Hosting the Otago Southland Theatre Awards (Ostas) this weekend will be an opportunity to promote the Waitaki district, as well as the standard of performing arts in Oamaru, Musical Theatre Oamaru president Daniel Martin says.
The sixth annual Ostas are being held at St Kevin’s College tomorrow night, bringing more than 200 people from various theatrical societies throughout Otago and Southland together for a black-tie awards celebration, recognising performance and production excellence among members of Musical Theatre New Zealand’s zone 5 region.
It is the second time Musical Theatre Oamaru has hosted what is hailed as the biggest night for musical theatre practitioners in Otago and Southland.
“It’s really cool that we’re hosting it this year, especially because we’ve got so many nominations,” Martin said.
Musical Theatre Oamaru’s 2018 production of Mamma Mia!, the highest-grossing show in the society’s history, received 15 nominations, including best overall production, best hair and make-up, best sound, best lighting and vision, best company vocal work and best ensemble for Super Trouper and Finale.
Individual nominations went to Ryan Algar for best cameo performance as Pepper, Sonya Creedy and Alice Hore for best supporting female for their respective roles as Rosie and Tanya, David Blair for best supporting male as Bill, Krissy McGeown and Lily Stock for best leading female as Donna and Sophie respectively, Claire Gilchrist for best choreography, Sam van Betuw for best musical direction and Russell Dixon for best direction.
Martin said he was quietly confident of Musical Theatre Oamaru’s chances of picking up some awards but, win or lose, it was all about showcasing local amateur theatre and bringing like-minded people together and enjoying each other’s company.
“It’s a great way to celebrate what we do,” Martin said.
Waitaki Girls’ High School Year 13 pupil Lily Stock is hosting the awards and will open the event with an original song she has written and composed herself.
Overall, there are 110 nominees in the 21 categories from 14 productions – eight musicals, four plays and two revues.
Since the inaugural event in Dunedin in 2014, societies across the two regions had continued to raise the bar, Ostas chairman Rodd Pearson said.
Pearson said the Ostas were a chance to celebrate and share a passion and love for theatre, while recognising excellence and talent within the Otago and Southland musical theatre community.
“Whether you win or not, just being nominated is an incredible thrill,” Pearson said.