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TWO POPULAR MUSICALS TOP THIS YEAR’S CONDA AWARDS NOMINATIONS



          2017
        CONDA AWARDS
 
    39TH ANNUAL PRESENTATION OF THE
         CITY OF NEWCASTLE DRAMA AWARDS
 
              WESTS NEW LAMBTON
                 DECEMBER 2 2017
 
 
 EMBARGOED UNTIL 6.30PM THURSDAY, NOVEMBER 9, 2017
 
More info: Ken Longworth, 0402 356 399
 
TWO POPULAR MUSICALS TOP THIS YEAR’S CONDA AWARDS NOMINATIONS
 
THE musicals Les Miserables and Mary Poppins attracted big audiences when staged in Newcastle this year and also pleased the City of Newcastle Drama Awards judging team who gave both shows 11 nominations.
 
It was a good year for musicals, with eight very different shows in line for the Best Musical Production CONDA, including two stagings of Rent that each collected five nominations.
 
The diversity of the shows in the judging year, the 12 months from November 1, 2016, to October 31 this year, was also reflected in the six productions that are up for the Best Dramatic Production award, led by Picnic with nine nominations.
 
The CONDA judges – Shane Bransdon, Michael Cooper, Michelle Gosper, Carl Gregory and Ken Longworth – found the choice of nominees to be challenging in the 22 award categories, given the quality of the 63 shows that were entered for awards consideration.
 
Thirty-nine shows received a total of 126 nominations, with 25 Lower Hunter theatre companies and staging groups represented.
 
Les Miserables, presented by Metropolitan Players, and Mary Poppins, a St Philip’s Christian College show, are based on very different novels, and need good acting skills. Les Miserables is set largely against a revolt in 19th century Paris that is led by university students, and Mary Poppins amusingly has the title character a broom-flying governess who helps to establish better relationships among family members.
 
 
Rent, which had very different productions by Pantseat Performing Arts and Hunter Drama, is a reworked rock version of the story of the opera La Boheme, set among would-be performing artists in early 1990s New York. The other musical works nominated in the category are likewise engagingly diverse: Newcastle Theatre Company’s Blood Brothers, Opera Hunter’s Don Giovanni, WEA Hunter Academy of Creative Arts’ Heathers: The Musical, and Young People’s Theatre’s You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown.
 
There was a similar mix of subjects and styles in the Best Dramatic Production nominees. Picnic, staged by Newcastle Theatre Company, is set during a holiday weekend in the United States, with the residents of a country town discovering things about themselves before and after the title community celebration. Lindsay Street Players’ The Crucible showed a literal witch hunt by manipulative and corrupt officials in a rural area, with the staging giving it an Australian outback feel. Maitland Repertory Theatre’s The Diary of Anne Frank was a moving look at a family and others hiding from Nazi officials in an office building’s attic in World War 11. And Grace focused on the changing relationships of people living in a Florida seaside community.
 
Five very different locally written new works have been nominated for Best New Play or Musical Written for a Newcastle Company. Do Your Parents Know You’re Straight?, by Riley McLean (Eclectic Productions), looks at a future world where the majority of people are homosexual, with a teenage schoolboy forced to hide his decidedly male feelings. Festive Spirit, by Sally Davies (Newcastle Theatre Company), is an amusing look at a Christmas Day family get together where people find themselves voicing sharp criticisms. Mrs Monacelli’s Christmastime Spectacular, by Theo Rule (The Grainery Theatre), uses a 1930s vaudeville musical structure to examine with many laugh-raising incidents the problems facing people in that era. Post, by Jerry Bowden and Ann Croger (Upstage Theatre), used the exercise yard at the former Newcastle Police Station Lock-up to tell an engaging story about issues facing police when trying to help others. And Home, created by its 11-member ensemble (Tantrum Youth Arts), looked at the attitudes of young people, including refugees, to what they experienced as home living.
 
The awards night will climax with the presentation of the CONDA Inc Award for Outstanding Achievement and Contribution to Theatre. There are no nominations for this award. It will go to the person or group the CONDA judges believe made the most outstanding contribution to Newcastle theatre in 2017.
 
The 2017 CONDA Awards will be presented in the Starlight Room auditorium at Wests New Lambton, on Saturday, December 2, at 7pm in a show that will include song and dance numbers from popular musicals staged by Newcastle performers – and with a few surprises.
 
Audience members will be seated at tables with 10 seats. Show tickets are $37.50 and include a programme with photos of the year’s shows. Tickets can be bought at Wests, or by phone 4935 1200, or online: www.proticket.com.au.
 
 
 
The Awards night will mark the departure of judge Michael Cooper. The new addition to the 2018 judging team is Guil Noronha who has been active in Newcastle, Maitland and Sydney theatre communities for more than 25 years, training and performing in diverse shows including dramas, comedies, musicals, operas and circus routines. He has appeared in television series and cinema films, and operas presented by Opera Australia in Sydney and Melbourne, has studied theatre and music at institutions including the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, has designed and built sets and developed the lighting for shows, and for six years was co-artistic director, with wife Lesley Coombes, of Maitland Junior Repertory Theatre’s training school.

 
The City of Newcastle Drama Awards are presented by CONDA Inc
 
 
   
CONDA Nominations, 2017
 
Best Dramatic Production
 
The Crucible, Lindsay Street Players, in association with Young People’s Theatre
The Diary of Anne Frank, Maitland Repertory Theatre
Grace, Knock and Run Theatre
Picnic, Newcastle Theatre Company
 
Best Musical Production
 
Blood Brothers, Newcastle Theatre Company
Don Giovanni, Opera Hunter
Heathers: The Musical, WEA Hunter Academy of Creative Arts
Les Miserables, Metropolitan Players
Mary Poppins, St Philip’s Christian College
You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown, Young People’s Theatre
Rent, Hunter Drama
Rent, Pantseat Performing Arts
 
Best Special Theatrical Event
 
Mapping the Lake, Tantrum Youth Arts, in partnership with Lake Macquarie City Art       Gallery
Micro Theatre Festival 2017, Micro Theatre Pty Ltd 
Star Struck – Shine On, Public Schools New South Wales
 
Best New Play or Musical Written for a Newcastle Company
 
Do Your Parents Know You’re Straight?, by Riley McLean (Eclectic Productions)
Festive Spirit, by Sally Davies (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Home, created by the ensemble: Sara Barlow, Thomas Lonsdale, Roger Ly, Meghan          Mills, Meg O’Hara, Taylor Reece, Stephanie Rochet-Cuevas, Alexandra Rose,   Rosie Scanlan, Clare Todorovitch, Phoebe Turnbull. (Tantrum Youth Arts, in      collaboration with PACT)
Mrs Monacelli’s Christmastime Spectacular, by Theo Rule (The Grainery Theatre)
Post, by Jerry Bowden and Ann Croger (Upstage Theatre, in partnership with The             Lock-Up)
 
  
Excellence by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama or Comedy
 
Lindsay Carr, Inherit the Wind (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Mitchell Cox, The Crucible (Lindsay Street Players, in association with Young                   People’s Theatre)
Derek Fisher, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Mathew Lee, Grace (Knock&Run Theatre)
Kris McCord, Picnic (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Richard Murray, Laughter on the 23rd Floor (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Jerry Ray, The Age of Consent (Two Tall Theatre)
Ian Robinson, The Diary of Anne Frank (Maitland Repertory Theatre) 
           
Excellence by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Drama or Comedy
 
Katy Carruthers, Inherit the Wind (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Janet Gillam, Neighbourhood Watch (Stooged Theatre)
Samantha Lambert, Grace (Knock&Run Theatre)    
Sally Smith, Picnic (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Amy Wilde, The Age of Consent (Two Tall Theatre)
 
Excellence by a Male Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
 
Liam Bird, Rent (Pantseat Performing Arts)
Chris Maxfield, Les Miserables (Metropolitan Players)
Conagh Punch, Heathers: The Musical (WEA Hunter Academy of Creative Arts)
Jarrod Sansom, Chicago: The Musical (Theatre on Brunker and Novocastrian Players)
Alex Sefton, Don Giovanni (Opera Hunter)
Marty Worrall, Rent (Hunter Drama)
 
Excellence by a Female Actor in a Leading Role in a Musical
 
Renee Berger, Daddy-O, Don’t You Dare: Channeling Peggy Lee (David Baker and         The Royal Exchange)      
Jacquelyn King, Blood Brothers (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Konstanze Koedam, Heathers: The Musical (WEA Hunter Academy of Creative Arts)
Konstanze Koedam, Rent (Pantseat Performing Arts)
 
Excellence by a Male Actor in a Supporting Role
 
Tristan Entwhistle, Don Giovanni (Opera Hunter)
David Geise, Rent (Hunter Drama)
Chris Henderson, The Diary of Anne Frank (Maitland Repertory Theatre)
Michael Nolan, The Vicar of Dibley (DAPA)
Simon Redhead, Les Miserables (Metropolitan Players)
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Excellence by a Female Actor in a Supporting Role
 
Katy Carruthers, Bed (Pencil Case Productions)
Katy Carruthers, Picnic (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Alison Cox, Picnic (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Karen Lantry, Post (Upstage Theatre, in partnership with The Lock-Up)
Stephanie Priest, Les Miserables (Metropolitan Players)
Maddie Richards, Blood Brothers (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Stephanie Rochet-Cuevas, Home ((Tantrum Youth Arts, in collaboration with PACT)
Marissa Saroca, Rent (Hunter Drama)
           
Excellence by a Male Actor Under 18
 
Mikali Anagnostis, Mary Poppins (St Philip’s Christian College)
Declan Dowling, Catch Me If You Can (Hunter School of the Performing Arts)
Ned Keogh, The Hoarders Next Door (Aspire: Catholic Schools Office)
Oliver MacFadyen, Bed (Pencil Case Productions)
Hamish Pickering, Mary Poppins (St Philip’s Christian College)
Nicholas Thoroughgood, One Man, Two Guvnors (Hunter School of the Performing          Arts)
           
Excellence by a Female Actor Under 18
 
Phoebe Bayliss, Mary Poppins (St Philip’s Christian College)
Alexandra Jensen, The Crucible (Lindsay Street Players, in association with Young            People’s Theatre)
Rose Lancaster, The Hoarders Next Door (Aspire: Catholic Schools Office)
Abbey Matt, The Diary of Anne Frank (Maitland Repertory Theatre) 
Maxine Mueller, Picnic (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Zoe Walker, Heathers: The Musical (WEA Hunter Academy of Creative Arts)
Jordan Warner, The Crucible (Lindsay Street Players, in association with Young                People’s Theatre)
Caitlin Weld, Mary Poppins (St Philip’s Christian College)
 
Best Ensemble Acting
 
All in the Timing, Stooged Theatre
Festive Spirit, Newcastle Theatre Company
The Golden Antelope, Footlice Theatre Company
Les Miserables, Metropolitan Players
Love and Information, Stooged Theatre
Mary Poppins, St Philip’s Christian College
Picnic, Newcastle Theatre Company
Seussical KIDS, Hunter Drama
 
 
 
 
 
 
 
Excellence by a Director (Drama or Comedy)
           
Julie Black, Picnic (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Janie Gibson, Home (Tantrum Youth Arts, in collaboration with PACT)
Merilyn Hey, The Golden Antelope (Footlice Theatre Company)
Richard Murray, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Guil Noronha and Lesley Coombes, The Diary of Anne Frank (Maitland Repertory            Theatre)
Nicholas Thoroughgood, The Crucible (Lindsay Street Players, in association with Young            People’s Theatre)
Amy Wilde, Dropped (Two Tall Theatre)
John Wood, Grace (Knock&Run Theatre)
           
Excellence by a Director (Musical)
 
Julie Black, Les Miserables (Metropolitan Players)
Lia Bundy, Heathers: The Musical (WEA Hunter Academy of Creative Arts)
Cassie Hamilton and Riley McLean, You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown (Young              People’s Theatre)
Riley McLean, Rent (Pantseat Performing Arts)
Adelle Richards, Blood Brothers (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Robert Stuart, Mary Poppins (St Philip’s Christian College)
 
Excellence by a Musical Director or Vocal Director
 
Lindy Connett, Mary Poppins (St Philip’s Christian College)
Brent Hanson, Rent (Pantseat Performing Arts)
Susan Hart, Don Giovanni (Opera Hunter)
Greg Paterson, Les Miserables (Metropolitan Players)
Bruce Rowlett, Catch Me If You Can (Hunter School of the Performing Arts)
Daniel Wilson, Rent (Hunter Drama)
Daniel Wilson, Star Struck – Shine On (Public Schools New South Wales) 
           
Excellence by a Choreographer
 
Eva-Marie Irwin and Natalie Baker, Mary Poppins (St Philip’s Christian College)
Timothy Shaw, Singin’ in the Rain (Hunter Drama)
           
Excellence in Costume Design
 
Leilani Boughton, Peter Pan (Maitland Repertory Theatre)
Jen Ellicott, Love’s Labour’s Lost (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Bev Fewins, Les Miserables (Metropolitan Players)
Dianne Garred, Mary Poppins (St Philip’s Christian College)
Melanie Hunt, Seussical KIDS (Hunter Drama)
Coralie Lewis and Amanda Buck, Don Giovanni (Opera Hunter)
Chelsea Willis and Michelle Horswood, Cats: Abridged (Young People’s Theatre)
 
 
 
 
Excellence in Hair, Make-up and Wigs
           
Rochelle Carpenter, Seussical KIDS (Hunter Drama)
George Francis, Les Miserables (Metropolitan Players)
Claire Thomas, Cats: Abridged (Young People’s Theatre)
 
Excellence in Set and Props Design
 
Graeme Black and Donna Nipperess, Les Miserables (Metropolitan Players)
Leilani Boughton, Jane Johns and Helen Hopcroft, Peter Pan (Maitland Repertory                        Theatre)
Matthew Lockyer, Picnic (Newcastle Theatre Company)
Guil Noronha, The Diary of Anne Frank (Maitland Repertory Theatre)
Lucy Shepherd, Home (Tantrum Youth Arts, in collaboration with PACT)
Nicholas Thoroughgood and Amy Hill, The Crucible (Lindsay Street Players, in                 association with Young People’s Theatre)
Two Tall Ensemble, Dropped (Two Tall Theatre)
           
Excellence in Lighting and Audio Visual Design
Scott Allan, Post (Upstage Theatre, in partnership with The Lock-Up)
Lyndon Buckley, Mary Poppins (St Philip’s Christian College)
Jacob Harwood, Les Miserables (Metropolitan Players)
Guil Noronha, Vic Thompson and Lesley Coombes, The Diary of Anne Frank        (Maitland Repertory Theatre)
Alex Waye, The Crucible (Lindsay Street Players, in association with Young People’s       Theatre)
 
Excellence in Sound Design
 
Heath Anderson and Scott Eveleigh, Love and Information (Stooged Theatre)
Huw Jones, Home (Tantrum Youth Arts, in collaboration with PACT)
John Wood, Grace (Knock&Run Theatre)