Banks Prize

Michelle Bouey. Photo by Dahlia Katz
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The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize

This annual opportunity is open to musical theatre artists under 30 years of age who are under-exposed in Toronto and its surrounding areas. The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists generously provides two musical theatre artists the opportunity to advance their careers through financial assistance, mentorship, and increased exposure.

The 2019-20 Banks Prize winners:

 

Supporters

The Banks Prize Leading Lights
The Banks Family

The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize

This annual opportunity is open to musical theatre artists under 30 years of age who are under-exposed in Toronto and its surrounding areas. The Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists generously provides two musical theatre artists the opportunity to advance their careers through financial assistance, mentorship, and increased exposure.

The 2019-20 Banks Prize winners:

 

The Prize

Two emerging artists are awarded the prize through an annual open audition process, each winner receiving:

1. A $1,000 cash prize.

2. A cabaret created by and starring both winners.

3. An opportunity to perform alongside leading professional artists as a part of The Musical Stage Company’s season.

4. Mentorship with industry experts throughout the 2019-20 season.

Who is Eligible?

All musical theatre artists are eligible if they meet the following criteria:

  • They are under 30 years of age
  • They reside in Ontario
  • They are under-exposed in theatre in Toronto & GTA

We are actively seeking submissions from actors of all backgrounds, abilities, and ethnicities and we are committed to diversity and inclusion within this submission process.

Both Equity and non-equity individuals are eligible to submit.

Submissions

Audition information for the 2020-21 Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Musical Theatre Artists will be released in Spring 2020.

If you have any questions about this process or would like to stay in the loop, please send an email to our Associate Producer, Robyn Hoja, at robyn@musicalstagecompany.com.

Past Recipients

2018-19: Brandon Antonio & Michelle Bouey

2017-18: George Krissa & Celine Tsai

2016-17: Jahlen Barnes & Arinea Hermans

2015-16: Brittany Banks and Colin Simmons

2014-15: Alessia Lupiano and Graham Scott Fleming

2013-14: Dana Jean Phoenix and Jordan Till

2012-13: Alexis Gordon and Andres Sierra

Eva Foote

Eva Foote is an actor and singer songwriter from Edmonton, Alberta. Growing up in a house full of bluegrass and folk music, she started writing music in her teens and has since released two albums, pending release of her third, Ocean Car, set to come out next spring. She is a graduate of the National Theatre School of Canada and recently played the role of Girl in The Segal Centre’s Production of ONCE, a folk musical, wherein her faith was born – that music and theatre may in fact be sprouts from the seed. She is profoundly honoured to be awarded the Syd & Shirley Banks Prize for Emerging Artists and is immeasurably excited to build a cabaret with Kale Penny. You can find her music on Spotify, Apple Music, Bandcamp & iTunes!

 

Kale Penny

Originally from Victoria, BC, Kale is an actor and musician now living in Stratford, Ontario with his stunning fiancée Lauren. His lifelong passion for music and theatre has taken him across the country, starring in such shows as ROCK OF AGES, MILLION DOLLAR QUARTET, and most recently in the Canadian premiere of Disney’s NEWSIES as Jack Kelly. He has worked for companies such as Drayton Entertainment, Theatre Aquarius, Citadel Theatre, Arts Club Theatre Company, Blue Bridge Theatre Company, and is humbled to be introduced to the Toronto theatre community with this incredible prize from The Musical Stage Company. He also sings for prominent Canadian event band Side One, and released his own original debut EP, The Tracks, in 2017, available on Spotify and Apple Music, or at www.kalepenny.com. Follow him on Instagram @kalepenny7.