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The Equity Foundation is thrilled to announce that New Zealand performer Matthew Sunderland has been awarded a scholarship to study at the prestigious Atlantic Acting School in New York City.

Atlantic NZ 2018

The New Zealand Film Commission has generously offered to contribute $NZ5,000 towards Matthew’s expenses.

Mary McCann, executive director of the Atlantic Acting School and founding member of the Atlantic Theater Company, says: "We continue to be impressed by the quality of talent coming out of New Zealand and look forward to continuing this cultural and artistic exchange. We are thrilled to invite Matthew to our Spring Comprehensive program as the 2018 Equity/Atlantic scholarship recipient. We were impressed by Matthew's talent and accomplishments as a performer, as well as his dedication to continuing his artistic growth. We feel confident that Matthew will bring so much to the program's ensemble and that he will be a wonderful representative of Practical Aesthetics, the Atlantic Technique in his community when he returns.”

The industry judging panel says: “Whilst the finalists selected were all of a very high quality ranging in experience and diversity, we are delighted to honour one of New Zealand’s most respected screen actors, Matthew Sunderland. He proves that no matter how established you are, a willingness and dedication to continue developing your craft (and break away from typecasting) is paramount. We applaud this and his genuine unaffected candor.”

Matthew will undertake the six-week Spring Comprehensive (valued at $US2,500) from May 21 – June 29, 2018. Founded by David Mamet and William H. Macy, the Atlantic has the only conservatory program in the world that offers in-depth training in Mamet and Macy’s unique and influential approach to acting: Practical Aesthetics.

Matthew says he is “over the moon” to be this year’s recipient. "I’ve dreamt of going to the Big Apple ever since I was a James Dean-obsessed teenager listening to Lou Reed’s Walk On The Wild Side and staring at my bedroom ceiling on a farm outside of Palmerston North. To finally be able to, whilst studying at a school founded by some of my more recent heroes, David Mamet and William H. Macy blows my mind. My heartfelt thanks goes to Equity, the New Zealand Film Commission and Atlantic Acting school for making it possible.”

The Atlantic Scholarship is an initiative of the Equity Foundation, the professional development arm of Equity New Zealand.

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