December 6, 2016

DUNEDIN THEATRE AWARDS 2016 Finalists and Winners  

Last night the Fortune Theatre hosted the 7th Annual Dunedin Theatre Awards to a warm and appreciative crowd. Fans of finalists shared their enthusiasm as each name was announced, allowing everyone to be honoured for a moment. The Awards ceremony was hosted once again by the expert and entertaining Barry Dorking, and our Living Taonga, Louise Petherbridge QSM, presented the trophies and certificates to the winners.

Award finalists and recipients represented a wide cross-section of Dunedin theatre performance, showing the depth of creativity and achievement that the city fosters.  Shows that received multiple acclaim were Fortune Theatre’s Grounded and Winston’s Birthday, and the Globe Theatre’s Mary Stuart. Indeed, the panel had such a difficult time separating the performances of two incredible actors in Grounded and Mary Stuart, they made the unusual choice to give two awards in the ‘Outstanding Performance in a Female Role’ category: Claire Chitham, for her contemporary role as The Pilot in Grounded, and Helen Fearnley for her classical titular role in Mary Stuart.

New production companies working outside the ‘traditional’ theatre models also featured. Circus Alice, by Brophy Aerials, won ‘Outstanding Innovation’ for their Gasworks-set aerial spectacular, whilst Little Scorpion Production’s multi-space, interactive production of The Skriker was awarded for its ‘Outstanding Ensemble’. afterburner and Ruaimoko Trust’s multidisciplinary wai=rua A line=near won ‘Outstanding Lighting Design’. ‘Emerging Talent’ recipient was Jordan Dickson. ‘Production of the Year’ was presented to the Fortune Theatre for Grounded.

As well as the announced categories, several Special Awards were bestowed in recognition of various outstanding contributions to theatre.

The Globe Theatre received an award for their Special Event ‘Marking the Shakespeare 400’, honouring their celebration of the quadricentenary of Shakespeare’s death with a production of The Comedy of Errors.

The founder and brains trust of, John Smythe, received accolades for his tireless efforts to promote, review and archive New Zealand theatre, and was presented with a Special Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Theatre’. This valuable resource is under threat of closure, a circumstance the Dunedin Theatre Reviewers’ Collective views with grave concern.

In contrast to this, Arts Festival Dunedin has undergone a life-saving transformation since Nicholas McBryde returned to the helm two Festivals ago. The Collective acknowledged his efforts with a Special Award for ‘Outstanding Contribution to Dunedin Theatre’.

The Dunedin Theatre Reviewers’ Collective congratulates all the Finalists and Recipients, and thanks the sponsors and supporters who make the annual celebration of Dunedin theatre achievements possible. 

Dunedin Theatre Awards 2016 Finalists and Winners
(in alphabetical order)

Damon Lillis – The Cripple of Inishmaan
Marcus McShane – The Devil’s Half Acre
Martyn Roberts – Dark Matter
Martyn Roberts – Wai=Rua A Line=Near

Watson White Award
Rochelle Brophy – Circus Alice
Charmian Smith – Mary Stuart
Sofie Welvaert – The Skriker
Maryanne Wright-Smith – Flagons and Foxtrots 

Discharge – Discharge Does History webseries
Grounded – Digital Design
The Skriker – Facebook promotion

Outstanding Set Design:
GloryBox Collective – The Dream Collector  
Peter King – Flagons and Foxtrots
Peter King – Krapp’s Last Tape
Peter King – Winston’s Birthday
Keith Scott – Mary Stuart
Trick of the Light – The Devil’s Half Acre 

DCC Creative Communities Scheme Award
A Sanctimonious Celebration of Drag and S&M – Sacrilege Productions
Circus Alice
– Brophy Aerials
Enter the New World
– Binge Culture
The Skriker
– Little Scorpion Productions
Slutty Ladies Garden party
– Sarah McDougall & Elsa May
Two Zones Please
– Feral Grace Productions
Wai=Rua A Line=Near
afterburner & Ruaimoko Trust

Robert Lord
Paul Baker – Winston’s Birthday
Rosie Howells – The Most Wonderful Time of the Year
Ralph McCubbin Howell – The Devil’s Half Acre
Keith Scott – Mary Stuart
Pete Stewart – The Iris Project 

DCC Creative Communities Scheme Award
The Emperor’s New Clothes – cast
Niu Sila – cast
Over the River – cast
Queen – cast 
The Skriker – cast

Otago Community Trust Special Event 2016 Marking the ‘Shakespeare 400’
Special Mention: Otago University Shakespeare Globe Centre New Zealand
Globe Theatre – The Comedy of Errors

Outstanding Performance In A Male Role:
Damon Lillis – The Cripple of Inishmaan
Simon O’Connor – Krapp’s Last Tape
Matthew Scadden – The Importance of Being Earnest
Ashley Stewart – Mary Stuart
Edwin Wright – Manifesto 2083

Claire Chitham – Grounded [contemporary]
Maria Colombo – Tiny Deaths
Helen Fearnley – Mary Stuart [classical]
Hilary Halba – Winston’s Birthday

Counterpoint Productions Award
Emma Feather Shaw
Jocelyn Fa’alavelave
Jordan Dickson
Little Scorpion Productions
Marea Colombo
Simla Productions and the cast of Seacliff: the Demise of Ward 5

Director of the Year:
Lewis Ablett-Kerr – The Cripple of Inishmaan
Jonathan Cweorth – Circus Alice
Jonathon Hendry – Grounded
Kerry Lane – The Skriker
Lara Macgregor – Winston’s Birthday
Keith Scott – Mary Stuart

Outstanding Contribution to New Zealand Theatre 2016
John Smythe, Managing Editor, Theatreview
Outstanding Contribution to Dunedin Theatre 2016
Nicholas McBryde, Director, Arts Festival Dunedin

Grounded – Fortune Theatre
Krapp’s Last Tape – Fortune Theatre
Mary Stuart – Globe Theatre
The Skriker – Little Scorpion Productions 

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