Bullying claims rejected as Rob Guest Endowment cancelled until 2022

The leadership committee has called out the ‘bullying and intimidation’ which they claim has taken place, while the semi-finalists say no such bullying has occurred.

A $50,000 biennial development prize for young musical theatre performers has been cancelled until 2022, after organisers were called out for unconscious bias for announcing an overwhelmingly white list of semi-finalists.

On Friday, the Rob Guest Endowment (RGE) leadership committee announced the cancellation of the 2020 scholarship altogether, citing their concern for the mental health and welfare of the 30 semi-finalists in this year’s competition. 

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Richard Watts is ArtsHub's National Performing Arts Editor; he also presents the weekly program SmartArts on Three Triple R FM, and serves as the Chair of La Mama Theatre's volunteer Committee of Management. Richard is a life member of the Melbourne Queer Film Festival, and was awarded the status of Melbourne Fringe Living Legend in 2017. In 2020 he was awarded the Sidney Myer Performing Arts Awards' Facilitator's Prize. Most recently, Richard was presented with a Lifetime Achievement Award by the Green Room Awards Association in June 2021. Follow him on Twitter: @richardthewatts