Carl Young wins top CONDA

 PRIZED: Production company starter and award recipient Carl Young with partner Giverny Lewis.  Picture: Peter Stoop
PRIZED: Production company starter and award recipient Carl Young with partner Giverny Lewis. Picture: Peter Stoop

 STOOGED Theatre artistic director Carl Young claimed  top prize at the Newcastle drama awards last night. 

Mr Young, who started the production company more than 10 years ago while in high school, claimed the CONDA for outstanding achievement in Newcastle theatre at Civic Theatre.

CONDA judges Michelle Gosper, Sue Leask, Ken Longworth and Pamela Whalan pointed to the 22 nominations Stooged Theatre’s four productions received this year, including three for best professional production.

‘‘Carl continues to seek out plays that are new, exciting, challenging and significant so that Newcastle is treated to the best of modern drama,’’ Mr Longworth said.

‘‘He is the driving force behind the company and his efforts have helped it prosper. 

‘‘As well as the administrator he was a talented actor and director and he had fostered the talent of members of the city’s theatre community by providing opportunities that challenge and reward actors, directors and technicians.’’

Actress Rachelle Schmidt won CONDA awards for best professional and best non-professional actress for her roles in Breathing Corpses and Into the Woods respectively. 

Young People’s Theatre production of Twelfth Night received the award for best non-professional dramatic production and three other individual awards. 

There were 22 CONDA categories spread among 14 productions and 13 groups. 

The 2012 CONDA award winners:

Newcastle City Council Award for Outstanding Achievement in Newcastle Theatre: Carl Young.

Professional Categories: 

Production: The Pillowman, Stooged Theatre

Actor: Timothy Blundell, The Elephant Man

Actress: Rachelle Schmidt, Breathing Corpses

Director: Daniel Stoddart, Spring Awakening 

Achievement in music, sound and movement: Silvia Martinez, choreography, Fiddler on the Roof

Achievement in set, costume, make-up and lighting: Don W. McEwen, set design, The Elephant Man

Open categories: 

Best new play written for a Newcastle company: Water Child, Emma Wood

Best special theatrical event: Inside the Mind of Edward Tulip, Circus Avalon.

Non-professional categories:

Dramatic production: Twelfth Night, Young People’s Theatre

Musical production: Oliver!, Metropolitan Players

Actor in a leading role in a drama or comedy: Matt Graham, Greek

Actress in a leading role in a drama or comedy: Anna Lambert, Twelfth Night

Actor in a leading role in a musical: Chris Maxfield, Oliver!

Actress in a leading role in a musical: Rachelle Schmidt, Into the Woods

Actor in a supporting role: Jack Gow, Twelfth Night

Actress in a supporting role: Lynda Rennie, Water Child

Ensemble acting: Creche and Burn, Theatre on Brunker and Blank Page Theatre

Director: Amy Hill and Leilani Smith, Twelfth Night

Achievement in music and movement: Chris Vidler, musical director, Oliver!

Achievements in costume design and make-up: Lia Bundy, costume design, Into the Woods

Achievement in set design: Charlotte De Wit, The Twits

Achievement in lighting and sound design: David Murray and David Fitzgerald, lighting design, The Women of Lockerbie 


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