13 Jun 2014

Brian Boak Bursary Recipients Announced

Two performers from South East Queensland have been awarded the prestigious Empire Theatres Foundation Brian Boak ‘Outstanding Performer’ Bursary.

Toowoomba Jazz Saxophonist, Angela Davis and Brisbane actor, Steven Rooke will share the valuable bursary from the Empire Theatres Foundation to further progress their careers in the arts.

Empire Theatres Foundation Chairperson, Sheena Liley said both remarkable performers were a welcome asset to the Foundation’s list of Brian Boak Bursary recipients.

“Both these performers are extraordinary in their differing fields and as well as having established their careers, they show exceptional promise for the future,” Mrs Liley said.

 “They are both highly deserving of the funding and recognition the Brian Boak Bursary brings.”

Born and raised in Toowoomba and currently living and working in New York City, Angela Davis is the first Toowoomba performer to be awarded the Brian Boak Outstanding Performer Bursary.

Ms Davis began playing the saxophone at age nine, performing in her high school jazz band and touring Australia with The Jazz Ed Big Band, earning an Associate of Music diploma in classical saxophone while still in high school. 

Davis received a Bachelor of Music with first class honours from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music in 2006, before completing her Masters of Music in 2009 at the Philadelphia University of the Arts where she has spent the past three years lecturing and supervising students as well as releasing her debut album, The Art of the Melody in May 2013 which was well received across the US.

Following on from her debut album, The Art of the Melody, the 29-year-old will use the Brian Boak Bursary to rehearse, record and release a second album, featuring her own compositions and jazz standards accompanied by prize-winning pianist Dan Tepfer.

Since graduating from QUT with a Bachelor of Fine Arts, Steven Rooke has worked widely in theatre, television, advertising and film, having been presented with three Matilda awards including one for Outstanding Body of Work in 2011.

He was most recently seen on stage for Queensland Theatre Company (QTC) in ‘Macbeth’ and will be on stage for QTC later this year in Ben Elton’s ‘Gasp” and reprising his role of Ned Kelly on an Australian tour in 2015 of Kelly, which will include a performance at the Empire Theatre. 

Mr Rooke will be travelling to the USA at the end of June to undertake an 8-week full-time course at the prestigious Stella Adler Academy of Acting and Theatre, which will equip him to further his career on stage as well as teaching and mentoring work with younger actors.

The Empire Theatres Foundation is proudly supported by The Chronicle, Heritage Bank, Dornbusch Partners, Greenridge Group, The Chronicle, MacDonald Law, Taylor’s Removals, Think Office Technology and Wippells Autos. 

For more information or to purchase tickets contact our Box Office on 1300 655 299 or visit www.empiretheatre.com.au