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The Neil Curnow Award

January 16th 2012 22:46
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Emerging Adelaide actor wins $10,000 Neil Curnow Award

Adelaide College of the Arts graduate and emerging South Australian actor Ellonye Keniry is the winner of the 2011 Neil Curnow Award. Ellonye will use her $10,000 prize towards tuition at the Sanford Meisner Centre in Los Angeles and the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London.

Ellonye will kick off her overseas study in April at the Sanford Meisner Centre in Los Angeles, where she will undertake five weeks of full-time study into the Meisner technique. Following this, she will travel directly to London in June to participate in aneight-week professional Shakespeare acting workshop at the Royal Academy of Dramatic Art in London. As an actor, Ellonye has always been particularly excited by the challenges of the Bard, and plans to apply the knowledge and skills she develops overseas to future Shakespearean roles.


"The Neil Curnow Award gives me the incredible opportunity to study at two of the mostrenowned theatrical institutions in the world," Ellonye says. "I find myself equally excited and terrified to know that soon, in LA, I will be working underone of Sanford Meisner's personal protegees - learning his techniques as he himself instructed at the school he founded. And going to London to study the English tradition of Shakespeare performance at the Royal Academy has been a dream of mine for as long as I can remember.


"Through these intense programs, I'm eager to bring to my performance of Shakespeare both the myriad physical and textual skills of the English tradition and the spontaneity and honest emotional responses invoked by the Meisner technique."

Since 2003, Ellonye has already performed a range of Shakespearean roles. With the Carnival Night Shakespeare Company, she has portrayed lady Macbeth, Juliet, Titania, Hermia and Gertrude (to name just a few), while during her study at AC Arts, Ellonye played the characters Rivers and Lord Mayor in Richard III and the role of Queen Margaret in her self-devised Crowned - an adaptation of Shakespeare's Henry VI trilogy, a production that will also be staged during the 2012 Adelaide Fringe Festival.

The Neil Curnow Award is made possible through the generous bequest of the late Neil Curnow and isopen to final-year students and graduates who have studied theatre direction, theatre lighting, acting or voice at the Flinders Drama Centre and TAFE SAs Adelaide College of the Arts. The NeilCurnow Award is administrated by the Independent Arts Foundation, incollaboration with the Helpmann Academy and Arts SA.

Born in country Victoria in 1925, Neil Curnow was a professional actor, speech and dramateacher, theatre director, playwright and dedicated exponent of the theatrearts. Trained in the UK and the United States, Neil was a passionate supporterof the performing arts and dedicated to excellence in all aspects of theatre production and performance.
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