A high-achieving QUT final-year Bachelor of Fine Arts Acting student was recently awarded $5000 to fund an approved program of professional development relevant to acting to be undertaken after his graduation.
The 2017 Jennifer Blocksidge Medal was presented to Karl Stuifzand at the closing night of Breaking the Code at QUT Gardens Theatre on Saturday 12 August.
The award was presented to Mr Stuifzand by Jennifer Blocksidge’s son Jonathan, who was joined by his sisters Anna Blocksidge and Vanessa Bytheway.
“Karl’s application for the award demonstrated his potential to not only develop a program of activity to benefit himself, but it also showed how Karl will use the funds to support his peers graduating at the end of this year,” Mr Blocksidge said.
The prize is awarded to a Creative Industries Faculty third year acting each year to assist them in pursuing professional development activities following their graduation from QUT.
QUT Creative Industries Associate Professor Sandra Gattenhof said Mr Stuifzand’s application, “shows the potential to develop theatre works that addresses taboo or under recognised issues within society”.
"Through is engagement in the iconic Australian theatre work Blackrock that was part of the La Boite season playing the difficult role of Ricko, Karl has seen first-hand how theatre can actually change lives and offer springboards for conversation," Associate Professor Gattenhof said.
Mr Stuifzand intends to use the award money to create productions through a theatre company that tackles texts which can be modernised and made highly accessible to young people.
“The Jennifer Blocksidge Award is a fantastic opportunity that allows me to kick-start my future goals with some strong financial backing,” Mr Stuifzand said.
The Jennifer Blocksidge Memorial Fund was established in 2007 to honour the memory of Jennifer Blocksidge, who played a pivotal role in Brisbane and Australian theatre.
Mrs Blocksidge made contributions to the cultivation of QUT's acting program in its formative years and was for many years artistic director of La Boite Theatre Company.
"I would like to thank the Blocksidge family for their continuing support to the development of emerging theatre professionals," QUT Creative Industries Executive Dean Professor Mandy Thomas said.
2017 Jennifer Blocksidge Award Winner Karl Stuifzand (second from left) with Anna Blocksidge, Jonathan Blocksidge and Vanessa Bytheway