PHOTO: Jamie Gilmour Studio DC3.
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Celebrating determination at the 43rd Annual CONDA Awards

The Very Popular Theatre Company has dominated the 43rd Annual CONDA Awards which were held at the Civic Theatre in Newcastle on Saturday 11 December.

Taking out more than a third of the awards including five for their production of Things I Know to be True and three for their hugely successful season of CHESS.

Hosted by Ben Mingay and Sofia Nolan., this year’s awards were a big celebration of the determination of the local industry.

“Following two particularly harrowing years for the theatre industry, the 43rd Annual CONDA Awards saw almost 500 theatre lovers gather to celebrate the industry and its determination to shake off its troubles and forge into the new year with a reinvigorated sense of optimism,” CONDA President, Dr Shane Bransdon said.

The award for Outstanding Achievement and Contribution to Theatre this year, went to Ken Longworth who recently stepped down from the CONDA judging panel. Ken was recognised for his remarkable contribution to the local theatre industry over almost half a century.

The younger generation also featured prominently in the evening, including the announcement of the four new CONDA Youth Ambassadors – Levi Stoddart, Julia Boyd, Bridget Ponman and Evelyn Parkes.

You can check out the full list of winners below.

WINNERS

Best Ensemble
A Doll’s House
Maitland Repertory Theatre

Excellence by a Performer in a Supporting Role – Musical
Carl Gregory
Young Frankenstein
Opera Hunter

Excellence by a Performer in a Supporting Role – Play
Rachel Jackett
Things I Know to be True
The Very Popular Theatre Company

Excellence by a Performer in a Lead Role – Musical
Silvie Paladino
Chess
The Very Popular Theatre Company

Excellence by a Performer in a Lead Role – Play (Drama)
Rob Dilley
Things I Know to be True
The Very Popular Theatre Company

Best New Play or Musical Written for a Newcastle Company
Nicholas Thoroughgood
Here, There and Everywhere
Bearfoot Theatre

Best Special Event
Chess
The Very Popular Theatre Company

Excellence by a Choreographer
Jo Ford
Things I Know To Be True
The Very Popular Theatre Company

Excellence by a Music or Vocal Director
Tied result:
Daniel Wilson
Chess
The Very Popular Theatre Company
Kim Sutherland
Chess
The Very Popular Theatre Company

Excellence by a Director – Musical
Luke Aspinall
Wicked
Newcastle Grammar School

Excellence by a Director – Play
Nicholas Thoroughgood
A Doll’s House
Maitland Repertory Theatre

Best Musical Production
Young Frankenstein
Opera Hunter

Best Dramatic Production
Things I Know to be True
The Very Popular Theatre Company

TECHNICAL CATEGORY

Excellence in Hair, Makeup and Wigs
Callie McLean
Wicked
Newcastle Grammar School

Excellence in Costume Design
Lauren Harvey
The Pecking Order
ASPIRE Catholic Schools Office

Excellence in Set Design
Lisa Little
The Pecking Order
ASPIRE Catholic Schools

Excellence in Lighting Design
Lyndon Buckley
Do Your Parents Know You’re Straight?
Bearfoot Theatre

Excellence in Sound Design
Simon Ritchie – musical composition
Things I Know to be True
The Very Popular Theatre Company

Excellence in Audio Visual Multimedia & Projection
James Chapman & Jacob Harwood
Two Point Oh
Knock and Run Theatre

YOUTH CATEGORY

Excellence by a Performer 18 & Under in a Play
Tied result:
Annie McLoughlin
Do Your Parents Know You’re Straight?
Bearfoot Theatre
Shyla Schillert
DNA
Hunter School of the Performing Arts

Excellence by a Performer 18 & Under in a Musical
Bella Williams
Wicked
Newcastle Grammar School

Best Ensemble Under 18
The Witches
Hunter Drama

Best Production by a Youth Theatre Company or School
Wicked
Newcastle Grammar Schoo