November 18, 2008


Chapman Tripp is delighted to announce the nominees for the 17th annual Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards.

Politics, with both a New Zealand and American flavour, feature prominently in this year’s nominations. On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover, The Little Dog Laughed, Apollo 13 : Mission Control and The American Pilot top the nomination list for 2008 across the 20 categories, including nominations for; New NZ Play of the year, Most Original Production of the Year, Actor of the Year and Production of the Year.

Nominees have been selected from over 90 professional New Zealand productions performed in Wellington, by a panel of theatre critics from the following publications:  The Dominion Post, Capital Times, Theatreview, Salient and The Lumiere Reader.

The award categories and nominees in each category are as follows:

Montana Award for Most Original Production of the Year
Apollo 13 ; Mission Control – Hackman and BATS Theatre
Familiar Strangers – Connect Productions
On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover – Theatre Beating 

Downstage Theatre Award for the Most Promising Male Newcomer of the Year
Arthur Meek – On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover
Sam Snedden – Guardians
Gareth Williams – The Dentist’s Chair 

Circa Award donated by TACT for the Most Promising Female Newcomer of the Year
Sophie Hambleton – The Little Dog Laughed
Morgana O’Reilly – Bare
Brooke Williams – Mr. Marmalade

Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Victoria University Award for the Most Promising New Director of the Year
Sophie Dingemans – Grace
Miranda Manasiadis – The Singularity
Sophie Roberts – Mr. Marmalade 

The Dominion Post Award for Costume Designer of the Year
Bekky Campbell – Songs of Hollow Hill
Paul Jenden – Roger Hall’s Red Riding Hood – The Pantomime 
Kathyrn Tyree – The Kreutzer 

Theatrelight Award for Lighting Designer of the Year
Ulli Briese – Metamorphosis
Natasha James – Paua
Lisa Maule – The American Pilot

Weta Workshop Award for Set Designer of the Year
John Hodgkins – The American Pilot
Brad Knewstubb – Apollo 13 : Mission Control
Daniel Williams – The Little Dog Laughed

Western Audio Engineering Award for Sound Designer of the Year
Murray Hickman – Metamorphosis
Thomas Press – The American Pilot
Gareth Ruck – Apollo 13 : Mission Control 

Constance Scott Kirkcaldie Award for Outstanding Composer of Music
Jonathan Crayford – Adagio
Gareth Farr – Heat
David Ward- The Dentist’s Chair

Peter Harcourt Award for Outstanding New Playwright of the Year Sponsored by BATS Theatre and Taki Rua Productions
Sophie Dingemans – Grace
Eli Kent – Rubber Turkey
Branwen Millar – Armslength

The Absolutely Positively Outstanding New New Zealand Play of the Year
The Man that Lovelock Couldn’t Beat – Dean Parker
2b or nt 2b? – Sarah Delahunty
Where We Once Belonged – adapted by Dave Armstrong from the novel by Sia Figiel

Orbit Corporate Travel Award for Supporting Actress of the Year
Erin Banks – Love Song
Michele Amas/Jane Waddell – Mammals
Jessica Robinson – A Streetcar Named Desire

Chapman Tripp Award for Supporting Actor of the Year
Peter Hambleton – The American Pilot 
Bruce Phillips – The Man That Lovelock Couldn’t Beat
Felix Preval – Sensible Susan and the Queen’s Merkin; A Morality Play

In the performance categories which are: 

EAT Wellington Accolade for Outstanding Performance
Grouse Lighting Accolade for Outstanding Performance 
Chapman Tripp Award for Actress of the Year
Gail Cowan Management Award for Actor of the Year

There are 7 nominees:
Kip Chapman – The Little Dog Laughed
Ali Harper – Bombshells
Brian Hotter – Heat
Miriama McDowell – Te Karakia
Gavin Rutherford – Love Song
Simon Vincent – Metamorphosis
Jason Whyte – Apollo 13 : Mission Control

The Museum Hotel Award for Director of the Year
Sara Brodie – The Kreutzer
Tim Spite – Paua
Willem Wassenaar – The Little Dog Laughed 

Chapman Tripp Award for Production of the Year
Mr. Marmalade – The Moving Theatre Company
On the Conditions and Possibilities of Helen Clark Taking Me as Her Young Lover – Theatre Beating 
Paua – The SEEyD Theatre Company

The winner of the Mayor’s Award for Significant Contribution to the Theatre will be announced at the ceremony on the night.


Each of the nominees has been selected from over 90 professional New Zealand productions performed in Wellington during this year (and after the cut-off point late last year). Each critic nominated their candidates for each category and through a process of elimination the final nominees were determined.  The final votes are arrived at by secret ballot using a proportional voting system, so only the arbiter knows the result.

The category for Significant Contribution to Theatre is a special tribute to the lifetime contribution and commitment of a theatre practitioner who has been a pioneer in the performing arts. The nomination for this award was received from BATS, Circa, Downstage, Taki Rua, Capital E, Playmarket and Fringe.

The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards will be held on Sunday 7th December, 6:30pm at the Wellington Town Hall.

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