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Theatre Studies actors punch above their weight

Tuesday 29 November 2016 9:31pm

Many of the finalists in the 2016 Dunedin Theatre Awards come from Otago's Theatre Studies programme.

An impressive number of nominations for the 2016 Dunedin Theatre Awards have come from the University of Otago Theatre Studies programme.

Theatre Studies Senior Lecturer Hilary Halba said the finalists indicate the depth of the Theatre Studies programme’s professional, artistic and academic expertise.

"The nominations reflect a very wide range of artistic prowess, including in directing, design, performance and devising."

The awards were created to celebrate the achievements of the Dunedin theatre community, to acknowledge excellence in theatre performance in Dunedin, and to encourage diverse and continued participation in Dunedin theatre.

Being held at the Fortune Theatre on Monday 5 December, the award function promises to be a glamorous celebration of Dunedin theatre in 2016. Several Special Awards recognising outstanding contributions to Dunedin and New Zealand theatre will be announced on the night.

Nominations, announced last week, include:

Hilary Halba as Sarah Churchill and Roy Snow as Randolph Churchill in “Winston’s Birthday” by Paul Baker. Photo courtesy of the Court Theatre.

  • Two nomination for Martyn Roberts (Theatre Studies Professional Practice Fellow and Theatre Manager) for Outstanding Lighting Design for "Dark Matter" and "Wai=Rua A Line=Near" – both performed at Allen Hall Theatre;
  • Outstanding Ensemble nominations for "Queen" and "The Emperor's New Clothes" both directed by 4th-year Theatre Studies student Jordan Dickson....both as part of his BA (Hons) coursework ("Queen" for THEA 451 Advanced Directing and "Emperor's" for THEA 453 Directed Project);
  • Theatre Studies graduate Edwin Wright was nominated for Best Performance in a Male Role for "Manifesto 2083" which was also performed at Allen Hall Theatre;
  • Theatre Studies Senior Lecturer Hilary Halba was nominated for Best Performance in a Female Role for "Winston's Birthday" at the Fortune Theatre;
  • "Wai=Rua A Line=Near" – co-created by Martyn Roberts (see above), Theatre Studies tutor Rua McCallum and several Theatre students, and performed at Allen Hall Theatre – was also nominated for an Outstanding Innovation award;
  • 4th-year Theatre Studies student Jordan Dickson (see above) was also nominated for an emerging Talent award;
  • Theatre Studies graduate Emma Feather Shaw was nominated in the Emerging Talent category;
  • Theatre Studies student Ashley Stewart was nominated for Outstanding Performance in a Male Role for "Mary Stewart”.

About Theatre studies

Theatre Studies at Otago offers both practical skills and academic training, preparing students for a range of careers both within and beyond theatre and the performing arts. Papers cover full a range of theatrical study, from the study of Shakespeare in performance, to devising and performing individual work.

Theatre Studies stage a range of productions, including the popular Lunchtime Theatre programme, which has been going for over 30 years. Open to the public, the Thursday and Friday lunchtime productions are mostly created by students, and attract many regular attendees.

Allen Hall is at the centre of the Otago Theatre Studies programme. The Allen Hall building has had a rich and varied history since it opened in 1914. Its centenary was celebrated in September 2014, with Theatre Studies’ Associate Professor Lisa Warrington and Alison Finigan of Alumni Relations, releasing a book Allen Hall: 100 Years, 100+ Voices to mark the occasion.