2019 Sydney Theatre Awards

Nominees Announced for the 2019 Sydney Theatre Awards

Gala Awards Show Jan 20

Nominations have been announced for the Sydney Theatre Awards for 2019, which will be presented at a gala ceremony on Monday 20 January 2020 at 7pm at the York Theatre, Seymour Centre.

Nominations in the 34 categories were spread across 46 productions which played on Sydney stages during 2019.

Leading the list with 10 nominations is The Beauty Queen of Leenane, produced by Sydney Theatre Company, followed by American Psycho from BB Arts Entertainment, Two Doors Productions and Hayes Theatre Co, and Belvoir and Co-Curious’s Counting and Cracking, both on nine nominations. HMS Pinafore, produced by Hayes Theatre Co, was awarded eight nominations, while Griffin’s First Love is the Revolution and Angels in America from Apocalypse Theatre Company and Red Line Productions received seven nominations.

In the categories for Musical Theatre and Cabaret, American Psycho, HMAS Pinafore and Caroline, Or Change by  The Hayes Theatre Company dominated, especially in the technical categories, while lead performances in The School of Rock, Chicago, Mureil’s Wedding, West Side Story and Billy Elliot were acknowledged.

Amy Campbell, Cameron Mitchell, Leonard Mickelo, and Yvette Lee

Nominees for Best Choreography of a Musical are Amy Campbell (Once),  Yvette Lee (American Psycho), Leonard Mickelo (Fangirls) and Cameron Mitchell (Catch Me If You Can).

The Sydney Theatre Awards are presented annually by a group of leading theatre critics to celebrate the strength, quality and diversity of theatre in Sydney. The panel consists of Elissa Blake (Audrey Journal), Jason Blake (Audrey Journal), Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jade Kops (BroadwayWorld), Jo Litson (Limelight), John McCallum (The Australian), Ben Neutze (Time Out), John Shand (The Sydney Morning Herald), Diana Simmonds (Stagenoise), Cassie Tongue (Time Out) and Suzy Wrong (Suzy Goes See).

The reviewers all felt 2019 was a very strong year for Sydney theatre. “The initial list of nominations for performances by female actors was particularly long and strong this year, and very difficult decisions had to be made by the group to narrow it down to the final four nominees in each acting category,” said Jo Litson. “It was hard to do, and several performances that could easily have won an award had the line-up not been so incredibly impressive didn’t make it to the shortlist. But it says something for our industry that the level of performance was so high and the competition so fierce.”

Deborah Jones agreed, adding: “It was also immensely satisfying to see theatre-makers embrace the diversity of Australian culture. It’s clear from our list of nominees that audiences had their lives enriched by artists and stories from an invigorating range of backgrounds and perspectives. There’s more to be done there, however, and it’s the only way to go if audiences are to become more strongly representative of our society. The realisation some years ago that women were vastly and most unfairly under-represented in theatre directing and writing led to action that is now bearing brilliant fruit as our nominations for Best Mainstage Production, Best Direction of a Mainstream Production and Best New Australian Work attest. Onwards!”

The Sydney Theatre Awards gratefully thanks our major sponsor, The Seaborn, Broughton and Walford Foundation, as well as other sponsors William Fletcher Foundation, Showcast, Currency Press, Ticketmaster, Hayes Theatre Co, Bellbird Cottages, Actors Benevolent Fund, ACMN, JPJ Audio and Helen Constance.

The nominees in the musical theatre categories are:

BEST PRODUCTION OF A MAINSTREAM MUSICAL
Fangirls
(Belvoir, Queensland Theatre and Brisbane Festival in association with ATYP)
Once (Darlinghurst Theatre Company)
School of Rock (GWB Entertainment in association with KHAM Inc)
West Side Story (HOSH/ Opera Australia)

BEST PRODUCTION OF AN INDEPENDENT MUSICAL
American Psycho
(BB Arts Entertainment and Two Doors Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co)
Caroline, or Change (Hayes Theatre Co)
Herringbone (Squabbologic)
HMS Pinafore (Hayes Theatre Co)

BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Alexander Berlage
(American Psycho)
Mitchell Butel (Caroline, or Change)
Kate Gaul (HMS Pinafore)
Jay James-Moody & Michael Ralph (Herringbone)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Natalie Abbott
(Muriel’s Wedding)
Natalie Bassingthwaighte (Chicago)
Stefanie Caccamo (Once)
Elenoa Rokobaro (Caroline, or Change)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A MUSICAL
Ben Gerrard
(American Psycho)
Brent Hill (School of Rock)
Jay James-Moody (Herringbone)
Jake Speer (Catch Me If You Can)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A FEMALE ACTRESS IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Karli Dinardo
(West Side Story)
Amy Hack (Caroline, or Change)
Stefanie Jones (Muriel’s Wedding)
Amy Lehpamer (School of Rock)

BEST PERFORMANCE BY A MALE ACTOR IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Simon Burke (Catch Me If You Can)
Thomas Campbell (HMS Pinafore)
Mark Hill (West Side Story)
Justin Smith (Billy Elliot)

BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION
Lucy Bermingham
(Caroline, or Change)
Victoria Falconer (Once)
Zara Stanton (HMS Pinafore)
Andrew Worboys (American Psycho) 

BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL
Amy Campbell
(Once)
Yvette Lee (American Psycho)
Leonard Mickelo (Fangirls)
Cameron Mitchell (Catch Me If You Can)

BEST CABARET PRODUCTION
Love is a Drag (Tim Draxl)
Hayes at the Hayes (Nancye Hayes)
A Celebration of Ella Fitzgerald (Alison Jiear)
Hayden Tee: Up Close and Intimate (Hayden Tee)

American Psycho and HMS Pinafore were also recognised in the categories of Best Stage Design, Best Costume Design, and Best Sound Design with American Psycho also nominated for Best Lighting Design. Billie Palin was nominated as Best Newcomer for her role in HMS Pinafore.

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