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 an eight-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 most renowned theatrical institutions in the world,” Ellonye says. “I find myself equally excited and terrified to know that soon, in LA, I will be working under one of Sanford Meisner's personal protégées - learning his techniques as he himself instructed at the school he himself 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 a 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 is open to final-year students and graduates who have studied theatre direction, theatre lighting, acting or voice at the Flinders Drama Centre and TAFE SA’s Adelaide College of the Arts. The Neil Curnow Award is administrated by the Independent Arts Foundation, in collaboration with the Helpmann Academy and Arts SA.
Find out more about acting courses at the Adelaide College of the Arts.