Margaret Thanos receives prestigious Ensemble Theatre director’s award

Margaret Thanos and Emma Canalese have been announced as the recipients of the 2023 Ensemble Theatre Sandra Bates Director’s Award (SBDA).

The Award winners will work on two plays throughout 2023 and each receive $8,000.

“This Award aims to explore artistic potential and nurture emerging talent, and Ensemble Theatre is incredibly grateful to have the continued support from Jinnie and Ross Gavin to again deliver this opportunity to our local industry,” Ensemble Theatre Artistic Director, Mark Kilmurry, said.

“Each year I am impressed by the quality of submissions, and this year was no exception. Selected from 16 entries across Australia, I am thrilled to congratulate both Emma Canalese and Margaret Thanos as the recipients of this year’s award.

                                                 Emma Canalese.

“Emma and Margaret are both rising stars who will bring a new dimension to Ensemble Theatre in 2023, and we look forward to working with them both over the next year.”

In a statement, Ms Thanos said she was “absolutely thrilled” to receive the award.

“This award is a fantastic opportunity for an emerging director like myself to step up into mainstage theatre and be provided with truly valuable skills, mentorship and knowledge that may otherwise remain a closed door,” Ms Thanos said.

“It is a great vote of confidence in my abilities as a director, and the opportunity to be paid doing what I love is something I am incredibly grateful for. I am so excited to get started!”

                                               Margaret Thanos.

Ms Canalese also said she was “honoured to be given this opportunity to learn from and develop with the artists of Ensemble Theatre.”

This annual award commemorates the legacy of former Artistic Director Sandra Bates, after 30 years at the helm of Ensemble Theatre.

Mr Kilmurry initiated the SBDA in 2015 and since then, recipients of the award have been mentored on 25 productions, with several progressing to direct for Ensemble’s 2023 season, including Rachel Chant, Shaun Rennie, Francesca Savige and Janine Watson.

Awarded each year, recipients of the SBDA are offered a paid position of Assistant Director on two of Ensemble Theatre’s main stage productions and assist in the ongoing creative development of new works.


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