The Wellington Theatre Awards were held at Circa Theatre on Sunday night.  There were 191 shows in Wellington during 2015 – so much for this being a dying city. Hosted by James Nokise (angling to rename the awards the ‘Nokise’s’), with musical numbers by Carrie Green and Jack Buchanan it was an evening celebrating creativity, collaboration and community.

Neil Gray of Chapman Tripp was recognised for his patronage and support of the awards in previous years as was Tim Gordon for his advocacy and leadership of the Theatre Awards. Tim advised us to look at each other as ‘Resources of creativity and inspiration. We are a community and we’re in this together.’

Miria George and Hone Kouka of Tawata Productions were awarded the Judges Wildcard for the Matariki Development Festival – an annual international indigenous playwrights’ festival, presenting new writing in development. The Critics received the Mayor’s Significant Contribution to Theatre for their ‘dedication and commitment to bridging the gap between arts and audience’.

Big winners on the night were All Our Sons by Witi Ihimaera and produced by Taki Rua Productions and Circa Theatre – taking home six awards for Lighting Design (Jennifer Lal), Sound Design (Maaka McGregor), Original Production, Actor (Rob Mokaraka), Director (Nathaniel Lees) and Production of the Year.

Rob talked about the creative work everyone present was involved in and that their role was to ‘Express society; reflect our ancestors; echo ourselves in the present. It takes many people to make magic.’



Outstanding Contribution to Wellington Theatre – Neil Gray

Most Original Production– All Our Sons – Taki Rua Productions / Circa Theatre

Actor of the Year– Rob Mokaraka – All Our Sons

Director of the Year– Nathaniel Lees – All Our Sons

Production of the Year– All Our Sons – Taki Rua Productions / Circa Theatre

Lighting Designer of the Year– Jen Lal – All Our Sons

Sound Designer of the Year– Maaka McGregor – All Our Sons

Outstanding New New Zealand Play– Not in our Neighbourhood – Tikapa Productions

Actress of the Year– Kali  Kopae – Not In Our Neighbourhood

Most Promising Male Newcomer– Andrew Paterson – The Angry Brigade

Most Promising Female Newcomer– Carrie Green – Conversations With My Penis

Most Promising New Director– Miriama McDowell – Nga Pou Wahine

Outstanding New Playwright– Helen Vivienne Fletcher – How To Catch A Grim Reaper

Costume Designer of the Year– Ian Harman – The Mystery of Edwin Drood

Set Designer of the Year– Ian Harman – Ache

Outstanding Composer of Music– Phil Jones – The Kitchen at the End of the World

Supporting Actor of the Year– Jamie McCaskill – Seed

Supporting Actress of the Year– Brianne Kerr – Richard III

Outstanding Performance– Renee Lyons – Ache

Critics’ Wildcard= Miria George and Hone Kouka of Tawata Productions for the Matariki Development Festival

Outstanding Contribution to the Wellington Theatre Awards – Tim Gordon

Significant Contribution to Theatre– The Critics