Twenty seven aspiring young creatives from the Central Coast have been awarded invaluable funding to support their artistic pursuits under the Bouddi Foundation for the Arts’ 10th annual awards program.
This year’s crop of talented grant recipients come from all corners of the Coast and cover a sweeping range of disciplines under the creative, performing and literary arts, with grants awarded to help fund their artistic development.
Blue Haven’s Jacinta-Rose Burley is one of this year’s recipients, with the talented musical theatre allrounder to use her $2,000 grant to help cover the costs of singing, dancing and drama lessons.
Currently in Year 12 at the Hunter School of Performing Arts, the 17-year-old lives and breathes musical theatre.
Making her stage debut at the tender age of 8, over the years Burley has worked with XtrAct Drama Academy, Wyong Musical Theatre Company, Jopuka Productions, Uniting Productions and with her school’s Drama Department, but the stage didn’t start off as her calling.
“I actually got started in music as a way to communicate with my brother who is deaf.
“We joined a signing choir together when we were really young and from there my love of performing just grew,” Burley explained.
After choir, it was dance lessons, then singing and then drama, before Burley discovered the perfect marriage of the three in musical theatre.
Growing up watching classics like the Wizard of Oz and Singing in the Rain, Burley said the transition into musical theatre felt like a natural convergence of all her interests.
Having featured in dozens of professional productions, the seasoned performer has also endeavoured to learn the technical aspects of her industry and has also found success as a budding playwright.
“I have trained in all areas of theatre and have worked in production at Hunter Theatre.
“I’m also trying my hand at writing and directing and was lucky enough to have one of my shows selected for this year’s Short and Sharp Theatre Festival in Sydney.
“Sadly, the festival was cancelled due to the pandemic and I’m not sure if I’ll be given the chance to feature again next year, since the festival is all about amplifying young voices and by then I’ll have aged out of school, but I’m hoping it might be greenlit for the Hunter Theatre,” Burley said.
The pandemic also robbed Burley of the chance to attend a Broadway training and development emersion in New York and Chicago, which was also cancelled due to Covid concerns.
But as they say in showbiz, the show must go on.
Disappointed but undeterred, Burley said she would continue to seek out stage opportunities.
“I’m waiting to hear whether some productions that I’d been cast in before Covid will be picked back up and I’ve also just wrapped up performing in a short production about the pandemic, but for now the plan is to just continue my studies, keep up with my writing and look for those opportunities,” Burley said.