The recipients are Rhyan Lee from Darwin High School NT; Oliver Crawford from St Francis Xavier’s College, Hamilton NSW and Ebony Eastman from Austin Cove Baptist College, South Yunderup WA, selected by a panel including Bell Shakespeare’s Artistic Director Peter Evans and Founding Artistic Director John Bell.
Evangelia Wichmann from Tenison Woods College in Mt Gambier SA was awarded Highly Commended by the panel.
The Scholarship embeds the young actors in Bell Shakespeare’s Sydney headquarters for a week-long program during January 2019, where they undertake acting masterclasses and backstage tours, watch live performance and observe the rehearsals of the Company’s first production of the year — The Miser, starring John Bell.
The week culminates with the recipients staging a performance of a Shakespeare monologue for the cast of The Miser, before receiving feedback and career advice.
Peter Evans said that the program was an important part of Bell Shakespeare’s ongoing commitment to nurturing new talent and sharing Shakespeare as widely as possible.
"This year, Bell Shakespeare educators and actors auditioned 120 students around the country, working with each student on their Shakespeare monologue.
"We were excited to witness the talent and enthusiasm of these young performers, discuss their future ambitions, and develop their acting craft in masterclasses.
“With so much talent around the country, it was difficult to select just three recipients; but we are thrilled to be bringing Ryhan, Oliver and Ebony to Sydney to be mentored in the engine room of Australia's touring Shakespeare company.
"This is a significant opportunity, and one that can help set the stage for a career in this industry," he said.
Bell Shakespeare’s Executive Director, Gill Perkins, said that the program is made possible with the support of the Company’s generous donors.
"Being able to offer this opportunity to students from regional and remote parts of Australia is a privilege made possible thanks to the generous support we receive from our donors and government partners.
“This support not only covers the three recipients' time in Sydney, but also enabled 120 students from across Australia the opportunity to audition and receive a one-on-one masterclass, which we know has also made an impact on their creative path.
"We look forward to welcoming Rhyan, Oliver and Ebony to Bell Shakespeare in January 2019," she said.
To be eligible, students had to be 16 years or older and attending school full time. The audition process saw students perform a monologue from any Shakespeare play for Bell Shakespeare Teaching Artists and The Players during their tours around the country. They were evaluated on performance skills including voice, movement and their ability to take direction.