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Optus and Bell Shakespeare announce winners of inaugural Make A Scene Competition
29 Nov 2004

In Sydney today, the winners of the inaugural Optus / Bell Shakespeare Make A Scene Competition were announced by John Bell, Artistic Director of Bell Shakespeare and Stephen Cameron, Optus Corporate Marketing Director.

Sarah Bakes, 14, from Linden in New South Wales won the National Prize, Sylvie Ashford, 15, from Hawkesbury in NSW won the Encouragement Prize, Dory Lemberg, 18, from Killara in NSW won the Visual Arts Prize, and Sam Roenfeldt, 15, from Marylands in South Australia won the Digital Design Prize.

For the inaugural Make A Scene Competition, Optus and Bell Shakespeare invited students Australia wide to interpret a Shakespearean phrase and visually represent it in a modern way. The Competition attracted over 1000 entries before the deadline of 30 September 2004.

Students were asked to be as creative as possible - creating a painting, illustration, drawing, photograph, comic, digital design, screen saver, flash animation, game or mixed media presentation.

The winners were chosen from 1,100 entries by a judging group comprising John Bell, Artistic Director Bell Shakespeare; Paul Dunne, Creative Group Head M&C Saatchi, Sydney; David McLean, Regional Director, Australia + New Zealand, Microsoft Home and Entertainment Division; David Godbout, School Teacher, Cirque du Soleil; Dr Penny Jools, Clinical Psychologist and Psycho Therapist; and Tanya Menzies, Arts & Community Sponsorship Manager, Optus.

Sarah Bakes was awarded the overall National Prize for the most original and creative entry, for her entry "Jealousy is a green eyed monster". She receives the latest Optus Pre-Paid mobile phone, an X-Box, a mini sound system and $5,000 in cash.

Optus will also present Sarah's school, John Wycliffe Catholic School in Warrimoo in the Blue Mountains with $10,000 to spend on education.

The Encouragement Prize for the second most original and creative entry was awarded by Sylvie Ashford for "What light through yonder window breaks". She receives the latest Optus Pre-Paid mobile phone, an X-Box and mini sound system.

Dory Lemberg received the prize for Visual Arts for "Something wicked comes this way" and the Digital Design award went to Sam Roenfeld for "Wild goose chase". They both receive the latest Optus Pre-Paid mobile phone, an X-Box and mini sound system.

"As Bell's youth + education sponsor, the Make a Scene competition is an interactive way for Optus to support and engage young people whilst furthering our commitment to the communities we operate within," said Stephen Cameron, Optus Corporate

Marketing Director.

"We were overwhelmed by the high standard of the entries. The diversity of subject matter and mediums - including the use of new media technology - was amazing and students put an enormous amount time and effort into their entries. There were a number of reoccurring themes amongst the entries - exploring current political and global issues of war, poverty, mental health and anorexia."

"The standard of work is remarkably high and shows both awareness and concern for issues like the environment, international terrorism, Australia's involvement in Iraq and a disenchantment with political leaders," said John Bell, Bell Shakespeare Artistic Director and member of the judging panel.

"Shakespeare's words were thoughtfully interpreted and it took us two hours to agree on the winning entries. Many more prizes could have been awarded, so outstanding was the talent on display."

Dr Penny Jools, Clinical Psychologist and Psycho Therapist, and also a judge of the competition said, "If the aim of the Competition was to have students across Australia respond to the meaning of Shakespeare's lines, but also reflect the issues of contemporary adolescents, then the winning entry did that in spades." "Sarah's winning entry, 'Jealousy, it is the green-eyed monster' pictures a puppet in chains, manipulated by the emotions, and displays a real psychological understanding of the power of jealousy to imprison the jealous person and also diminish their humanity, making them a mere puppet."

To view the winning entries, visit the Make A Scene Picture Gallery at: www1.optusnet.com.au/offers/makeascene/txtgallery.html

For more information:
Simone Bergholcs
Optus Corporate Affairs
Phone: +61 2 9342 7850
Mobile: 0412 206 602

Tatia Sloley
Bell Shakespeare publicist
Phone: +61 3 9486 7911
Mobile: 0403 305 395