A Year 11 drama student at Hawker College, Jenny Kay, is in the running to win $20 000 to start her career in theatre.
(27 November 1997)
The 1997 Dolly/McDonald's Career Start contest began for Jenny when she noticed the advertisement in her younger sister's copy of Dolly and made the mistake of saying how great it would be to get money to put on a play. She found herself committed, by the enthusiasm of her parents and friends, writing the required 500 word proposal with an additonal budget.
Jenny's proposal, judged by Susie Pitts, Editor of Dolly, Charlie Bell, Managing Director of McDonald's Australia, and Catriona Rowntree, Getaway reporter on the Nine Network, has placed her among the 7 finalists - and has already won her $5 000.
On Tuesday December 2, Jenny attends a celebratory lunch at Pavilion on the Park in Sydney where the winner will be announced.
What will Jenny do with the money? The core of her proposal is to demonstrate young people's abilities in theatre production. She comes to this from a strong background at Canberra Youth Theatre where she has already directed Jack Hibberd's Slam Dunk, which received a good review in The Canberra Times.
She has lined up friends Brendan Hayes (writer and assistant director), Sarah Davies (media producer) and Eliza-Jane Oliver (stage manager) to work on a play already partly written but as yet untitled. For $5 000 she plans a small scale production, but if she wins $20 000 she plans to put some aside to help her through university studies, with a view further down the track of taking the Victorian College of the Arts Directing course.
Since she will be in Year 12 next year, Jenny plans to present her play in March or April. She is considering using the Canberra Youth Theatre venue, partly as a recognition of her admiration for Roland Manderson and the support CYT has given her, and noting the irony of the recent loss of funding, and of Manderson as CYT Director.
The finalists' 10 minute presentations in Sydney, in which they explain why they should win $20 000, will certainly be a nailbiting time, but Jenny has been a debater for some years and hopes to show that the award would not only benefit her towards her chosen career, but all the other people who will work with her in creative and managerial roles.
© Frank McKone M.A., F.A.C.E.
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