Wellington Theatre Awards 2019
The Wellington Theatre Awards 2019
7pm Sunday 8 December
Shed 6, Wellington
The Wellington Theatre Awards - Ngā Whakarākei O Whātaitai recognises the actors, designers, writers, composers and directors that create and produce theatre in Wellington.
This year we celebrated the innovation, originality and collaboration evident within the theatre community of Wellington. We acknowledge and applaud the recent research undertaken on career sustainability of arts professionals by Creative NZ, and embrace the discussion of how career sustainability contributes positively to the well-being and mental health of artists and arts practitioners within the creative sector.
The evening began with a karanga led by Toni Huata and mihi by Adrian Tangaroa Wagner. With the waiata Purea Nei, the whole room of 300 guests joined in, starting the night off with a sense of unity and collective pride.
This year’s awards were hosted with humour and generosity of spirit by MC Stella Reid. Stella wore a suit onto which she had hand painted the words men have said to her and about her in the industry( “I’m culturally appropriating toxic masculinity.”). She spoke to the inclusivity, fairness and support sought by the passionate community of theatre practitioners in the capital. Stella was supported by the outright hilarious Tessa Waters and Victoria Falconer of the Glittery Clittery Fringe Wives Club, who swooped in as her Personal Diva Machine at the press of a bell.
This year’s Mayoral Award for Significant Contribution to Theatre went posthumously to Nancy Brunning, acknowledging her achievements over her vast career in theatre. Tanea Heke, director of Toi Whakaari and long time friend of Nancy, offered the citation for this award and touchingly honoured Nancy’s work and person. Tanea Heke and Nancy Brunning set up Hapai Productions together in 2013 and this year Hapai Production’s Pakaru won a stunning number of awards- five out of their seven nominations; Jennifer Lal for Lighting Designer of the Year, Sean Coyle for Set Designer of the Year, Mitch Tawhi Thomas for New NZ Play of the Year, Excellence Award for Ensemble and won the Jack Jeffs Charitable Trust Production of the Year.
The Wellington Theatre Awards congratulates all nominees and creatives on another excellent year of theatre. We can’t wait to see what you create in 2020!
The Theatre Awards Trust would like to sincerely acknowledge the incredible support of:
The Lion Foundation, Wellington City Council, The Dominion Post, Jack Jeffs Charitable Trust, Circa, BATS, Taki Rua, Toi Whakaari, Victoria University of Wellington, Capital E, Playmarket, Weta Workshop, Emerging Artists Trust, Park Road Post, New Zealand Festival, Showcast, MJF Lighting, Production Transport Services, Multi-Media Systems, Metro Productions, The Big Pic.
And huge thanks also to the Wellington Theatre Cluster - Barbarian Productions, BATS Theatre, Capital E, Circa Theatre, Hannah Playhouse, Playmarket, Taki Rua Productions, Tawata Productions, The Conch, Young & Hungry
Wellington Theatre Awards 2019 Winners:
The George Webby Most Promising Newcomer Award
TAHI: New Zealand Festival of Solo Performance
The Willem Wassenaar Most Promising Newcomer Award
Sam Tippet, Stage Manager Hamlet and Ransom
Lighting Designer of the Year
Jennifer Lal Pakaru and Orchids
Sound Designer of the Year
Jason Wright The Clearing
Set Designer of the Year
Sean Coyle Pakaru
The Paul Jenden Costume Designer of the Year
Rose Philpott and Tori Manley-Tapu Orchids
The Constance Scott Kirkcaldie Award for Outstanding Composer of Music
Eden Mulholland Orchids
The Peter Harcourt New Playwright of the Year
Abby Howells HarleQueen
Outstanding New NZ Play
Mitch Tawhi Thomas Pakaru
The Absolutely Positively Most Original Production
Captain Cook Thinks Again Barbarian Productions
The Grant Tilly Actor of the Year
Jason Te Kare Cellfish
The Dorothy McKegg Actor of the Year
Carrie Green Cellfish
The Campion Accolade for Outstanding Performance
Madeline McNamara The Attitudes-Refusing Performance
The Michele Amas Accolade for Outstanding Performance
Karin McCracken Yes Yes Yes
Excellence Award for Performance Ensemble
Pakaru Hāpai Productions
Excellence Award for Theatre for Young Audiences
Story Studio Live 2019 Capital E National Theatre for Children
Excellence Award for Theatre for Social Change
Yes Yes Yes Eleanor Bishop and Karin McCracken, produced by Zanetti Productions
Director of the Year
Jo Randerson Captain Cook Thinks Again
The Jack Jeffs Charitable Trust Production of the Year
Pakaru Hāpai Productions