2017 Geelong Theatre Awards

Held at The Potato Shed, Drysdale, November 26, 2017

Although entertainmentgeelong.com had been awarding Geelong's best theatre since 2013, they had all been 'Virtual Oscars' - in name only, with the winners posing for photographs which were  published online.
This was the very first live and real theatre awards night in Geelong.
It was organised by Drop Of A Hat productions and hosted by this website's editor, Colin Mockett.
It was a sold-out event that was rated a great success by those who attended. 

Geelong's Oscar Asche Theatre Awards 2017

Geelong's Best Production

was Geelong Repertory Company’s Pygmalion, judged as being 'groundbreaking in its production values, perfect in its execution.'

Also nominated:
Footlight's Wicked.

Best Musical Production

Footlight Production’s near-perfect version of Wicked.  

Also nominated:
Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, from CenterStage Geelong; 

Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, (Geelong Lyric)
The Little Mermaid, (GSODA Juniors),
Altar Boyz, (Theatre of the Damned) and
Heathers The Musical, (GSODA).

Best Non-Musical Production

 was Rep’s Pygmalion taking the  award from a strong field of nominees. 

Also nominated were:   
Quartet, and  The Savages Of Wirramai, from Geelong Rep,
The Laramie Project, and
When Dad Married Fury from Torquay Theatre Troupe and
The Hope Song from Anglesea Performing Arts.

Best Director (non-musical)

went to Iris Walshe-Howling & Janine McKenzie, for Anglesea’s moving documentary-style The Hope Song.
Also nominated were:
Geoff Gaskill, for Rep’s Quartet,
Iris Walshe-Howling (again) for The Savages Of Wirramai, (also Rep),
Zina Carman, for TTT’s Laramie Project,
Alard Pett, for Pygmalion, and
TTT’s Michael Baker, for When Dad Married Fury.

Best Director (musical)

awarded to Christian Cavallo, for his work with GSODA’s groundbreaking Heathers.

Also nominated were: 

Alister Smith, (Wicked), 

Sam Heskett & Narelle Bonnici, (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, CenterStage),
Davina Smith, (Joseph & his Dreamcoat, Lyric), 

Emily Donoghue, (The Little Mermaid, GSODA Juniors,) and
Scott Bradley & Elise Dahl, (Altar Boyz, Theatre of the Damned)

Best Lead Female Actor (musical)

 was a tie - going to both witches in Wicked, played by Sophie Collins (pictured with both awards) and Morgan Heynes, who wasn’t at the event.
Other nominees were: Rachel Allen, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, CenterStage;
Sally-Anne Cowdell,  (Joseph & his Dreamcoat, Lyric)
Rebecca Harland (The Little Mermaid, GSODA Juniors), and 

Shani Clarke, (Heathers).

Best Lead Male (non-musical)

 went to Ben Mitchell, for Pygmalion.
also nominated were Tony Wright, Quartet, Philip Besancon, The Savages Of Wirramai, Michael Baker, and Fred Preston, (both for TTT’s Laramie Project) and Paul Friend, for When Dad Married Fury.

Best Lead Female actor (non-musical)

 went to Stacey Carmichael, from The Savages Of Wirramai, over nominees Majella O’Connor, (Quartet) 

Kethly Hemsworth (The Savages Of Wirramai) Terry Roseburgh and  Sindi Renea, (The Laramie Project) 

Rose Musselwhite  (Pygmalion)

Caity Ellett, (QLTS’s Secret Bridesmaids’ Business) and Robyn Farrar (When Dad Married Fury)

Best Lead Male Actor (musical)

was awarded to Charlie McIntyre, for his title role in Geelong Lyric’s Joseph & his Dreamcoat. Charlie couldn’t make the ceremony, his award was collected by the play’s director, Davina Smith.

Also nominated were:

Joshua McGuane, Wicked, Footlight,
Mark Monroe, Chitty Chitty Bang Bang,  Kai Mann Robertson, Jye Cannon,  Andrew Perry,  Christian Cavallo,  Jordan Deneka, Altar Boyz (Theatre of the Damned) and Connor Morel, Heathers, GSODA, 

Best Support Male (musical)

was another tie, this time between Patt Ryan and Tim Moloney for their knockabout comedy duo in CenterStage Geelong’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. These awards were collected by producer David Greenwood.

Also nominated were:
Jamie McGuane, (Wicked, Footlight) David Mackay and Lachy Turner, (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, CenterStage)

Andrew Ward, Brendan Rossbotham and  Grant Whiteside, (all in Lyric’s Joseph & his Dreamcoat)
Brad Beales, (Oliver!, CenterStage)

P J White, Tyler Stevens, Shane Lee and David Senftleben, (Heathers, GSODA) and

Scott Bradley, (The Grinch, Medimime)

Best Support Female (non-musical)

was won by Kathryn O’Neill for her part(s) in The Laramie Project.
Also nominated were:  

Claudia Clarke, (Quartet

Amber Connor and Lisa Berry (both in The Savages Of Wirramai) 

Cat Crowe, (Laramie Project), 

Tina Rettke and Claudia Clark, Pygmalion

Bernadette Byrne, (Secret Bridesmaids’ Business), 

Meryl Friend, (When Dad Married Fury), and 

Alex McTavish, (The Butler Did It)

Best Support Female (musical)

was a three-way tie, between Nicole Kaminski, Jess Senftleben and Chloe Stojanovic, who played the three Heathers in GSODA’s big, colourful musical of the same name. None of the awardees were at the ceremony, so their director, Christian Cavello, accepted on their behalf.
Also nominated were: 

Michele Marcu, and Sophia Grant, (Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, CenterStage)
Zoe Prem, and Charlotte Crowley, (Joseph & his Dreamcoat, Lyric)
Ruby Buchanan, (The Little Mermaid, GSODA Juniors)

Anna Flint, (Oliver!, CenterStage) and

Kate Gore, (The Grinch, Medimime)

Best Support Male (non-musical)

Our Best Supporting Male Actor (non-musical) award was a tie, between two Geelong Rep actors,
Bryan Eaton, (Quartet) (left, above) and Steven Georgiadis, (right) who played Pickering in Pygmalion.
Also nominated in this category were: Tom Bartle, (The Savages Of Wirramai), Lachie Vivian-Taylor and  Glen Barton, (Laramie Project), Simon Finch, (Pygmalion) Fred Preston, (When Dad Married Fury) along with Dan Eastwood and  Scott Beaton, from Rep’s The Butler Did It.

Most Innovative Feature (musical)

went to the region’s newest company, Theatre Of The Damned, for its moulding of five actors to form a realistic Christian singing group, the Altar Boyz. Happy co-director Elise Dahl accepted the award.
Also nominated were: 

Ensemble, MD John Shawcross, vocal director Anna-Lee Robertson and hair & make-up artist Mel Van Krieken (all for Footlight’s Wicked)
MD Dan Heskett, costumier Maxine Urquhart, and wig wrangler Nicole Plowman (all for CenterStage’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang)

MD Bradley Treloar, choreographer May Molly Carter, production designer  Lisa Hunter, and costume designer  Marilyn Clark, (all for Lyric’s Joseph & his Dreamcoat)
The Costume Team at GSODA Juniors’ The Little Mermaid
MD Courtney Miller, choreographer Jordan Punsalang, choreography and sound man Ben Anderson (all for Theatre of Damned’s Altar Boyz)
MD Phil Kearney, choreographer Nikki Leneghan, vocal director Tania Spence, costumier Mandee Oakes and the whole Ensemble from GSODA’s Heathers, and the  Costume, Hair & Make-up teams from Medimime’s The Grinch. *

Most Innovative Feature (non-musical)

 went to the Scene Transition Team from Pygmalion.

Also nominated were: 

Critchlow, Bridge & Coutts Slater for Quartet’s set, 

Steven Georgiadis, for Quartet’s sound & lights, 

Alard, Stuart & Ingrid Pett, with Stacey Carmichael, for the design of Pygmalion; 

Bridget Dunston & Nin Coutts-Slater, for Pygmalion’s costumes, 

Janet Brown, for Hope Song’s script and the 

Acting Ensemble from Hope Song.

Most Refreshing Newcomer (non-musical)

went to Robyn Farrar, for her part in TTT’s When Dad Married Fury.
Robyn wasn’t at the event. Her award was accepted by Fury’s director Michael Baker

Also nominated: 

Lucia Human, Pygmalion,
David Keele, Pygmalion.
 

Most Refreshing Newcomer (musical)

our Most Refreshing Newcomer  (Musical) award went to nine-year-old 

Kempton Maloney, for his part in CenterStage’s Chitty Chitty Bang Bang  Billie Fletcher, costume design, Joseph & his Dreamcoat, and  Jordan Deneka, Altar Boyz, Theatre of Damned.