Geelong's Virtual Oscar Theatre Awards

Below are listed all the winners and nominees for our Virtual Oscars. We've placed them on the same page, just scroll down to find the full list. And note how they started small and grew to become the natural usher to the Geelong Theatre Awards

Virtual Oscars 2016

Geelong's Best Production


was Mary Poppins, from Footlight Productions, in GPAC's  Playhouse, January. This was a slick, clever beautifully produced show of professional standards.

Also nominated: 

Re(ve)lations, from Anglesea Performing Arts,

Also nominated:


Best Non-Musical Production


Re(ve)lations, from Anglesea Performing Arts, July.

A refreshingly adult, thought-provoking drama of human relationships made excellent theatre.  

Also nominated:
God Of Carnage, Geelong Rep, February
The Shifting Heart, Geelong Rep, April
A Midsummer Night’s Dream, TOWU, 

All Things Considered, TT Troupe, May
Speaking In Tongues,  Rep,  September
Chekhov’s Three Sisters, TOWU, Oct.
Humble Boy, TTT,  November
Rumours, Geelong Rep, November

Best Musical Production


 Mary Poppins, from Footlight Productions,  which was memorable for all the right reasons - a faultless staging and highly- professional quality.

Also nominated:
The Wizard Of Oz, Geelong Lyric, April

Disney’s High School Musical, GSODA Juniors, Playhouse, June

The Addams Family, CenterStage, Playhouse, July
Big Fish, St Joseph’s, Playhouse, August
Edges, GSODA Theatre Collective, Shenton, September

Best Director (Non-Musical)


Gay Bell, for her excellent casting, set and neat, no-fuss direction of Humble Boy, Torquay Theatre Troupe, Price St Theatre, November.

Also nominated:

Simon Thorne God Of Carnage,  Rep,
Judy Ellis, The Shifting Heart, Rep,
Elaine Mitchell, Midsummer Night’s Dream, TOWU.

Michael Baker, All Things Considered, TTT, May
Peter Jukes, Moving On,  Rep, July
Iris Walshe-Howling, Janine McKenzie, Re(ve)lations,  July

Greg Shawcross, Speaking In Tongues, Rep,  September

Elaine Mitchell, Kath O’Neill,  Three Sisters, TOWU,
Kelly Clifford, Rumours, Geelong Rep.

Best Director (Musical)


Darylin Ramondo, for her brilliant, practically perfect staging of Mary Poppins, Footlight Productions, January
Also nominated:
D. Posthill, S. Bradley, The Wizard Of Oz, Lyric, April

Shane Lee, High School Musical, GSODA Juniors, Playhouse, June

Christian Cavallo, The Addams Family, CenterStage, Playhouse, July
Janine McLean, Big Fish, St Joseph’s, Playhouse, August 

Adelle Gregory, Edges, GSODA Theatre Collective, Shenton, September

Hannah Petrie-Allbutt team, This Is Our Story, GSODA Juniors, Drama Theatre, November

Best Lead Actor (Non-Musical)


Scott Popovic, for his hectic non-stop, high-speed yet word-perfect central character in Rumours, for Geelong Rep, at the Woodbin, November.

Also nominated: 

Phillipe Besancon, The Shifting Heart, Geelong Rep, April
Fred Preston, All Things Considered, TTT, May
Geoff Gaskill, Moving On,  Rep, Woodbin, July

Simon Finch, Moving On,  Rep, Woodbin, July
Steven Georgiadis*, Re(ve)lations, APA,
 Michael Baker, Humble Boy, TTT .

Best Male Lead (Musical)


Chris Hughes, who was a delightfully memorable Gomez in The Addams Family, CenterStage, July.

Also nominated:
Ash Bronca*, Mary Poppins, Footlight,
Liam Erck*,  Wizard Of Oz,  Lyric, April
Jesse Simpson, Wizard Of Oz, Lyric, 

P J White,  Wizard Of Oz,  Lyric, 

Aidan O’Cleirigh, High School Musical, GSODA Juniors
Eamon Dooley, Big Fish, St Joseph’s,
Matthew Bradford, Chess, GSODA,
(* Runners Up)

Best Female Lead (Non-Mus)


Lina Libroaperto, in Re(ve)lations, APA, Anglesea. for two distinctive, totally opposite characters either side of the play’s interval. 

Also nominated:
Theresa Lewis, The Shifting Heart, Rep,  Claudia Clark, Moving On, Rep,  July

Georgia Chara, Moving On, Rep,
Julie Fryman*, Nikki Watson*, Natalie Parker*, Re(ve)lations, APA,  July,
Jocelyn Mackay,  Three Sisters, TOWU,  Terry Roseburgh, Humble Boy, TTT, Mandy Calderwood, Rumours, Rep.
(* Runners Up)

Best Female Lead (Musical)


Kate Hanley, who was not just practically - she was absolutely perfect as Mary Poppins for Footlight Productions in January
Also nominated:
Georgia Nicholls*, The Wizard Of Oz, Lyric, April;
Maddie Ilioski, High School Musical, GSODA Juniors, June; 

Narelle Bonnici*, Addams Family, CenterStage, July;
India Ney, Big Fish, St Joseph’s,  August
(* Runners Up)


Best Female Support actor (Musical)


Sam Heskett, for her memorable motherly meltdown in The Addams Family, CenterStage, July

Also nominated:

Sophie Collins, Mary Poppins, Footlight,
Matilda Hassell*, Lucy Varisco-Blackwood*, Evette Jemal*, High School Musical, GSODA Juniors, June;
Shani Clarke, The Addams Family,
Tara Dustan, Molly Athanatos, Big Fish, St Joseph’s, Playhouse, August;

Sally-Anne Cowdell, Chess, GSODA.
(* Runners Up)

Best Female Support actor (Non-Musical)


Rose Musselwhite, for her delightfully agile, athletic and coquettish ‘Puck’ in A Midsummer Night’s Dream, TOWU, May.

Also Nominated:
Melissa Musselwhite, Taliesa Cartwright, God Of Carnage, Rep. 

Lisa McGregor, All Things Considered, TTT, May

Tina Rettke, Moving On, Geelong Rep,
Catherine Crowe*, Speaking In Tongues, Rep, Woodbin, 

Stacey Carmichael*,  Three Sisters, TOWU, Ceres, October; 

Lisa Berry, Humble Boy, TTT, 

Jenn Stirk, Simone Clarke, Marja Le Hunt,  Rumours, Rep, Woodbin. 

(* Runners Up)

Best Male Support Actor (Musical)


David Mackay, for his masterful, manipulative Molotov in Chess, GSODA, Playhouse, October.
Also nominated: 

Andrew Coomber*, High School Musical, GSODA Juniors, June;
Brendan Rossbotham*, The Addams Family, CenterStage, Playhouse, July; Harry Scanlon, Big Fish, St Joseph’s, Playhouse, August

(* Runners Up)

Best Male Support Actor (Non-Musical)


Glen Barton, for two neatly portrayed, very different strong support parts in All Things Considered, (TTT) and God Of Carnage, (Geelong Rep).
Also nominated:
David Posthill, God Of Carnage; 

Dan Eastwood, The Shifting Heart, Rep; Simon Finch*, Joni Gardner*, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, TOWU,; Ben Mitchell, Moving On, Rep,  July; Thomas Reed, Neil Fletcher, Speaking In Tongues, Rep, September; 

Matt Biscombe, Greg Chadwick,  Three Sisters, TOWU, October; 

Fred Preston, Humble Boy, TTT, Price St Theatre, November; Ed Dolista, Nick Addison, Jonathan Evans, Brendan O’Hallaran, Luke Murphy, Rumours, Geelong Rep, Woodbin, November. 

Most Innovative Feature


Went to the whole Ensemble Cast of Edges, (GSODA Theatre Collective, Shenton, September) for a memorable all-singing, all-dancing word and movement perfect precision performance. (That’s just three of the ensemble, Chloe, Caitlyn and Nina, with director Adelle holding the award).

Also nominated:
Rhiannon Irving, costume design, Mary Poppins, Footlight, January

Ensemble Cast,* Mary Poppins,
Alard Pett, design, God Of Carnage, Geelong Rep, February
Graci Lynch, set design, The Shifting Heart, Geelong Rep, April
Nin Coutts-Slater, costumes, The Shifting Heart, Geelong Rep, April
Brad Treloar, MD, The Wizard Of Oz, 

Chris Anderson, effects, Wizard Of Oz,
Tony Dahl, Lisa Hunter, Grant Whiteside, Laura Robinson, Sally-Anne Cowdell, Heather Dillon, Scott Graham, Elise Dahl, Brendan Rossbotham, Zoe Emi Prem, Davina Smith, Jen Stirk, Declan Robinson* - Committee, - for staging The Wizard Of Oz, Lyric.

Elaine Mitchell, design, A Midsummer Night’s Dream, TOWU, May
Lochlan Erard/Tess Evans, choreography, High School Musical, 

Alard Pett, set design, Moving On, 

Ghost Ensemble, The Addams Family, 

Rebecca, Laura Zarb, sound & light Speaking In Tongues, Rep, Sept.

Ed Dolista, 1970s set, details, Rumours,
(* Runners Up)

Most Refreshing Newcomer


Joint winners: Wendy Greeve, Amy Curtis, both of whom were remarkably adept in lead positions in Nunsense, CenterStage, October

Also nominated:

Sarah Quirk, The Shifting Heart, Geelong Rep, April

Don Bennett, All Things Considered, TTT, May
Lochlan Erard/Tess Evans, choreography, High School Musical,
GSODA Juniors, June
Melinda Chapman, writer/actor, Re(ve)lations, APA, Anglesea Hall, July
(* Runners Up)

Virtual Oscars 2015

Best Production 2015


Best Director Virtual Oscar went to Stacey Carmichael, for her innovative staging of Rep’s Exit The King. Stacey’s choice was hardly a surprise - she was in the ‘Best Director’ frame three times this year, for three different companies. As well as Rep, she co-directed Theatre Of The Winged Unicorn’s Two Gentlemen of Verona as well as Torquay Theatre Troupe’s Away. Stacey took the award in front of last year’s winner - Footlight’s Chris Parker who almost carried off consecutive wins with his pared-back staging of Miss Saigon. And Stacey has form. She’s a two-time winner, having previously taken our ‘Best Director’ VO in 2011 for Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance.

2015 Best Director


went to Stacey Carmichael, for her innovative staging of Rep’s Exit The King. Stacey’s choice was hardly a surprise - she was in the ‘Best Director’ frame three times during the year, for three different companies. As well as Rep, she co-directed Theatre Of The Winged Unicorn’s Two Gentlemen of Verona as well as Torquay Theatre Troupe’s Away. Stacey took the award in front of last year’s winner - Footlight’s Chris Parker who almost carried off consecutive wins with his pared-back staging of Miss Saigon. And Stacey has form. She’s a two-time winner, having previously taken our ‘Best Director’ VO in 2011 for Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance.

Best Lead Male Actor


Our Best Lead Male Actor award was also taken by a multiple-nominee - 

Ben Mitchell took the award for his barnstorming performance in Exit The King that was described at the time as… ‘a high-energy, physical blockbuster performance of intensity and skill…’
But he was also in the frame for his performance in TOWU’s Two Gentlemen Of Verona, which he adapted for the stage as well as co-directed with Stacey. Ben took the top honour ahead of runners-up Andrew Lorenzo (Miss Saigon) and Simon Finch (Wuthering Heights).

Best Female Lead Actor


Our Best Female Lead Actor went to Rose Sejean for her role in Rep’s A Few Good Men, which earned high praise from our reviewer... ‘Rose Sejean carried a believably intense cerebral passion for justice throughout her role as prickly overseer turned courtroom ally....’ 

Rose took the Best Female VO  ahead of Mikaila Briggs (Miss Saigon) and Stacey Thomsett (Legally Blonde).

Best Supporting Male Actor


For the first time in our award’s seven-year history, our Best Supporting Male Actor Oscar has gone to a group of players - the male ensemble from Miss Saigon.  That’s Douglas Costello, Ryan Bentley, Jonathon Lawrence, Xavier McGettigan, Josh McGuane, Thomas McGuane, Charlie McIntyre, Greg Shawcross and Jesse Simpson. And in another, coincidental first, Xavier and Josh were runners up in the same category - but that was for their roles in A Few Good Men.  

Best Supporting Female actor


Our Best Supporting Female Actor went to Lisa Berry for her role in TTT’s A Skull In Connemara - a performance that had our reviewer purring ... ‘Lisa’s portrayal of a whiskey-loving, bingo fanatic granny was simply superb. She was so comfortable in the role that even when it became clear she had other motives she lost not a shred of credibility...’
Lisa took the VO ahead of Miss Saigon’s female ensemble and Jenn Stirk from Legally Blonde.

Most Innovative Feature


The coveted Most Innovative Feature was taken by Blink Dance Company’s Jess Lesosky and Lyndel Quick for their planning and staging of Soft Landing, their multimedia multivenue dance/theatre event based on the company’s former mill venue in Newtown. That’s company founder Lyndel on the red carpet with her two Virtual Oscars - the previous one was for the same category in 2013. Jess and Lyndel took the award ahead of Jules Hart’s set design for Lost In Yonkers and Ben Mitchell’s script adaptation of Two Gentlemen Of Verona for TOWU.

Most Refreshing Newcomer


And our final category for 2015, Most Refreshing Newcomer, was taken by Georgia Chara, for her Queen in Exit The King. Georgia played her Queen with cool, aloof knowing detachment that also put her in the frame for our Best Lead Actress VO, an astonishing place for her first stage part. Georgia took the award ahead of Dylan Mazurek and Callum Padgett from A Few Good Men.

Virtual Oscars 2014

Best Production 2014


 went to Rent from CenterStage, Geelong, which was staged in GPAC’s Drama Theatre in June. 

Our review summed up this production as.. ‘unmissable... perfectly cast, highly skilled and immaculately drilled. Their energy and emotional power was simply breathtaking. Every member acted, sang and danced with a flawless assurance that swept their audience along on wave after wave of pure enthusiasm.’
While Footlight’s My Fair Lady and Lyric’s Jesus Christ Superstar can stand proud as each could have been a worthy winner in an outstanding field of candidates.

Other nominations were: Almost, Maine, Amadeus, and The Complete Works of Shakespeare (abridged) from Geelong Repertory Theatre Company, Twelve Angry Jurors and Cosi from Torquay Theatre Troupe; Disney’s Beauty & Beast and Broadway Here I Come! from GSODA Juniors, All Shook Up from St Joseph’s & Friends; Guys & Dolls from CenterStage Junior company; and Xanadu from Geelong Theatre Collective.

Best Director 2014


went to Chris Parker, who directed Footlight Productions’ My Fair Lady
in the Playhouse Theatre in February.


Chris narrowly shaded last year’s winner, Paul Watson, for the award - Paul directed Centerstage’s Rent, with spirited challenges from Lyric’s Davina Smith Crowley for her 40th Anniversary production Jesus Christ Superstar, Liz Lester, who directed a wonderful  Broadway Here I Come!  for GSODA Juniors and Geoff Gaskill, who was nominated twice, for TTT’s Twelve Angry Jurors and Rep’s Complete Shakespeare (abridged).

Other nominated directors were:  Kelly Clifford, (Almost, Maine) and Jacqui Connor, (Amadeus) for Geelong Rep; Andrew Cook, for Disney’s Beauty & Beast, (GSODA Juniors) Janine McLean, for All Shook Up (St Josephs and Friends); Lyndel Quick, for Written On The Body (Blink) Brad Beales, for Guys & Dolls (CenterStage Jnr); Chantelle Fava for Xanadu (Geelong Theatre Collective); and Michael Baker, for Cosi, (TTT).  

Best Female Lead Actor 2014


went to Sarah Krndija for her lead role in Disney’s Beauty & Beast for GSODA Juniors at the Playhouse Theatre in June. Sarah is the only Junior player to have ever taken an individual V O prize - and it was richly deserved. Sarah showed a maturity beyond her teenaged years along with an astonishing amount of talent and beautiful singing voice in a demanding role.
Sarah narrowly shaded Lisa Hanley (My Fair Lady, Footlight) and Gina Mets (Rent, CenterStage) in this category.
Other nominations included: Janine McKenzie and Catherine Larcey (Almost, Maine, Rep); Jocelyn Mackay, (Spiders Web, TOWU); Charlotte Hukvari, (Amadeus, Rep) Madelaine Field, (Gaslight, Rep); Madi Dandy (All Shook Up, St J & F); Ariane Gavi (Xanadu, GTC); Kimberley Bone, (Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric); Sam Heskett, (Cosi, TTT); Taliesa Netta Cartwright, (Shakespeare (abridged) Rep) and Libby Tanner (Abigail’s Party, Mad as Us.)

Best Male Lead Actor 2014


In a VO awards first, this trophy was shared between two actors in the same play.  Scott Popovic and Jules Hart were each nominated as ‘Best Male Lead’ in Geelong Rep’s Amadeus, at the Woodbin in April. Scott played Salieri, while Jules was in the title role of Wolfgang Amadeus Mozart. Each was brilliant in their own way; we couldn’t separate the quality of their acting performances then - and still can’t. They’re very worthy joint winners.
This was another hotly-contested category, with the Amadeus twins narrowly taking the trophy over Jamie McGuane (My Fair Lady); Douglas Costello (Rent); Ryan Bentley (All Shook Up); and Ben Mitchell,  nominated twice, for Rep’s Gaslight and Theatre of Winged Unicorn’s Spiders Web. Other nominations included: Grant Whiteside & Bryce Baumgarten, (Lyric’s Jesus Christ Superstar); Jye Cannon, (Guys & Dolls, CenterStage Jnr); Trent Inturrisi, (Xanadu, Geelong Theatre Collective); Barry Eeles & Lachie Errey, (Cosi, Torquay Theatre Troupe); while Steve Howell & Simon Finch, (Almost, Maine) Steven Georgiadis & Phillip Besancon, (Shakespeare (abridged) and Ian Rooney (The Club) from Geelong Rep. 

Best Female Supporting Actor


went to Toni Main, Yuhui Ng-Rodriguez, Lyndal Pope, Sara Di Segna, Mikayla Thomas, Jessica Lesosky for their ensemble support in Written On The Body, for Blink Dance Theatre at the Shenton Centre in September.  This was an astonishingly disciplined performance, delivered in silence and cued with sights, sounds and music throughout. They began fully dressed, changed clothes at times and performed mostly in their nylon-petticoat underwear.
And they wordlessly brought us to a fitting - and surprising - climactic ending that left the auditorium applauding loudly...

Also nominated in this category were: Sophie Collins, (My Fair Lady, Footlight); Christine Davey, (Amadeus, Rep); Meryl Friend, (Twelve Angry Jurors, TTT); Clare Sims & Melina Bunting, (Disney’s Beauty & Beast, GSODA Juniors); Jess Barlow, (Rent, CenterStage); Rachel Glynne, Meagan Reid, Alana Babic, Elizabeth Gore, (Xanadu, GTC); Taliesa Netta Cartwright, (Shakespeare (abridged) Rep); and Lauren O’Callaghan, (Abigail’s Party, Mad as Us).

Best Supporting Male Actor


was awarded to Dan Eastwood & Brendan Rossbotham for their parts as priests Caiaphas and Annas in Lyric’s Jesus Christ Superstar, in the Playhouse Theatre, October. 

In this unusually dressed JCS, the black-clad priests presented a glowering, threatening presence and unusual blend of voices.

This pair narrowly shaded out a trio from CenterStage’s Rent in Matt Skinner, Jaye Thomas Nelson and Josh McGuane, and a quartet from Footlight’s My Fair Lady, in Howard Dandy, Lachlan Turner, Robert Tripolino and Tony Wasley.
Also nominated in this category were: Scott Beaton, and Rodney Hunter (Amadeus, Geelong Rep); Tony Wasley (this time for Lyric’s Annie); Michael Baker and Glen Barton, (Twelve Angry Jurors, TTT); Lochlan Erard and  Jye Cannon, (Beauty & Beast, GSODA Jun); Jesse Bickerton, (The Club, Rep); Connor Sheedy and Tom Vlamis, (Guys & Dolls, CenterStage Jnr); Tyler Stevens, Callum Smith, Damian Caruso (Xanadu, GTC); Simon Finch, (A Woman In White, TOWU) and Fred Preston and Glen Barton, (Cosi, TTT)

Most Innovative Feature 2014


went to Emma Jones Zoe Maree Hudgell  for Lyric’s Jesus Christ Superstar, Playhouse Theatre, October

Emma was nominated for her distinctive wardrobe and production design (with Davina Smith Crowley, Steve Howell and Ben Crowley) alongside Zoe, whose crisp choreography helped make Geelong Lyric’s 40th Anniversary production so memorable.  Others nominated included:  John Shawcross, Tania Spence, Michael Ralph, Andrew Bellchambers, Marcello Lo Ricco, and Ferri Bond, (My Fair Lady, Footlight); Stuart & Ingrid Pett, and Ferri Bond, (Spiders Web, TOWU); Jacqui Connor & Gordon diploma students, (Amadeus, Geelong Rep); Children’s chorus, (Annie, Lyric); Vanessa Paech, Paul Watson, Brad Treloar, Brad Alcock (Rent, CenterStage);  Alard, Stuart, Ingrid Pett & Winston Barnett, (Gaslight, Rep); Michael Wilding, John Shawcross, Tania Spence, (All Shook Up, St Joeys & Friends) Winston Barnett, (The Club, Rep) Kate Kelly, Melinda Chapman (Written On The Body, Blink) Wally Eastland, D & K Greenwood, (Guys & Dolls, CS Jnr) Amelia McBride Baker (Woman In White, TOWU) Ben Crowley Jacqui Robins, Michele Domonkos, Ben Anderson/Dan Zampatti, (Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric); Nikki Leneghan, Meagan Reid, Alana Babic, Damian Caruso, (Broadway Here I Come!, GSODA Jun); Dani Basilotta, Katrina Eadie, (Abigail’s Party, Mad as Us.)

Most Refreshing Newcomer


was awarded to Joanne Taylor 

for her role in Shakespeare (abridged) for Geelong Rep at the Woodbin Theatre in November

This was an astonishing stage debut - a lead role in Rep’s fast-paced all-on-stage comedy with a demanding director. Our Bardly-phrased review stated..'Mistresses Taliesa Netta Cartwright and Joanne Taylor, the former of many mustachiod aplomb, the latter a bewigged amputated puppeteer of merit did thoroughly match the extravagant skills of ye lavishly talented under-codpieced Master Steven Georgiadis and swift-acting master of some acting reluctance but much considered grimacing, Phillip Besancon...'

So be it. 

Also nominated in this category were...
Graci Lynch, (Amadeus, Rep); Elyssa Jeffries, (Annie, Lyric);

Anita Rezarra, (Twelve Angry Jurors, TTT); Ernie Rijs (The Club, Rep) and Nicole Mann, Michael Blay, (Jesus Christ Superstar, Lyric.)

Virtual Oscars 2013

Best Theatre Production 2013


went to Parcel Productions' Avenue Q. This big, happy people-and-puppet musical was described as ‘an astonishing piece of theatre’ in our 2013 no-nonsense review. It was.. ‘clever in its concept, amazing in its simplicity, thoughtful in its writing and breathtaking in its interpretation’.
To win our top prize, Avenue Q had some really tough competition.
In the Best Production category for our Virtual Oscars, the full nominations were: The Wedding Singer, from CenterStage; Les Miserables, from Footlight Productions; Heroes, from Geelong Rep; Company, from Geelong Lyric & Rep; The Full Monty, from GSODA; The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, from Geelong Rep; The Red Tree, from Blink Dance Co; Jane Austin’s Emma, from TOWU; The Rain & Other Plays, from Anglesea Performing Arts; The Phantom Of The Opera, from Geelong Lyric; The Foreigner, from Torquay Theatre Troupe; An Ideal Husband, from Theatre of the Winged Unicorn and Once Upon A Mattress, from GSODA Juniors. 

Best Director 2013


Our  Best Director VO was, if anything, an even tighter contest than the ‘Best Production’, with Paul Watson, director of CenterStage’s The Wedding Singer edging in front of a strong field to take the big prize.  Paul’s Wedding Singer was described in our review as ‘a theatrical delight, a show that had excellence throughout - visually, aurally, intellectually and theatrically’.
And that was enough to overtake an exceptionally strong field  of talented directors including: Daniel Hesketh, (Avenue Q, Parcell); Chris Parker (Les Mis, Footlight); Michael Baker (Breaker Morant, TTT); Iris Walshe-Howling & Janine McKenzie (The Rain & Other Plays, Anglesea Performing Arts); Jules Hart (Heroes, Geelong Rep); Sadat-Jon Hussain, (Once Upon A Mattress GSODA Juniors); Davina Smith Crowley, (Company, Lyric & Rep); Debbie Fraser (The Full Monty, GSODA); Stacey Carmichael (The Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, Rep); Lyndel Quick, (The Red Tree, Blink Dance Co); Gay Bell, (The Foreigner, TTT);  Amelia McBride Baker & Elaine Mitchell, (An Ideal Husband, TOWU) and Liz Lester & Ken Hemmens, (Snow White, Medimime).

Best Male Lead Actor


 another difficult decision  that finally came down to a cumulative award. Our 2013 Best Actor was Shane Lee, who was in our frame twice, for outstanding performances in two very different productions. Firstly he excelled as the intense title lead in Torquay Theatre Troupe’s Breaker Morant, then, just three months later, he was outstanding again as the cheeky, emotionally immature Jerry Ludowski in GSODA’s Senior Company’s The Full Monty

Accepting his award, Shane said he was “truly honoured” to be chosen. “You’ve made my week,” he said. “No, more than that. You’ve made my year!”
Also nominated for Geelong’s best male lead actor in 2013 were; Brad Beales (Les Mis, Footlight); Tony Wasley (Emma, TOWU);
Aaron Krivan (King & I, Lyric); Philip Besancon (The Rain & Other Plays, APA); Bryan Eaton, Alan Hossack & Robert Trott (Heroes, Geelong Rep); Jules Hart (Company, Geelong Rep); Matt Skinner (The Wedding Singer, CenterStage); Michael Baker (The Foreigner, TTT); Nathan McCarron (Avenue Q, Parcell Prods); Alard Pett and Tony Wasley, (An Ideal Husband, TOWU).

Best Female Lead Actor


A familiar face has taken our Best Female Lead Actor Virtual Oscar. Narelle Young-Bonnici won her second virtual statuette for her performance as Kate Monster and Lucy The Slut in Parcell Productions Avenue Q. Narelle, along with all her Avenue Q colleagues, set the bar extremely high in that she was required not only to act, dance and sing, which she did brilliantly, but also to simultaneously manipulate her alter-ego puppet - and sometimes ‘voice’ other characters as well - and all at a madcap comedy pace.
“It was tough, but oh so enjoyable,” she said.
And if Narelle’s face seems familiar, she took our ‘Best Director’ Virtual Oscar in 2010 - with her sister and co-director Sam Heskett - for another Parcell Production You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown.
Narelle won her Virtual Oscar ahead of a top-quality field of nominees including: Kethly Hemsworth (Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, Rep) Jess Barlow (Wedding Singer, CenterStage) Iris Walshe-Howling, (The Rain & OPs, APA) Georgia Van Etten, (Phantom Of The Opera, Lyric) Hannah Verspaandonk (Emma, TOWU) Alicia Gili (King & I, Lyric) Jenna Irwin (The Full Monty, GSODA) Miriam Wood (Ideal Husband, TOWU) and Paula Kontelj (Miss Bosnia, Rep).

Best Male Support


Our Best Support Male Actor Virtual Oscar was another that was swept up by the highly successful Parcel Production Avenue Q team. Tim Maloney carried his porn-loving monster puppet Trekkie (when he wasn’t working Nicky, a totally different character) while singing, dancing - and raising much of the show’s laughter. Tim brought Trekkie along to the awards night, too. “I don’t take him everywhere,” he said. “But I happened to know where he lives, and pulled a few strings to get him...”
In 2014, Tim will take the director’s chair for the Altona Theatre Company - which has to be a lot easier than his Avenue Q stint.
He took our prize ahead of another high-quality field including two colleagues from Avenue Q. The full field of nominations was: 

Dan Eastwood & Xavier McGettigan, (Avenue Q); Jaye Thomas-Nelson, Josh McGuane & William Reed (Wedding Singer, CenterStage); Jamie McGuane & Zoy Frangos (Les Mis, Footlight) Bruce Woodley & Alard Pett (Emma, TOWU)
Sadat-Jon Hussain (The Full Monty, GSODA) Ben Mitchell (Prime Of Miss Jean Brodie, Rep) Brendan Rossbotham (Phantom Of The Opera, Lyric) and Glen Barton (Breaker Morant and The Foreigner, TTT).

Best Female Support


That’s Nadia Gianinotti, above, holding tight her Best Supporting Female Actor Virtual Oscar awarded for her performance as Linda in CenterStage’s The Wedding Singer. Nadia made her scene-stealing Linda ‘gorgeously sassy’ according to our review. And she was equally eyecatching on our Virtual rostrum. Accepting her statuette, Nadia said she was  “really honoured” to have taken the Oscar, “Which, although Virtual, will surely look great on my CV...”
Nadia took her award ahead of a large, strong field of candidates including two other nominees from her Wedding Singer musical and four from Avenue Q. The full nomination list was:  
Samantha Hesketh, Marita Park & Sarah Payne, (Avenue Q, Parcell Prods); Melanie Ott, Laura Hollingsworth, (Wedding Singer, CenterStage); Rose Sejean & Stacey-Louise Camilleri (Les Mis, Footlight); Stacey Carmichael & Miriam Wood (Emma, TOWU);  Janine McKenzie, & Rose Musselwhite (The Rain & OPs, APA); Davina Smith Crowley & Ashleigh Watson (Phantom Of The Opera, Lyric) and Nicole Hickman (The Full Monty, GSODA). 

Most Innovative theatrical


In perhaps our most-difficult-to-win section, Jules Hart has taken another Virtual Oscar - he already has one - for Geelong Theatre’s Most Innovative Feature 2013.  To win his 2013 Virtual Oscar, Jules was up against Geelong’s best lighting, set, production and music designers; costumiers and wardrobe wizards, vocal, media and music directors, and even Daniel Hesketh, who did just about all of the above in Parcell’s Avenue Q. But in the final reckoning, Jules’ pitch-perfect combination of startling set design and flowing choreography for Rep/Lyric’s Company - in which he also starred - was enough for Jules to edge past Daniel and take the big prize.  

 The full list of 2013 Most Innovative Feature nominations was: Daniel Hesketh, director/musical director, Avenue Q, Andrew Bellchambers, set design, Les Mis. Shane Haugh, lighting design, Les Mis. Anne Peterson-Commons, (choreography) d  Stuart, Alard, Ingrid Pett, (set design)  and Judith Bracewell & Jocelyn Mackay, (wardrobe) for Emma. Xavier McGettigan, choreographer, Once Upon A Mattress.
Tania Spence, vocal direction, Company.  Kate Zampatti, (MD)  Vanessa Paech, (choreography) Brad Alcock, (lighting design)  P. Watson, K. Greenwood,( set design)  Pauline Greenwood (costume design) all for The Wedding Singer. Alard Pett, production design, Miss Jean Brodie. Melinda Chapman, media design, The Red Tree.
Nikki Lenaghan, choreography, Snow White & Seven Dwarfs.

Most Refreshing Newcomer


For the first time, a company has taken our Virtual Oscar for Most Refreshing Newcomer. the mint-new Blink Dance Company presented its inaugural production The Red Tree at the Shenton Centre in October this year. Nominally a dance work, the production was described as ‘a show that was wordless, yet beautifully eloquent’ in our review. It filled the theatre for its short run.
  Accepting our award, Blink’s founder/director Lyndel Quick said that The Red Tree’s success had meant her company had a definite future. “And we’re in the planning stages for another new production next year...” 

The Blink award came from another strong field that included:
 Jessica Leaming (Miss Bosnia, Rep); Lachlan Vivian-Taylor & Declan Hodge (Breaker Morant, TTT); Kelly Sismaet (King & I, Lyric); Alan Hossack, (Heroes, Rep); Harry Butcher (Full Monty, GSODA); Ivana Hudjec (The Foreigner, TTT); Lauren Martella (Snow White, Medimime) and the entire cast of Once Upon A Mattress from GSODA Juniors. 

Virtual Oscars 2012

Best Theatre Production 2012


This year the field was virtually swept by Geelong Rep’s first play for the year, The 39 Steps. Back in February this production received the ultimate of accolades - critical and public acclaim with four extra shows, each selling out within hours of their announcement. The fast-paced and tightly choreographed comedy version of John Buchan’s post-war spy thriller was described at the ceremony as “just about the perfect storm of a play, when everything fell into place perfectly” by lead actor Ed Dolista. The 39 Steps hit our awards panel like a perfect storm, too, taking no less than four Virtual Oscars - one a double header - including the big one - pastedGraphic.pdfGeelong’s Best Production for 2012.
And the play had some tough competition. In the Best Production category for our Oscars, the nominations were: Cats, from Footlight Productions; The 39 Steps, Geelong Rep; Hairspray, Geelong Lyric; Rabbit Hole, TTT; Our Town, Geelong Rep; Hayfever, Theatre Of Winged Unicorn; 13 The Musical, CenterStage; and The Lady In The Van from Geelong Rep

Best Director 2012


In our Best Director category, Elaine Mitchell took the prize from a strong field of ten candidates. Elaine had the rare distinction of being nominated twice in the same category, for directing Footlight’s Cats pastedGraphic.pdfand co-directing, with Heather Dempsey, ToWU’s Hayfever. On the award night, Elaine thanked her family for its ‘total and ongoing support throughout the year.’ She singled out for special thanks her husband Dennis, who accompanied her to the glittering event.
The full list of 2012 Best Director VO nominations was: 

Elaine Mitchell, for Cats, from Footlight; Kelly Clifford, 39 Steps, Rep; Tony Wasley, Hairspray, Lyric; Gay Bell, Rabbit Hole, TTT; Cherie Mills, Romeo & Juliet, Geelong Rep; Shaun Kingma, Singin’ In The Rain, CenterStage; Judy Ellis, Our Town, Rep; Elaine Mitchell & Heather Dempsey, Hayfever ToWU; Scott Bradley, 13 The Musical CenterStage and Geoff Gaskill, The Lady In The Van, Geelong Rep.

Best Male Lead Actor


The 39 Steps took out our Best Male Lead Actor award, too, with Ed Dolista picking up the play’s second statuette. He faced stiff competition from eight rival actors from seven different productions - all deemed worthy of Geelong’s top male acting prize. The full list of nominations was: Ed Dolista, 39 Steps; David Ward, Hairspray; Michael Baker, Rabbit Hole; Connor Rawson, Parade; Chaise Rossiello, Singin’ In The Rain; Alard Pett, Our Town; Karl Senftleben, 13 The Musical and Mike Ellis, Tony Wright for The Lady In The Van.  On the virtual podium at the glittering ceremony, Ed praised the team involved. “It was just such a wonderful production to be a part of,” he said. “We all loved every minute.”

Best Female Lead Actor


Competition for our Best Female Lead Actor was just as tight, with another eight worthy contenders. In the event, the award went to Claudia Clark for her outstanding portrayal as Miss Shepherd in Geelong Rep’s The Lady In The Van. Accepting her Oscar, Claudia said she was “delighted to be so honoured”. She credited the part as a wonderfully rounded part to play... “but challenging to portray such an older woman.” The full nomination list was: Cassia Webster, 39 Steps; Charlotte Kavanagh, Hairspray; Lisa Berry, Rabbit Hole; Nadia Gianotti, Singin’ In The Rain; Sue Broberg, Our Town; Stacey Carmichael, Our Town and Casey Reid, 13 The Musical.

Best Male Support Actor


Our Best Supporting Male Actor award was split between two players for the first time. Unsurprisingly, they both were part of our top production for the year, Rep’s The 39 Steps.  The performances of Lachy Joyce and Jules Hart, individually and in tandem, took scores of different parts flawlessly.  Lachy and Jules were inseparable then - and our judging panel couldn’t find a way to separate them, either. So they’re joint winners.  Lachy was in the ‘best support actor’ frame twice - The 39 Steps as well as for his part in Hairspray. The full list of nominations were: Max Corstorphan, Cats; Lachy Joyce, Hairspray; Chris Davey, Romeo & Juliet; Scott Beaton, Romeo & Juliet; and Ryan Quinn, 13 The Musical.

Best Female Support Actor


The award for our Best Supporting Female Actor was unusual, too, in that it was picked up by Madelaine Field for the second time. Maddie had won 2010 Best Supporting Female Actor for her part as the comically spiteful Helen McCormick in Geelong Rep’s The Cripple of Innesmaan. This year she took the same award, but for a very different role and for a different company. Maddie played the dizzy, naive and slightly bemused Jackie Coryton in Theatre Of the Winged Unicorn’s October production of Noel Coward’s  Hayfever . The full list of nominations were: Petice Malviste, Hairspray; Janine McKenzie, Romeo & Juliet; Amy Larsen, Singin’ In The Rain; Madelaine Field, Hayfever; Cassidy Chappell, 13 The Musical; and Sheriday Adams for  13 The Musical.

Most Innovative Feature


for our innovative feature award,  the panel’s choice was unanimous. It went to Alard Pett for his amazing set design for TOWU’s Murder On The Nile. For the production, Alard turned the tiny Ceres Temperance Hall stage into a convincing cruise ship.  Alard was  nominated more than once - he was part of the design team for Hairspray’s innovative set, and he may have picked up another VO - he was also nominated for Best Actor in Rep’s Our Town. The full list of Innovation nominations was: Jordan Punsalang, choreography, Cats; Andrew Bellchambers, set  design, Cats; Ed Dolista, set design, 39 Steps; Dom Roussety, choreography, Hairspray; Tony Wasley, Alard Pett, Kai Mann-Robertson, set design, Hairspray; Brianna Walshe & Emma Jones, costume design, Hairspray;  Ian Parsons, sound selection/design, Romeo & Juliet; Shaun Kingma, set design, Singin’ In The Rain; Camden Tilley, music, Our Town; Stuart Pett, set design, Hayfever; Zoe Hudgell, choreography, 13 The Musical; Geoff Gaskill, set design The Lady In The Van.

Most Refreshing Newcomer


And finally the award for our Most Refreshing Newcomer repeated the trends that had gone before. The winner was part of Rep’s all-conquering The 39 Steps - and she had also been nominated for more than one award. It went to delightful, young Cassia Webster, who made her debut on Geelong’s stage with Rep’s first production of the year - and found herself with dual nominations as ‘best lead actress’ as well as ‘best newcomer’. Cassia said she was “so thrilled” to pick up the VO and at the big occasion she was as overwhelmed as the picture shows. The full list of nominations was: Cassia Webster, 39 Steps; Emmanuel Sumo, Hairspray; Marstina Garley, Hairspray; Lachlan Errey, Rabbit Hole; Mark Elshout, Singin’ In The Rain;
and Olivia Lewis, 13 The Musical.

Virtual Oscars 2011

Best Theatre Production 2011


went to Parcell Productions stunningly powerful musical drama Spring Awakening which was described at the time by reviewer Colin Mockett as ‘practically flawless on all fronts, with outstanding acting, movement and musical skills’. 

It won from an extremely strong and rich field.   The nominations were...  The Shoehorn Sonata, from Geelong Rep in February; Sweet Charity from Footlight Productions also in February; I Do Not Like Thee Dr Fell from Geelong Rep in April; Fiddler On The Roof from Geelong Lyric in June; Game On a brand new Geelong-written musical from GSODA Juniors also in June and The Pirates Of Penzance from Geelong Lyric in October. 

Best Director 2011


Stacey Carmichael, for her refreshing, vital and joyful treatment of Gilbert & Sullivan’s classic Victorian operetta Pirates Of Penzance for the Geelong Lyric Theatre Society in October.
Also nominated:
Geoff Gaskill, for his direction of Rep’s Shoehorn Sonata; Colin Urquhart, for Rep’s I Do Not Like Thee Dr Fell;  Michael Baker, for Torquay Theatre Troupe’s The American Dream, Davina Smith-Crowley, for Lyric’s Fiddler On The Roof; Travis Eccles, for Rep’s Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde; Sadat-Jon Hussain, for GSODA Juniors’ Game On; Scott Bradley & David Postill, for Parcell Productions Spring Awakening; Stacey Carmichael, for Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance and Cherie Mills for Brown Fairthorne’s Making Waves.


Best Female Lead Actor


was for the first time split between two actors. Jacqui Connor and Carleen Thoernberg for their parts in Geelong Rep’s compelling drama Shoehorn Sonata.  Jacqui and Carleen’s sensitive, moving performances as modern senior women recalling their shared survival as Japanese prisoners of war. 

Also nominated were:

Cara Oliver, for Footlight’s Sweet Charity; Charlotte Hukvari, for Rep’s I Do Not Like Thee Dr Fell; Reyna Hudgell, for Lyric’s Fiddler On The Roof; Lauren O’Callaghan, for Rep’s Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde; Chanelle Tait, for GSODA Juniors’ Game On; Michaela Powell, for PP’s Spring Awakening; Georgia Van Etten, for Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance; Tina Rettke, Claudia Clark, for Brown Fairthorne’s Making Waves.

Best Male Lead Actor 2011


was...David Ward - for two superb - and very different - performances in 2011, first as the lightweight, quirky beau of Cara Oliver’s Charity in Footlight’s Sweet Charity, then as the brooding, intense pivotal character Melchoir in Parcell’s Spring Awakening.

Also nominated were:Morgan Jenkins for Rep’s Dr Fell; Previous VO winner Bryan Eaton for Forget-Me-Not’s Daisy; Howard Dandy for his Tevye in Lyric’s Fiddler On The Roof; Steven Georgiadis, for Rep’s Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde as well as Doubt - A Parable; Jamie McGuane for his rollicking Pirate King in Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance; Michael Baker, for TT’s Death By Fatal Murder; Ryan Letizia, for his  Don Claude Devious and Ian Rooney, for his multiple parts in B F’s Making Waves.

Best Female Support Actor


was awarded to.. Terri Powell for her multiple adult roles in Parcell Productions’ Spring Awakening. On the podium, Terri said she was “just overjoyed” at her trophy “I’d been nominated several times before, but this is my first award,” she added.” And then it turned out to be a virtual one...” 

Also nominated:
Nicole Hickman and Tara Vagg, both from QTC’s The King & I;
Kelsey Dunlop, from GSODA Juniors’ Game On

 Davina Smith Crowley, for Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance and 

Lisa Berry from Torquay Theatre Troupe’s Death By Fatal Murder.

Best Male Support Actor


went to  Tom Reed for his portrayal as a tormented adolescent in Parcell Production’s all-conquering Spring Awakening.
Also nominated were: 

Makoto Watanabe and Ryan Parker, for Geelong Rep’s Shoehorn Sonata; Andrew Kelly, for Rep’s I Do Not Like Thee Dr Fell

 Alard Pett,  for Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance and

 David Posthill for Brown Fairthorne’s Making Waves.

Most Innovative Feature 2011


went to Xavier McGettigan for his choreography for GSODA Juniors’ Game On. Our review  wrote that 'Xavier’s bold, vital and energetic choreography was a cornerstone of the show’s happy format'. 

also nominated:
David Fox, for his audio design, and Louisa La Fornara & Peter Jukes, for their set painting for Geelong Rep’s Shoehorn Sonata; Jordan Punsalang for his choreography for Footlight’s Sweet Charity; Justine Bratanavicius for his ‘Small House Ballet’ for QTC’s King & I; Dean Taylor for his lighting design for Lyric’s Fiddler On The Roof; Gary Crameri and Richard Critchlow for their clever set construction & laboratory bench for Rep’s Dr Jeckyll & Mr Hyde;  Mitchell Turek for his choreography for PP’s Spring Awakening; Stacey Carmichael for her choreography for Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance; The happy Pirate Chorus at Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance; and Janet Brown & Sandy Fairthorne writers of Brown Fairthorne’s Making Waves.

Most Refreshing Newcomer


went to..
Ryan Letizia writer and performer of a brand new rock opera Don Claud Devious. Reviewer Adrian Sherlock described  Ryan’s voice as “amazing... spellbinding”... 

Also nominated were:

Madelyne Cook, Laura Bentley and Makoto Watanabe, actors in Geelong Rep’s Shoehorn Sonata; William Reed, actor in QTC’s King & I; Terry Mervin, writer of Forget-Me-Not’s moving play Daisy; the new musical from Jon Stephens and Gary Wong Game On, as well as the Airheads and St Judes Gangs - both dance teams in Game On; Stacey-Louise Camilleri for her music and vocal direction in Parcell Production’s Spring Awakening; actor Anna Ellis from Geelong Rep’s Doubt - A Parable; and actor Will Reed, from Lyric’s Pirates Of Penzance.

Virtual Oscars 2010

Best Production 2010


went to West Side Story

directed by Martin Croft for Footlight Productions Playhouse Theatre, February, 2010.

Also nominated in this section: 

Geelong Rep's The Cripple Of Innesmaan

Geelong Rep's The Woman In Black

Parcell Productions' You're A Good Man Charlie Brown 

Lyric Theatre’s The Sound Of Music

Best Director 2010


went to Sam Symons and Narelle Bonnici  for You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown, from Parcell Productions.

Also nominated were:

Martin Croft (Footlight's West Side Story)

Elaine Mitchell & Heather Dempsey (TOWU Confusions)

Kelly Clifford (Rep's The Woman In Black)

Michael Baker (TTT’s God Willing)

Glenda Maddison (Rep’s Allo Allo)

Best Lead Male Actor


went to Bryan Eaton  for his portrayal as Johnnypateenmike in Rep's The Cripple Of Innesmaan -  (while he was also in Rep’s The Woman In Black and PP’s A Month Of Sundays)
Also nominated:
Ubaldino Mantelli (Rep's Cripple Of Innesmaan & The Woman In Black)
Scott Beaton (Lyric's Spamalott; Rep’s Allo Allo) Steven Georgiadis (Rep's View From The Bridge) Michael Baker (TTT's The Scottish Play) Patt Ryan (Parcell’s You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown) Fred Preston (TTT’s Altered Egos) Mark Arnold (Medimime’s Queen Of Hearts) 

Best Female Lead Actor


awarded to Jocelyn Mackay for her Maria in Lyric's The Sound Of Music.

Also nominated:

Cherie Mills (Rep's View From The Bridge)
Miriam Wood (TOWU Confusions)
Michaela Powell (Parcell’s Charlie Brown) Rhiannon Hodgkinson (TTT’s God Willing) Mary Steuten (Rep's Allo Allo) and Liz Lester (Medimime’s Queen of Hearts).

Best Male Support Actor


Jared Smith for Linus in Parcel's You’re A Good Man, Charlie Brown  (and Sir Robin in Lyric's Spamalot)
Also nominated:
Morgan Jenkins (Rep's Cripple of Innesmaan)
Ubaldino Mantelli (Rep's View From The Bridge)
Phil Kelly (Lyric's Spamalot)
Julian Hart, Lyndon Watts (Parcell’s Charlie Brown)
Steven Georgiadis (Rep's Allo Allo)

Best Female Support Actor


went to Madelaine Field  for Helen McCormick in Rep's The Cripple of Innesmaan. 

Also nominated: 

Mary Steuten (Rep's Cripple of Innesmaan)

Narelle Bonnici (Lyric's Spamalot)

Cherie Mills (Parcell’s Charlie Brown)

Terri Powell (Lyric’s Sound Of Music

Davina Smith Crowley (Lyric’s Sound Of Music

Lisa Berry (TTT’s God Willing)

Most Refreshing Newcomer


went to Michael Wilding for his immaculate musical direction to Lyric's  The Sound Of Music.

Also nominated in this section: 

Felicia Frangapane (Rep's View From The Bridge)

Lyndon Watts (Parcell’s Charlie Brown)

Laura Simko (GSODA Juniors Bright Lights)

Ben McNaughton (GSODA Juniors Bright Lights)

Camden Tilley (Rep’s Allo Allo)

Most Innovative Feature


went to sisters Sam Symons and Narelle Bonnici for their set & choreography for  Parcell's You're A Good Man, Charlie Brown.

Also nominated: Elaine Mitchell, Heather Dempsey (TOWU’s Confusion's stark white set) Iris Walshe-Howling and Kirstin Honey (APA’s Medea Project's Greek Chorus) Sally Smith & Ed Dolista (costumes & special effects for Woman In Black)  and Janet Brown (for her script adaptation, Le Jardin De Ma Mere)

Virtual Oscars 2009

Best Production 2009


went to Footlight's The Boy From Oz, in a segment that the judges noted was hotly contested with more than a dozen productions worthy finalists. But The Boy From Oz, which was directed by Martin Croft and staged in the Ford Theatre in February was praised for its "faultless casting and professional gloss."
Judged runner-up in this category was Season's Greetings directed by Scott Beaton for Geelong Rep, staged in the Woodbin Theatre in November.

Best Director 2009


award went to Anglesea Performing Arts' Iris Walshe-Howling for her innovative productions All Souls and Self Accusation.  Iris said that much credit was due to her All Souls co-director Janine McKenzie, adding that "It's truly a great honour to be judged the best by your peers." Our judges commended Iris for "bringing an edgy, ultra-professional gloss to the region's theatre scene."
Runner-up in this highly-contested category was Scott Beaton for Geelong Rep's Season's Greetings.

Best Female Lead Actor 2009


was Mary Steuten for her impressive one-woman virtuoso part, sparring and shadow-boxing in Dario Fo's The Same Old Story directed by Carole Mallett at Drysdale's Potato Shed. The Judges described her performance as 'breathtaking in its range and depth' while Mary said she was "thrilled and honoured to receive the recognition." She praised director Carole as "inspirational, and dedicated to presenting the play in its best possible way." The runner-up was Lauren O'Callaghan for her part in Rep's Season's Greetings.

Best Male Lead Actor


was Tony Wasley  for his portrayals in the lead roles of Dracula (Geelong Rep) and as Peter Allen in Footlight Productions' The Boy From Oz. Accepting his virtual statuette, Tony said he was "delighted to be honoured with the inaugural award," adding that "Geelong has needed something like this for decades. So I'm first delighted that they are now taking place - and to actually receive one makes it doubly special." Runner-up in the category was Geoff Gaskill, for his dual role in Geelong Rep's Shakespearian compilation comedy The Popular Mechanicals.

Best Female Support Actor


was awarded to delightful Rebecca Bennett for her role as a beautifully tuned-out assistant to puppeteer Barry Eeles in Geelong Rep's memorable Season's Greetings. Rebecca said she was "thrilled, delighted, flattered and privileged" to receive the award, heaping praise on the play's cast and crew. "It was such fun to do," she said. "We were celebrating Christmas from about August." Runner-up in this section went to another Geelong Rep player, Tina Rettke for her part as Robin Starveling in The Popular Mechanicals.

Best Male Support Actor


went to Fred Preston for his part as the butler Sebastien in Torquay Theatre Troupe's Nude With Violin. Fred said he was "Surprised, flattered and so pleased" to take the award. He has no stage parts in the immediate future, "I'm planning an overseas trip," he said. "But I'll certainly be looking for parts in the second half of the year."
Runner up in this section went to Neil Fletcher for his part as a poker-machine addict in The House Always Loses directed by Kelly Clifford for Geelong Rep in May.

Most Innovative Feature


In an impressive debut, first-time Rep director Scott Beaton took two awards, first for Geelong Theatre's Most Innovative Feature for his novel touches in Season's Greetings. These ranged from foyer scene-setting to his leggy, vamp-Santa 'Greetettes' who sang sexy Christmas songs during scene changes. Runner-up in this section was another Rep director, Colin Urquhart for his decision to shift the original Dracula into the Nazi-influenced 1930s.
But then Scott also took Geelong Theatre's Most Refreshing Newcomer award, for all the above reasons, edging out Heather Dempsey who was both assistant director and late-replacement actor in Theatre Of Winged Unicorn's The Hollow.
When handed his dual Virtual Oscars, Scott described the feeling as "overwhelming. We had such a good time with that play," he said. "And now this... I'd like to spread the awards around to all the cast and crew of Season's Greetings - everybody involved made it such a delightful experience."

All the 2009 nominations

The full list of nominations for Geelong's 2009 Virtual Oscars were:

Best Production:
The Boy From Oz (Footlight Productions)
Private Lives (Theatre of Winged Unicorn)
Dracula (Geelong Rep)
Season's Greetings (Geelong Rep)

 Best Director:
Colin Urquhart (Dracula)
Iris Walshe-Howling (All Souls)
Elaine Mitchell (Private Lives)
Scott Beaton (Season's Greetings)

 Best Male Lead Actor
Tony Wasley (Dracula, Boy From Oz)
Geoff Gaskill (Popular Mechanicals)
Ubaldino Mantelli (Gross Indecency)
Steven Georgiardis (Private Lives, Pop Mechanicals)

 Best Female Lead Actor
Jocelyn Mackay (Private Lives)
Ashleigh Watson (Shout!)
Mary Steuten (The Same Old Story)
Lauren O'Callaghan (Season's Greetings)

 Best Supporting Male Actor
Bryan Eaton (Dracula)
Fred Preston (Nude With Violin)
Philip Besancon (All Souls)
Neil Fletcher (Write Stuff, The House Always Loses)


Best Supporting Female Actor  Rebecca Bennett (Season's Greetings)   Tina Rettke (Popular Mechanicals)   Debbie Fraser (Popular Mechanicals)   Davina Smith-Crowley (The Hollow)

Most Innovative Feature  Colin Urquhart (dir. Dracula - shifting to 1930s)   Scott Beaton (dir. Season's Greetings Greetettes etc)   Travis Eccles (dir. Gross Indecency- journo chorus)   Kirstin Honey (music, All Souls)

Most Refreshing Newcomer  Scott Beaton (dir. Season's Greetings)   Kerrie Reynolds (Let Me In)  Travis Eccles (dir. Gross Indecency)  Heather Dempsey (The Hollow)