November 27, 2009
Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards 2009
Editor posted 19 Nov 2009, 11:35 AM / edited 19 Nov 2009, 03:36 PM
SUPPRESSING THE NAMES OF THE SUCCESSFUL
[News item below]
Nominations for the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards will also be posted on Theatreview, of course, but not until they have appeared in the Dominion Post. Apparently the price of getting good coverage in their Arts supplement – next Thursday; 11 days after they were decided and 9 days before the event – is that they get the ‘exclusive’. I just thought I should explain that.
Personally I am very frustrated as it contradicts everything Theatreview stands for in the way of free flow of information. These awards belong to the theatre community’s practitioners, audiences, sponsors, supporters. The nominees already know who they are and everyone else is entitled to know how the numbers have fallen in this year of exceptional excellence.
I do find it intriguing that the media organisation that argues for the right to publish the names of the guilty is so ready to suppress the names of the successful. But if I broke the embargo the DomPost coverage would be minimal – which would not be in the interests of the theatre community at large. So there it is. What else can I do?
[The news item:
19 Nov 2009
CHAPMAN TRIPP THEATRE AWARDS 2009
Winners will be announced at what is considered to be the grandest of all events for Wellington City’s vibrant arts community, the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards to be held at the St James Theatre, December 6, 2009.
Wellington theatre critics have narrowed down the year’s best and brightest theatre shows from 100 eligible productions to three nominees in each category.
Mark Westerby, the awards artistic producer, said the diversity of this year’s crop of creative ventures was encapsulated with the shows nominated for Best Production.
“In this top category, there are original shows that canvas one of the most significant researchers in history, a play set in the real-life bedroom of the main protagonist, and a production that turned marketing on its head to become the play itself,” said Mr Westerby.
Also presented on the night will be the Mayor’s Award for Significant Contribution to the Theatre. Last year’s recipient was Sunny Amey (QSM).
The Trustees of the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards Trust have signalled an exciting change from previous years. The awards ceremony will be held at the St James Theatre from 6pm Sunday December 6 with the awards to be announced in the main theatre, followed by buffet dinner and entertainment.
Celebrated chef Ruth Pretty will provide a sumptuous buffet meal, and Will Ricketts’ (Phoenix Foundation, Wild Bill Ricketts) band The Canapés will supply the post-ceremony entertainment.
Tickets for this unmissable event on the Wellington theatre calendar are available by calling Mark Westerby on
04 498 6311 or emailing firstname.lastname@example.org
A full list of categories and nominees will be announced in the Dominion Post’s newly revamped arts section on November 26.
2009 Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards
6pm December 6, 2009. St James Theatre, Wellington
Tickets $85 (incl. buffet meal and beverages):
04 498 6311, email@example.com
Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards – Award Categories
MONTANA AWARD FOR MOST ORIGINAL PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR
DOWNSTAGE THEATRE AWARD FOR THE MOST PROMISING MALE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
CIRCA AWARD DONATED BY TACT FOR THE MOST PROMISING FEMALE NEWCOMER OF THE YEAR
TOI WHAKAARI: NZ DRAMA SCHOOL & VICTORIA UNIVERSITY OF WELLINGTON AWARD FOR THE MOST PROMISING NEW DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
THE THEATRE AWARDS TRUST AWARD FOR COSTUME DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
GROUSE LIGHTING AWARD FOR LIGHTING DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
WETA WORKSHOP AWARD FOR SET DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
WESTERN AUDIO ENGINEERING AWARD FOR SOUND DESIGNER OF THE YEAR
CONSTANCE SCOTT KIRKCALDIE AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING COMPOSER OF MUSIC
PETER HARCOURT AWARD FOR OUTSTANDING NEW PLAYWRIGHT OF THE YEAR SPONSORED BY BATS THEATRE & TAKI RUA PRODUCTIONS
THE ORBIT CORPORATE TRAVEL AWARD FOR SUPPORTING ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
CHAPMAN TRIPP AWARD FOR SUPPORTING ACTOR OF THE YEAR
MAYOR’S AWARD FOR SIGNIFICANT CONTRIBUTION TO THEATRE
THE ABSOLUTELY POSITIVELY OUTSTANDING NEW NEW ZEALAND PLAY OF THE YEAR
Seven nominees for these four categories
EAT WELLINGTON ACCOLADE FOR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE
ST JAMES THEATRE CHARITABLE TRUST ACCOLADE FOR OUTSTANDING PERFORMANCE
CHAPMAN TRIPP AWARD FOR ACTRESS OF THE YEAR
THEATRE AWARDS TRUST AWARD FOR ACTOR OF THE YEAR
THE MUSEUM HOTEL AWARD FOR DIRECTOR OF THE YEAR
CHAPMAN TRIPP AWARD FOR PRODUCTION OF THE YEAR]
Jean Sergent posted 19 Nov 2009, 11:46 AM
Very frustrating indeed.
Luckily, those of us who know a few (or more than a few) of the nominees are already beginning to celebrate. But it seems very unfair that Theatreview can’t post the list first – it’s theatreview after all! We’ve all been manically clicking refresh for the last 36 hours to see who has been nominated.
$85 a ticket, eh? Doesn’t seem so long ago that is was $50. In 2007 I payed $60 or $65 and the chef forgot to make enough vegetarian meals. I didn’t notice actors’ wages go up in the meantime. Thankfully I got paid for a couple of shows this year. And since J**k S******t is nominated, I’ll definitely break into my piggy bank to go. He’d better win cos I can’t get him Christmas present.
Emma Brady posted 19 Nov 2009, 12:05 PM
Surely this media blackout doesn’t include bloggers, or forums – in which case why doesn’t everyone who knows who has been nominated and for what put it in this forum? Then we would get what we want without the media getting in the way. POWER TO THE PEOPLE!
So who got nominated? Let’s get the discussion board firing…
Editor posted 19 Nov 2009, 12:24 PM / edited 19 Nov 2009, 12:41 PM
I could caution, Emma, that such action may compromise the coverage the DomPost gives to the nominees. Remember the old days when the Evening Post and the Dominion each did a different double page spread with production photos and stories about the shows? It’ll be good if that level of coverage returns this year. And next year hopefully it will be a week earlier.
On the other hand, shouldn’t they be delighted to write up the stories and celebrate the achievements regardless of whether the list of nominees is public knowledge? If we’re talking cheque-book journalism here, what are they paying – and to whom? – for the ‘exclusive’?
David Lawrence posted 19 Nov 2009, 12:35 PM
$85?!? So for the same cost (give or take a couple of dollars either way) we could all buy tickets to the opening night of the Peter Brook show in the International Festival. John could hand a list of winners around in the foyer beforehand, the Mayor could do her usual speech, and afterwards we could crash the opening night party – bet you there’d be more vegetarian-friendly catering! Just a thought.
Emma Brady posted 19 Nov 2009, 01:23 PM / edited 19 Nov 2009, 03:50 PM
Hmm, considering the release has gone out saying it would be in the Dom, I think they would be chumps if they went back on that.
Dean Hewison posted 19 Nov 2009, 03:23 PM
*Plug* And yet the Chapman Kips (BATS, Dec 4th, 10pm) are still only a gold coin. Bargain.
Emma Brady posted 19 Nov 2009, 04:23 PM
I still think the night itself will be pretty stellar anyway! And from what I hear most people drink more than $85 worth of free drinks at the awards…
John Smythe posted 19 Nov 2009, 05:56 PM / edited 25 Nov 2009, 08:41 AM
The list of Award categories has now been added to the news item.
A point worth noting: the 2008 ‘Dominion Post Award for Costume Designer of the Year’ has now been replaced by ‘The Theatre Awards Trust Award for Costume Designer of the Year’. So in the very year the DomPost withdraws its sponsorship for an award, it commandeers the information with what is effectively a gagging order. This leading advocate for freedom of the press has become an arbitrary censor for no good reason!
Honestly: would the release of the names on theatreview – or anywhere else for that matter – really mean fewer people would read a feature item, one week later, on the year’s achievements?
Markus Stitz posted 21 Nov 2009, 03:53 AM / edited 21 Nov 2009, 08:09 AM
Obviously there has been a lack in supressing some information, at least the Downstage website lists the fact that COLLAPSING CREATION has received 8 nominations, including the one for best production. http://downstage.co.nz/index.php?page=news&article=126
Good luck to find other leaks, that one was the easy one.
Moya Bannerman posted 21 Nov 2009, 11:37 AM / edited 21 Nov 2009, 03:00 PM
I have cobbled a list together from credible sources and although John has indicated he will not publish it in full, for fear of causing the DomPost to drop its plans for running a feature next Thursday, I do feel compelled to correct an inaccuracy here.
COLLAPSING CREATION has actually garnered 9 nominations (it runs at Downstage until 28 Nov).
Perhaps I should also note that the previous show at Downstage, BIOGRAPHY OF MY SKIN, has scored 3 nominations.
From the Fringe, THE INTRICATE ART OF ACTUALLY CARING has 5, and A MOST OUTRAGEOUS HUMBUG has 4. Both of these were remounted in Downstage’s Best of the Fringe season so, adding a nomination for WHERO’S NEW NET (down from Auckland), that means the total nominations relating to shows presented at DOWNSTAGE is 22.
DEATH AND THE DREAMLIFE OF ELEPHANTS at Bats (which closes tonight -there may be seats left for the extra matinee this afternoon) has 5 nominations. Also from the Bats line-up, THE BLACKENING has 4 nominations; WOLF’S LAIR (soon to return to Circa) and A BRIEF HISTORY OF HELEN OF TROY have 2 each, contributing to a total of 18 nominations for Bats-presented shows.
Circa shows have earned 7 nominations, with all but one being produced by Circa. That’s 3 for BLOOD WEDDING, 2 for ROCK ‘N’ ROLL, 1 for YEAR OF THE RAT and 1 for HATCH.
That leaves 3 shows unrelated to those venues which each have a nomination (total of 52 nominations for 19 awards).
If anyone wants the full list – respecting the publication embargo of 26/11 – please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org
Moya Bannerman posted 25 Nov 2009, 09:08 AM / edited 25 Nov 2009, 09:15 AM
OMG – the Capital Times has run a page 3 feature on Arthur Meek, revealing the nine nominations for COLLAPSING CREATION and quite a lot more besides (but not the entire list)! What will the DomPost do now – scrap its arts feature tomorrow? Apologise to its advertisers, insisting they did all they could to gag other organs of communication (in the mistaken belief readers would only be interested if the full list was exclusively scooped)? How dare this minor rag usurp the emperor! Off with its head!
On the other hand, you never know, the DomPost might have someone on the case with the professional capacity to write an interesting story or five, despite what anyone else has written. After all there are 52 nominations for 19 awards. Back in ‘the good old days’ the Dominion and Evening Post both ran double page spreads without repeating themselves (gosh – maybe they even spoke to each other and co-ordinated their resources!). And was anyone less interested in one feature because they had already read another?
What continues to bug me is why have the names of the nominees been selectively suppressed, via a media release withheld from everyone except the DomPost? Who owns that information? The people who did all that creative work to make the whole thing possible? The critics who volunteered their time and commitment over the entire year in order to determine the nominations …? Who was it that decided the Dominion Post – which has withdrawn its sponsorship of an award, by the way – could effectively ‘own’ this information? I thought they were a strong advocate for freedom of the press.
Charlotte Larsen posted 25 Nov 2009, 11:22 AM
As one patron at a theatre said once when it announced their shows had been nominated for a Chapman Tripp – “What’s a Chapman Tripp?’ Reply – “exactly”.
Thomas LaHood posted 25 Nov 2009, 12:38 PM
Compare with Arthur Meek’s quote in Cap Times: “Getting a Chapman Tripp is everything.”
Jean Sergent posted 25 Nov 2009, 12:46 PM
Cap Times journalism though.. Dodgy at best…. Alex Lodge being interviewed about A Most Outrageous Humbug, was quoted thusly:
Edgar Allan Poe was, according to Alex Lodge “not a babe”.
Go Humbug! 4 Nominations! Woo!!!
Eleanor Bishop posted 25 Nov 2009, 02:04 PM
My party spirit has prompted me to try to organise some kind of shindig after the Chappies.
So let the celebrations continue at…Coyote Bar!
Coyote Bar or “Coyotes” is 63 Courtney Place, just along from the St James Theatre. They are closed off to the public for US.
Drinks will be on yourself. There is a large outside area for the smokers. Inside areas for sitting and chatting. And dance floor for breaking it down.
We can party there until 3am for sure, or later if enough people stay. They have a license until 6am (!)
Please note, this event has no official association with the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards
Jean Sergent posted 25 Nov 2009, 02:37 PM
Eleanor Bishop, you are a total legend. As is the person who suggested that geographically desirable/smoker superfriendly locale…
Charlotte Larsen posted 25 Nov 2009, 02:43 PM
Perhaps next year – the Coyotes Bar Chapman Tripp Award for Theatreperson Who Spent the Most at Last Years After Party.
Well done EB! Let me buy you a drink then…
Moya Bannerman posted 25 Nov 2009, 02:57 PM
A Chappies critic has requested I clarify the following par in my post above:
“From the Fringe, THE INTRICATE ART OF ACTUALLY CARING has 5, and A MOST OUTRAGEOUS HUMBUG has 4. Both of these were remounted in Downstage’s Best of the Fringe season so, adding a nomination for WHERO’S NEW NET (down from Auckland), that means the total nominations relating to shows presented at DOWNSTAGE is 22.”
Let it be known that the nominations were for the original Fringe seasons, not for their remountings at Downstage. Nevertheless Downstage is to be congratulated and valued for bringing what have proven to be excellent shows to a wider audience.
Angela Green posted 25 Nov 2009, 08:00 PM
Haha! Coyotes = Class.
John Smythe posted 26 Nov 2009, 09:40 AM / edited 26 Nov 2009, 12:20 PM
So there it is: the nominees list was embargoed for 11 days so that the Dominion Post could publish the list, some regurgitated media release material and 3 photos (one of which does not relate to a nominated show) – on page 14 of the Arts & Entertainment supplement! Where is the feature? Where is the journalism?
Let us hope they will give the actual awards cover-story prominence on Thursday 10 December. The extraordinary world-class creativity in Wellington theatre is certainly something to be celebrated and who better than the Dominion Post to trumpet these achievements?
I was going to say the nominations are the tip of a very impressive iceberg but that is a cold metaphor. They are what glows and sparks from a volcano’s cauldron of creativity. All the work represented is world class and the original productions – the world premieres – that have attracted so many nominations, including production of the year, are especially worthy of attention.
In my opinion it has been such a strong year that the nominees in most categories could have been replaced two or three times over by other highly credible contenders.
Erin Banks posted 26 Nov 2009, 01:41 PM / edited 26 Nov 2009, 01:41 PM
‘3 photos (one of which does not relate to a nominated show)’
Not only that, but they got the title of it wrong. Or perhaps ‘Rubber Chicken’ is Eli Kent’s new spin-off play…
Jamie Burgess posted 27 Nov 2009, 12:53 PM
I LOVE YOU GUYS. Party well please… Dirty Old Coyotes eh? Some theatrical booty shaking will be well in order. Alas, I will not be present to shake mine as I will be bringing Christmas Cheer to Auckland, as only a converted Wellingtonian can, and then I’ll be taking my ‘nominated’ costumes to Melbourne to dress up and get all musical-theatre on it… Watch out Hugh Jackman. I’m hairier and taller than you. Thanks and goodbye Wellington, you’ve done me well! xxxx