Top accolades have been handed out to Auckland's best and brightest theatre-makers.
The annual Auckland Theatre Awards, now in their eighth year, were held this week in front of around 350 members of the region's theatre community, including Antonia Prebble and Jennifer Ward-Lealand. Actor and comedian Kura Forrester hosted the event, which included skits, songs and - of course - awards.
Winners included retiring Auckland Arts Festival director Carla van Zon who received a Lifetime Achievement award and Lester McGrath, Auckland Theatre Company's general manager who was recognised for entrepreneurial achievement for his leadership in making the ASB Waterfront Theatre a reality.
As well van Zon and McGrath, other Excellence Award winners were: [RT1] Morgana O'Reilly for her performance as Vanda Jordan in Venus in Fur; Te Po, That Bloody Woman, The White Guitar, Don Juan and Potato Stamp Megalomaniac for best overall productions; Anapela Polataivao for her direction of Wild Dogs Under My Skirts; Jennifer Ludlam for her portrayal of Arthur in Boys Will be Boys and Andrew Foster who was acknowledged for his set designs for Te Po, To Kill a Mockingbird, Defending the J.J. Mac, Thomus and Vernon God Little.
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Best newcomers were also rewarded with producer Nicky Vella, stage manager and producer Natasha Hoyland and actor Tim Earl receiving accolades.
The awards are a mix of the formally-judged Excellence Awards, decided on by a four-strong panel of theatre commentators and industry insiders, and People's Choice Awards voted on by the public. The latter tend to be more light-hearted and saw the following gongs handed out:
The HACKMAN Cup for Most Original Production: Valerie, Last Tapes Theatre Company
Mangere Arts Centre Award for Best Ensemble: Don Juan, A Slightly Isolated Dog
The Auckland Actors Award for Best Death: Lucy Suttor in Close City
The Elephant Publicity Award for Best Poster: Mia Blonde in Ice Dagger, Dynamotion
The Gail Cowan Award for Best Viral Marketing Campaign: Nic Sampson Has Fallen Down a Well
The TAPAC Award for Best Entrance: Stephen Butterworth, Twelfth Night
The Equity New Zealand Award for Best Show by Emerging Artists: Macbeth, Black Friars
The Playmarket Award for Best line in a Kiwi Play: "I've put my back out at the gym." "Lifting weights?" "No ribbon work" from the show Camping.
The Johnson & Laird Management Award for Best Accent: The Michaels, Billys and Debbies of Billy Elliot the Musical
The APRA Award for Best Music/Sound Design: Te Aihe Butler for White/Other
The Inside Out Productions Award for Most Innovative Set: Flaps
The Action Actors Award Best Portrayal of a Real Job: Jennifer Ludlam in Boys will be Boys
The Actors Program Award for Best Nudity: Sam Snedden in Perplex
The Sharu Loves Hats Award for Best Pash: Milky Bits cast and Laptops
The Pantograph Punch Award for Best Critic: Sam Brooks
The Tour-Makers Award for Travelling Hero: Riding in Cars with (Mostly Straight) Boys
The Philips Selecon Award for Best Lighting: Rachel Marlow for Boys will be Boys.