Brett Goldin Bursary 2016 call for applications

A final Goldin opportunity awaits two young South African actors

The Baxter Theatre Centre is calling for applications from young South African actors, from anywhere in the country, between the ages of 20 and 30, who wish to audition for the Brett Goldin Bursary for 2016. This marks the tenth anniversary and final year that the bursary will be made available.

The closing date is 5pm on Friday, 29 April and no late applications will be accepted. Auditions will take place at the Baxter Theatre Centre in Cape Town on 18 and 19 May with finals on 20 May, when the winners will be announced at a special function on the same day.

All applications should only be sent to Nicolette Moses at Baxter Theatre Centre, Main Road, Rondebosch, 7700, via email to nicolette.moses@uct.ac.za or fax her on 021 650 5260.

The selection criteria stipulate that the actor should be a South African citizen, under the age of 30 in July 2016, have an interest in classic theatre, have a valid passport and be able to fly to Stratford during the stated period as dates are strictly not negotiable.

For the audition, actors are required to perform two classic speeches (one tragic and one comic) as well as motivate why they should be awarded the bursary. It is essential that all applications include a detailed CV and a letter of motivation.

Brett Goldin Bursary 2016 call for applications
Brett Goldin

The Brett Goldin Bursary was set up immediately after the young actor and his friend, fashion designer Richard Bloom, both 28, were brutally murdered over the Easter weekend on April 16, 2006, just days before he was due to leave for Stratford-upon-Avon. He was to perform the role of Guildenstern in the Baxter’s production of Hamlet, directed by Janet Suzman, which launched the prestigious Royal Shakespeare Company’s Complete Works Festival. The double murder sent shockwaves throughout South Africa and England.

The Royal Shakespeare Company, The Actors Centre in Johannesburg and the Baxter Theatre Centre established the bursary which was kick-started by donations from respected South African-born actor Sir Antony Sher and Honorary RSC Associate Dame Janet Suzman to give another young actor the opportunity which Brett was denied and to honour his memory in an appropriate manner.

The bursary is a short post graduate course designed to enhance and fine-tune actors who are committed to the need and desire to expand their knowledge and acting ability of Shakespeare. Furthermore, their willingness to use the skills gained to enthuse and, on their return, to encourage others towards a love and understanding of Shakespeare is essential.

From the applications received a shortlist of 20 will be made. Only shortlisted applicants will be notified and they will be invited to audition on the aforementioned dates at the Baxter Theatre Centre. The 20 candidates must be available for the call-backs and auditions on said dates and all costs involved in the process are for the respective actors’ own accounts. Six finalists will be selected for the final audition on 20 May and the bursary winners will be announced that same day. Winners will be chosen according to their talent for Shakespeare performance, passion, commitment and overall suitability.

The two successful bursars will be selected from the auditions to travel to the home of the Royal Shakespeare Company (RSC) in Stratford-upon-Avon, England, birthplace of the world’s most famous playwright, for one month, from about 27/28 July to 27/28 August.

The work programme will include activities such as attending warm-ups, solo and company voice and verse classes, any Artist Development workshops held during the visit, technical rehearsals and other rehearsals at the directors’ discretion, as well as sessions with a director or assistant director and the opportunity to attend Learning Department workshops.

“With the incredible success of this unique opportunity it has been a joy for me to see how the programme has benefited the young actors who have been through it. Besides enhancing their own performances they have brought back to South Africa their passion for Shakespeare and positively used this to encourage and inspire upcoming actors to share their love of Shakespeare.” – Denise Goldin, mother of Brett

The successful incumbents will be based in the Artist Development Department and introduced to the company, and it is hoped that much of the educational experience will come from observation, discussion with personnel working in production, press and casting departments and through contact with other actors, directors or members of the RSC.

Omphile Molusi became the first recipient of the bursary in 2007 and in 2008 Thami Mbongo and Nicholas Pauling were chosen when the organisers decided to hold the event every second year and that two recipients would be chosen. All three actors were part of the highly acclaimed The Tempest which marked the second collaboration between the Baxter Theatre Centre and the Royal Shakespeare Company in 2009. 2010 recipients were Thato Moraka and Josette Eales and in 2012 it was Nkosinathi Gaar and Timothy Redpath who impressed the judges. Kate Liquorish and Tony Bonani Miyambo won in 2014.

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