the roles of Shelia, Diana, Maggie and Judy, A Funny Thing Happened On The Way To The Forum and currently KING KONG.

Congratulations Samantha!


2013 Tickets now on sale

TICKETS ON SALE NOW! Don’t miss out!

Now in its fifth year, with the support of Destination NSW, this special night comes to Sydney for the first time!

Hosted by Bert Newton and featuring a star studded line up including international star Adam Garcia, the night will see some of Australia’s finest musical theatre performers on stage alongside the six finalists vying to be the recipient of the Rob Guest Endowment Award and take home the $12,000 cash prize.

It promises to be an exhilarating and uplifting night that no musical theatre fan should miss!


Huge News – We’re coming to Sydney

The Rob Guest Endowment Concert after having played in Melbourne for the past four years at the Historic Her Majesty’s Theatre is with the support of Destination NSW going to play in Sydney for the next three years. This year is the fifth anniversary concert and it will be held at the Sydney Lyric on November 25.

The RGE would like to extend our gratitude to the good people at Destination NSW under the leadership of Sandra Chipchase – for their commitment to and support of the ideals and objectives of the Endowment, in particular for regards to the need for further developing the Endowment as a national endeavour to develop and nurture the next generation of music theatre performers. Their support will enable the Endowment to build an infrastructure in Sydney for the concert and for the concert to  become a fixture in the artistic calendar of Sydney for the next three years and hopefully beyond.

The support of DNSW also will extend the reach of the Endowment to regional centres around Australia, something the Endowment has been working towards since its inception.


2013 Applications now open

The 2013 Rob Guest Endowment Competition is now open!

UPDATE – The launch will now take place at 10:30am, not 11am as earlier stated.

We are busy preparing for our fifth competition taking place in November this year. Please visit our ‘Apply’ page for more information on how to submit your application. We have some big changes this year so please stay tuned for more information.

The Endowment will also be holding a media launch on 17th June at 10:30am, at the Heritage Room, Capitol Theatre Sydney. You are all invited to attend and see what we have in store for 2013!


Glenn Hill wins the 2012 Rob Guest Endowment Competition!

Congratulations to Glenn Hill, who was selected as this year’s winner of the Rob Guest Endowment.

After a spectacular concert held at Her Majesty’s Theatre with a star filled cast and an exceptionally talented group of finalists, Glenn was thrilled to be announced as the winner.

Well done Glenn!


The 2010 Winner – Francine Cain

The wonderful Francine Cain was the winner of the second Annual Rob Guest Endowment Award.

Francine performed brilliantly on the night and has gone on to land a lead roll in the new smash hit musical ‘Rock of Ages’.

All at the Endowment are very proud of Francine and wish her every success for the coming year.


Finalists announced for the 2010 Rob Guest Endowment

The six finalists have been announced for the 2010 Rob Guest Endowment.

The six finalists selected are Sarah Bakker, Simon Brook McLachlan, Francine Cain, Nathan Derrick, Bree Langridge, and Drew Weston.

They were selected from submissions across Australia and represent some of the most promising emerging musical theatre talents.