Newcastle stage glory up for grabs

The cast for the musical Spring Awakening.
The cast for the musical Spring Awakening.

PANTSEAT Productions has led nominations for a single stage act for  the second successive year  at this year’s City of Newcastle Drama Awards.

More than 40 plays, produced between 19 theatre groups, will battle it out next month for top honours in 22 professional, non-professional, and open categories.

Into the Woods, Pantseat Productions’ show featuring fairy tale characters, has 12  nominations. 

The Hunter Drama School’s musical about teenagers entering puberty, Spring Awakening, follows with 10 nominations.

Judges Michelle Gosper, Sue Leask, Ken Longworth and Pamela Whalan said the large number of nominations showed the quality of work being done by professional and community production companies.

Civic Theatre will host the awards, known as the CONDAs, on Friday, December 7.

Five actors and actresses, aged between 9 and 20, will also receive Newcastle Youth Theatre Development Grants aimed at assisting young people in improving and expanding theatre skills.

The show opens at 7.30pm and is open to the public with tickets selling at $16.

Tickets can be bought by calling 49291977, emailing, or visiting the Civic Theatre box office.

The price includes a souvenir program featuring artwork from Newcastle Herald cartoonist Peter Lewis on the cover.


Best Production: Breathing Corpses, Stooged Theatre; The Pillowman, Stooged Theatre; The Return, Stooged Theatre; Sense and Sensibility: a play, Blank Page Theatre; The Vagina Monologues, The Popular Theatre Company.

Actor: Matt Abell-King, The Return; Rod Ansell, Spring Awakening (Hunter Region Drama School); Timothy Blundell, The Elephant Man (Adenau and 5 Minute Call Productions); Carl Caulfield, The Pillowman; Mitchell Cox, The Return; Fingers de Main, Inside the Mind of Edward Tulip (Circus Avalon); Philip McGrath, Sense and Sensibility: a play; Tim O’Donnell, Thom Pain (based on nothing) (Stooged Theatre); Dez Robertson, Breathing Corpses; Daniel Stoddart, The Pillowman; Glen Waterhouse, The Pillowman; Joshua Yager, Breathing Corpses; Carl Young, The Pillowman.

Actress: Anne-Maree Adams, The Vagina Monologues (The Popular Theatre Company); Michelle Burnitt, The Return; Jan Hunt, Sense and Sensibility: a play; Rachel Jackett, The Vagina Monologues; Giverny Lewis, Breathing Corpses; Linden Mullard, The Vagina Monologues; Fiona Mundie, Sense and Sensibility: a play; Rachelle Schmidt, Breathing Corpses.

Director: David Brown, Greek (from To Hellas and Back, Company Clegg); John Campbell, Inside the Mind of Edward Tulip; Mat Lee, The Pillowman; Mat Lee, The Return; Daniel Stoddart, Spring Awakening; Daniel Stoddart, The Twits (Hunter Region Drama School); Nola Wallace, The Vagina Monologues; Carl Young, Breathing Corpses.

Achievement in Music, Sound and Movement: Jo Ford, choreography, Spring Awakening; Jenna Gill, composer, The Twits; Christopher Harley, composer, The Pillowman; Silvia Martinez, choreography, Fiddler on the Roof (Opera Hunter); Alicia Paterson, musical director, Spring Awakening; Joel Yager, sound design, Breathing Corpses.

Achievement in Set, Costume, Make-up and Lighting: 

Alison Cox, costume design and construction, Sense and Sensibility: a play; Don Haiser and Mat Lee, set design, The Return; Brian Lowe, set design, Sense and Sensibility: a play; Don W. McEwen, set design, The Elephant Man; Elese Murray, lighting design, The Return; Jamie Sims and Theresa Sawert, lighting design, Into the Woods (Pantseat Productions); Daniel Stoddart, set design, Spring Awakening; Lachlan Thomas, lighting design, Spring Awakening.


Best New Play Written for a Newcastle Company:  

From a Great Height – by Mark Konik (Short+Sweet Newcastle 2011); Jazz High – by Jack Gow (from The Playwrights’ Dozen, Company Clegg); Just the Ticket – by Sally Davies (Short+Sweet Newcastle 2011); The Kids are Alright – by Michael Fiddian (Tantrum Theatre); Limbo is Unfortunate – by Tina Cornac (from The Playwrights’ Dozen); That’s Confidence – by Tristram Baumber (Short+Sweet Newcastle 2011); Water Child – by Emma Wood (Newcastle Theatre Company).

Best Special Theatrical Event: 

Blind Date, Big One Little One; Inside the Mind of Edward Tulip; Mix Tape: Remastered, Pantseat Productions; Treasure Hunt 2012,

Tantrum Theatre; Winter Dreams, Circus Avalon.  


Best Dramatic Production: 

Creche and Burn, Theatre on Brunker and Blank Page Theatre; Twelfth Night, Young People’s Theatre; The Twits; The Women of Lockerbie, Newcastle Theatre Company 1

Best Musical Production: Into the Woods; Oliver!, Metropolitan Players; Spring Awakening.

Leading Actor in a Drama or Comedy: Ian Barton, Sex Please, We’re Sixty (DAPA Theatre); Mitchell Bourke, Twelfth Night; Derek Fisher, Water Child; Matt Graham, Greek (from To Hellas and Back, Company Clegg); Matt Graham, Lobster Boy (from Still Life, Company Clegg); Drew Holland, Epitaph: Unknown (from Act Three, Tantrum Theatre); Andrew Holmes, I Am My Own Wife (from Double Life, Company Clegg); Lee Mayne, Trap for a Lonely Man (DAPA Theatre); Callan Purcell, The Twits; Romesh, Inside the Mind of Edward Tulip; Matthew Sefton, The Art of War (University of Newcastle Creative and Performing Arts); Glen Waterhouse, From a Great Height.

Leading Actress in a Drama or Comedy: Alison Cox, Barefoot in the Park (Theatre on Brunker); Alison Cox, Trap for a Lonely Man; Jo Ford, From a Great Height; Anna Lambert, Twelfth Night; Lee Loudon, The Curious Savage (Theatre on Brunker); Maike Strichow, The Twits; Emma Wood, The Accused (Newcastle Theatre Company).

Leading Actor in a Musical: Daniel Kavanagh, Into the Woods; Chris Maxfield, Oliver!; Dan Wilson, The Last Five Years (Rachelle Schmidt).

Leading Actress in a Musical: Kate Leslie, Spring Awakening; Rachelle Schmidt, Into the Woods; Rachelle Schmidt, The Last Five Years.

Actor in a Supporting Role: Mitchell Bourke, Spring Awakening; Lindsay Carr, Trap for a Lonely Man; James Coates, Twelfth Night; Scott Eveleigh, Oliver!; Danny Folpp, Into the Woods; Jack Gow, Twelfth Night; Luke Jarvis, Into the Woods; Philip McGrath, Barefoot in the Park.

Actress in a Supporting Role: 

Meri Bird, The Curious Savage; Michelle Burnitt, Into the Woods; Barbara Delaney, The Women of Lockerbie; Muriel John, The Accused; Lynda Rennie, Water Child; Rileigh Schmitzer, Into the Woods; Lesly Stevenson, Sex Please, We’re Sixty; Renee Thomas, The Curious Savage.

Ensemble Acting: Creche and Burn; Inside the Mind of Edward Tulip; Into the Woods; Oliver!; Spring Awakening; Twelfth Night; The Twits; The Wiz, Pantseat Productions; The Women of Lockerbie.

Director: Isobel Denholm, Creche and Burn; Isobel Denholm, Trap for a Lonely Man; Amy Hill and Leilani Smith, Twelfth Night; Daniel Kavanagh, Into the Woods; Janet Nelson, The Women of Lockerbie; Margaret Spencer, Sex Please, We’re Sixty; Brian Wark, Barefoot in the Park; Keane Williams, From a Great Height.

Achievement in Music and Movement: Kirby-Leigh Coker, choreography, Oliver! ; Silvia Martinez, choreography, Working (Opera Hunter); Chris Vidler, musical director, Oliver!.

Achievement in Costume Design and Make-up: Lia Bundy, costume design, Into the Woods; Lia Bundy, costume design, The Wiz; Jennifer Ellicott, costume design, Babe: The Sheep Pig (Young People’s Theatre); Jennifer Ellicott and Amy Hill, costume design, Twelfth Night; Bev Fewins, costume design, Oliver!; George Francis and Valmai Drury, hair and wig design, Oliver!; Maike Strichow, costume design, The Twits.

Achievement in Set Design: Chris Bird, Barefoot in the Park; Chris Bird, Creche and Burn; Charlotte De Wit, The Twits; Amy Hill and Stephen Hill, Twelfth Night; Rod Irwin, Sex Please, We’re Sixty; Brian Lowe, The Curious Savage; Hannah Tyler, Ophelia Thinks Harder (Newcastle Theatre Company); Graham Wilson, The Women of Lockerbie.

Achievement in Lighting and Sound Design: 

David Fitzgerald, lighting design, Water Child; Brent Hansen, lighting and sound, Creche and Burn; Daniel Kavanagh, projections and animations, Into the Woods; David Murray and David Fitzgerald, lighting design, The Women of Lockerbie; Stewart McGowan, lighting design, Ophelia Thinks Harder.


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