Toowoomba Grammar School 2022 Year 12 graduate, Ryan Murphy is one of only four aspiring young actors who have been announced as the winners of a prestigious scholarship with renowned theatre company Bell Shakespeare. The 2022 John Bell Scholarship is a life-changing opportunity for young actors from regional Australia to learn from some of the country’s most accomplished actors, directors, and educators.  

Ryan was selected alongside Joe Appleton from Ballarat Grammar, Victoria; Lilliana Davis from Gosford High School, New South Wales; and Cate Greenwood from Atherton State High School in Queensland.

The young actors will travel to Bell Shakespeare’s Sydney headquarters in January 2023 to train with the Company, undertaking acting and skills-based masterclasses as well as touring backstage at Sydney Opera House, watching live theatre performances, and observing rehearsals for Bell Shakespeare’s upcoming production of Macbeth. The week culminates with each student performing a Shakespeare monologue for the cast of Macbeth, receiving feedback, practical career advice and mentoring from professional actors and theatre creatives.

Joe Appleton said: “I am extremely fond of Shakespeare's work and am ecstatic to be working with Bell Shakespeare to begin 2023! Thank you so much! I am so very grateful for this scholarship.”

Lilliana Davis said: “Receiving the John Bell Scholarship feels as if a stepping-stone towards a future on worldwide stages, like my dreams aren’t as far-fetched as they seemed!”

Ryan Murphy said: “Achieving this scholarship means so much. It’s an opportunity to learn and grow as a performer whilst nurturing my passion for performing with other like-minded people.”

Cate Greenwood said: “This scholarship recognises my hard work and the experience will inspire me to take the daunting next steps in life after high school. Thank you.”

Bell Shakespeare’s Head of Education Joanna Erskine said: “John Bell himself was a young budding actor from a regional Australian town. He knew firsthand the lack of opportunities for young people outside of major cities, and how lifechanging the arts can be.

“The John Bell Scholarship provides training, pathways, mentorship and access to conversations with working professional artists, that support talented young artists to enter the Australian arts industry.

“We are excited to meet and work with the four recipients, and deeply grateful to the many donors and government partners whose support makes this lifechanging opportunity possible”, continued Ms Erskine.

Bell Shakespeare artists auditioned students online and in-person across the country, working with each student on their chosen Shakespeare monologue. The winners were selected by a panel including Bell Shakespeare’s Artistic Director Peter Evans and Founding Artistic Director John Bell. 

For information about the John Bell Scholarship go to https://www.bellshakespeare.com.au/john-bell-scholarship.

KEY DETAILS:

ABOUT THE JOHN BELL SCHOLARSHIP

  • The John Bell Scholarship is a life-changing opportunity for budding performers to spend one incredible week training with Bell Shakespeare at the company’s HQ in Sydney.
  • Winners undertake acting masterclasses with Bell Shakespeare artists, observe rehearsals, receive specialist training, see live theatre, and more. They also have the opportunity to perform their winning monologue for Founding Artistic Director John Bell, Artistic Director Peter Evans, and Bell Shakespeare artists, receiving feedback and mentoring.
  • All auditioning students undertake a 15-minute, one-on-one Workshop Audition where they work directly with a Bell Shakespeare artist.
  • Applicants must be 16 years of age or older and be enrolled in a regional high school full time in the year they apply for the scholarship.
  • Auditions take place both online and in-person

ABOUT BELL SHAKESPEARE:

Bell Shakespeare is Australia’s national theatre company specialising in the works of William Shakespeare and his contemporaries. Founded in 1990 with the dream of sharing Shakespeare’s plays in a way that was relevant and exciting to all Australians, the company has evolved further than its visionary founder, John Bell AO, could have hoped.

Today, Bell Shakespeare tours major theatre productions, education programs and outreach initiatives to every state and territory in Australia and beyond. Performing and teaching in theatres, schools, youth justice centres and regional and remote communities, the company enjoys unrivalled reach and impact, further extending its influence through innovative digital programs.

Ryan Murphy performs in the TGS production, Greek Mythology for Millenials

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