December 4, 2017


Dunedin Theatre Awards celebrate diversity and an abundance of talent  

On Sunday 3 December the New Athenaeum Theatre paused amid ongoing renovations to host the 8th 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.  “Currently there is a positive embarrassment of youthful talent in Dunedin,” say the Dunedin Theatre Reviewers’ Collective organizing the Dunedin Theatre Awards.

The Fortune Theatre’s production of Twelfth Night was a stand out finalist, garnering 11 nominations, and taking out several categories, including the loudly popular ‘Outstanding Performance’ Award for Production of the Year.

Special Awards recognising Outstanding Contributions to Dunedin Theatre were bestowed upon Nigel Ensor and Peter King for their longstanding dedication and utmost talent.

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.

The full list of Award recipients are as follows:

Dunedin Theatre Awards 2017

Outstanding Lighting Design
Garry Keirle – Into the Woods

‘Watson White’ Award for Outstanding Costume Design
Sofie Welvaert – Pirates of Penzance

‘Robert Lord’ Award for Outstanding Script/Narrative/Libretto
Keith Scott – 1917: Until the Day Dawns

Outstanding Set Design
Peter King – Twelfth Night

Outstanding Sound Design
Lindsay Gordon – Into the Woods

Outstanding Innovation
Brophy Aerial Studio – Fragments of a Dream
Dunedin Medieval Society – The Bookworm
Amanda Brosnan – Ghost Soldiers

Due to such a fine set of examples, the panel had no choice but to acknowledge all of these fine ventures. They present a diversity that challenges the definitions of what ‘theatre’ should be. 

‘Dunedin Goldsmiths’ Award for Outstanding Ensemble
Cast of The Pirates of Penzance

Outstanding Performance (two awarded)
Jonathon Hendry – Malvolio in Twelfth Night
Bryony Skillington – Feste in Twelfth Night

Emerging Talent (two awarded)
Lydia Bernard
Shaun Swain 

Outstanding Visiting Production
That Bloody Woman 

‘Otago Community Trust’ Award for Outstanding Community Theatre
Stopping Violence Dunedin – Stories to Heal Violence

Director of the Year
Lewis Ablett-Kerr – Never the Sinner 

‘Outstanding Performance’ Award for Production of the Year
Fortune Theatre – Twelfth Night 

Special Awards

Outstanding Contribution to Dunedin Theatre
Nigel Ensor

Outstanding Contribution to Dunedin Theatre
Peter King

Outstanding Services to Dunedin Fringe Festival
Josh Thomas

Informal Awards

Presented for the special moments and commendable ventures that didn’t particularly fit in a category this year but could not go without being recognised.

Claire Barton
Stephen Butterworth
Julie Edwards
Peter Hayden
Phil Vaughn
Hanover Hall
New Athenaeum Theatre
Sacrilege Productions  

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