Stage manager and high-achieving dancer tie for bursary

Published: 22 May 2019

Kaitlyn Crocker stage managed her first MECC show at just 16 years of age.

Dominic McCarthy is a ballet dancer with a head for business who takes every opportunity to develop his skills.

The pair were announced as co-winners of the MECC’s prestigious Jack Sturgeon Bursary at today’s (May 22) council morning tea.

Mayor Greg Williamson said they excelled in their chosen fields.

“Kaitlyn’s peers describe her as an inspiration and having a ‘passion that cannot be taught’,” Cr Williamson said.

“At such a young age, she has proven herself as an authority on stage-craft, storytelling and the management of people,” he said.

“There’s no doubt she will make her mark in the theatre world in years to come.”

Cr Williamson said Dominic was a young man who grabbed every opportunity that came his way and had an amazing work ethic.

“Dominic has his sights set on being a qualified ballet teacher – no easy feat when you live in a regional centre – and he’s embracing every learning opportunity and challenge he can find and has a determination that will set him above the crowd,” he said.

Kaitlyn, who is currently in the second term of a Bachelor of Technical Theatre and Stage Management at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, said the bursary would go towards university supplies and travel expenses.

“I’d like to give a big shout out to the team at the MECC for all the experience and guidance they have given me,” Kaitlyn said.

“They were always happy to teach me new skills and were very generous with their time.

“I’d also like to give a big thank you to Mackay Musical Comedy Players – those guys are legends and were so great to work with.”

Kaitlyn said she is loving her “crazy, busy” degree and is already eyeing a future career in the technical theatre industry – “maybe managing a major theatre in one of the capital cities one day”.

Dominic is also putting his bursary towards relocating to a capital city – Brisbane – and tuition costs.

“I’m studying a Bachelor of Business as well as a Certificate 4 in Dance Teaching and Management,” Dominic said.

“I’m interested in working on the business side of dance companies and would also like to get into dance teaching,” he said.

Dominic said his education might bring him home in the future.

“I want to become a qualified ballet teacher, which is a two-year course and requires a year of placement – something I’d love to do back in Mackay.”

Dominic said he was extremely appreciative of everyone who had helped him reach this point.

“I’d like to say a big thank you to all my dance teachers and family for their support, and I’d also like to acknowledge my school – the Brisbane School of Distance Education.”

The Jack Sturgeon Bursary is a $1000 grant open to Year 12 students who have been accepted into tertiary studies in performing arts or music.

Fact box: Jack Sturgeon was a well-known Mackay identity and life-long supporter of local performing arts. The award recognises his service and enthusiasm for performing arts and seeks applicants who demonstrate that same enthusiasm.