We’re thrilled to offer two aspiring directors the Sandra Bates Director’s Award this year. The successful applicants will receive the unique opportunity to work as Assistant Directors on two of Ensemble Theatre’s 2018 mainstage productions. Submissions open on Monday, 4 September 2017.

Stay tuned for more information on how to apply.

Sponsored by the Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation.

The 2017 successful applicants

Congratulations to the two successful applicants of the 2017 Sandra Bates Director’s Awards, Francesca Savige and Shaun Rennie. Both will work as Assistant Director on two plays each in the Ensemble Theatre’s 2017 season, they will also direct a play reading each as part of the theatre’s BOATSHED PROJECTS.

Francesca Savige is an experienced actor who has already directed for Bell Shakespeare’s Actors at Work program, QUT and Sport for Jove. Shaun Rennie is an experienced musical theatre performer who made his directorial debut in 2015 with RENT at the Hayes Theatre Company and has also directed other musicals for Hayes, Redline Productions and Freerain Theatre Company in Canberra. He’s co-directed projects in London and was Assistant Director on PHANTOM OF THE OPERA at Parramatta Riverside.

I am honoured and thrilled to be a recipient of the Sandra Bates Director’s Award for 2017. As a fledgling director, the opportunity to develop both skills and networks with the support of a major theatre company is exciting and invaluable. I am incredibly grateful to Mark Kilmurry, the entire team at The Ensemble and of course Sandra Bates for this amazing opportunity and can’t wait to get stuck into it!” – Shaun Rennie

I was touring a children’s theatre show in Broome when I found out that I was to receive a Sandra Bates Director’s Award. Looking out over the brilliant ocean I didn’t think the day could improve, so I was quite overwhelmed with joy when I got the call! I am absolutely thrilled to be given this amazing opportunity to work and learn with the Ensemble Theatre. The award couldn’t come at a more perfect time for me – I’ve been on the brink of finding the confidence to tackle the projects I want to do, for far too long. I know that working with Mark and the Ensemble family will be invaluable in developing the tools, courage, and leadership skills I need to take my directing aspirations to the next level. It is an honour to receive an award in Sandra Bates’ name, and I am profoundly grateful to the Ensemble, and to the Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation.” – Francesca Savige