The winners of the 2023 Sydney Theatre Awards were announced last night at a star-studded ceremony, with 30 Awards presented, shared between 15 productions which played on Sydney stages during 2023. Almost 500 members of the Sydney theatre community gathered at the York Theatre, Seymour Centre to celebrate.
Best Mainstage Production was awarded to Sydney Theatre Company and Moogahlin Performing Arts’ The Visitors, which also won Best Ensemble Cast.
Best Independent Production went to A Streetcar Named Desire from Red Line Productions, which also took home Best Direction of an Independent Production (Alexander Berlage), Best Performance in a Leading Role in an Independent Production (Sheridan Harbridge) and Best Performance in a Supporting Role in an Independent Production (Catherine Van-Davies).
Best Direction of a Mainstage Production was presented to Shari Sebbens for Sydney Theatre Company’s Fences, while Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Mainstage Production went to Catherine Van-Davies (Constellations).
Best Musical was awarded to A Little Night Music (Hayes Theatre Co), whose director Dean Bryant was given Best Direction of a Musical. The Judith Johnson Award for Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Musical went to Ruva Ngwenya (Tina The Tina Turner Musical). Abigail Adriano (Miss Saigon) took home Best Newcomer, and Best New Australian Work was awarded to Lewis Treston for Hubris & Humiliation.
Two Awards for Lifetime Achievement were presented, one to Jane Seldon, an unsung heroine of Australian theatre and long time Wardrobe Mistress for Sydney Theatre Company and countless productions on Sydney stages; and the other to beloved director, actor, writer, composer and educator Terence Clarke AM.
For four decades, Jane Seldon has dedicated her working life to dressing performers, maintaining and repairing costumes, and infusing the backstage realm with endless care, love and generosity. Jane is admired and adored by hundreds of actors, creatives and crew members, but because her diligent work happens behind the scenes, most audiences will never appreciate just how integral she has been to the theatre industry.
Terence Clarke has directed over 120 productions including the premieres of several Australian plays. He was foundation Artistic Director of the first regional professional theatre company in Australia, the Hunter Valley Theatre Company, and has been the Artistic Director of the National Playwrights Conference and Head of Directing at NIDA.
Terence composed music to Nick Enright’s book and lyrics for Summer Rain, The Venetian Twins and Variations, to Dorothy Hewett’s Catspaw and Jarrabin, to Ron Blair’s Flash Jim Vaux and to John Croyston’s Lysistrata.
Presenters at the Awards ceremony, which was hosted by Marney McQueen, included Thomas Campbell, Sally Dashwood, Vanessa Downing, Tim Draxl, Andree Greenwell, Glenn Hazeldine, Noel Hodda, Tony Llewellyn-Jones, Daniel McPherson, Linda Nicholls Gidley, Chika Okogwe, Marcus Rivera, Stephen Sewell, Guy Simon, Anthea Williams and Esther Zhong.
The ceremony opened with a spectacular performance directed and choreographed by Cameron Mitchell, Another Opening, Another Show; and featured a performance by Erin Clare, and from five of the original 1989 STC cast of Summer Rain (Valerie Bader, Peter Carroll, Nancye Hayes, Donna Lee and Genevieve Lemon), performing Once In A Blue Moon to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the writing of that legendary Australian musical.
The Sydney Theatre Awards are presented annually to celebrate the strength, quality and diversity of theatre in Sydney. The Sydney Theatre Awards gratefully thanks major sponsor The Seaborn, Broughton & Walford Foundation, as well as other sponsors: William Fletcher Foundation, Showcast, Currency Press, Ticketmaster, Actors Benevolent Fund, ACMN, JPJ Audio, the Seymour Centre and Helen Constance.
For more information about the Sydney Theatre Awards, visit: www.sydneytheatreawards.com for details.
Image: Sydney Theatre Company and Moogahlin Performing Arts’ The Visitors – photo by Daniel Boud
2023 SYDNEY THEATRE AWARDS WINNERS:
BEST MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
The Visitors (Sydney Theatre Company and Moogahlin Performing Arts)
BEST INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
A Streetcar Named Desire (Red Line Productions)
BEST DIRECTION OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Shari Sebbens (Fences)
BEST DIRECTION OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Alexander Berlage (A Streetcar Named Desire)
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Catherine Van-Davies (Constellations)
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A LEADING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Sheridan Harbridge (A Streetcar Named Desire)
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Andrew McFarlane (Hubris & Humiliation)
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Catherine Van-Davies (A Streetcar Named Desire)
BEST STAGE DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Isabel Hudson (Constellations)
BEST STAGE DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Nick Fry (Metropolis)
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Isabel Hudson (Hubris & Humiliation)
BEST COSTUME DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Grace Deacon (An ox stand on my tongue)
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Benjamin Brockman (Constellations)
BEST LIGHTING DESIGN OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Morgan Moroney (Collapsible)
BEST SOUND DESIGN OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
James Brown (Constellations)
BEST ORIGINAL SCORE OF A MAINSTAGE PRODUCTION
Grace Ferguson (On the Beach)
BEST SOUND DESIGN AND COMPOSITION OF AN INDEPENDENT PRODUCTION
Zara Stanton (Metropolis)
BEST NEW AUSTRALIAN WORK
Hubris & Humiliation (Lewis Treston)
Abigail Adriano (Miss Saigon)
BEST PRODUCTION OF A MUSICAL
A Little Night Music (Hayes Theatre Co)
BEST DIRECTION OF A MUSICAL
Dean Bryant (A Little Night Music)
JUDITH JOHNSON AWARD FOR BEST PERFORMANCE IN A LEADING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Ruva Ngwenya (Tina The Tina Turner Musical)
BEST PERFORMANCE IN A SUPPORTING ROLE IN A MUSICAL
Nancye Hayes (A Little Night Music)
BEST MUSICAL DIRECTION
Zara Stanton (Metropolis)
BEST CHOREOGRAPHY IN A MUSICAL
Vi Lam (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)
BEST PRODUCTION FOR CHILDREN
Waru (Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Festival)
BEST PRODUCTION FOR YOUNG PEOPLE
The Lies We Were Told (Shopfront Arts and Monkey Baa)
LIFETIME ACHIEVEMENT AWARDS
Terence Clarke and Jane Seldon