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Theatre Industry Celebrates 44th Annual CONDA Awards

Celebrating the 44th Annual CONDA Awards at Newcastle City Hall.

Theatre lovers from across the region gathered at Newcastle City Hall on Saturday 10 December to celebrate the 44th annual CONDA Awards, presented by the City of Newcastle Drama Association (CONDA).


The longest-running theatre awards program in Australia, the CONDAs are affectionately known as “Theatre Christmas”. The evening brings together the very best of local theatre talent, as well as Hunter region performers who have gone on to conquer national and international stages.

Commenting on the event, CONDA President, Dr Bransdon said: “The local theatre industry is bursting with talent. The outstanding quality of work produced throughout the region this year resulted in a record 176 nominations. The CONDAs brought everyone together to celebrate this achievement”

Among the stand-out recognitions were eight awards presented to the production of Jersey Boys, produced by The Very Popular Theatre Company. In addition to taking home the accolade of Best Musical Production, Jersey Boys also received awards for Direction, Music Direction, Ensemble Performance and Lighting Design. This is no surprise given the popularity of this large-budget production, which played a three week season in the Civic Theatre in October, also broke box office records for the venue.

The CONDA for Best Dramatic Production was awarded to Her Productions for their inaugural play Uncle Vanya, which performed at The Lock-up in May and directed by Charlotte De Wit and Marigold Pazar.

This year’s highest honour, the award for Outstanding Achievement and Contribution to Theatre, went to Daniel Stoddart. Daniel is a performer, director, tutor, designer, producer and published playwright. His companies Hunter Drama and The Very Popular Theatre Company generate training opportunities and employment for our region.

The producers of the CONDA awards ceremony made some significant changes to the event this year, providing a meal option as well as moving the ceremony from the Civic Theatre to Newcastle City Hall, to allow more social interaction for guests throughout the evening. CONDA producer, Dr Shane Bransdon, also announced that, for the first time, CONDA was able to pay the featured performers, thanks to sponsorship from Out of the Square Media.

“The awards would not have been possible without the generous support of CONDA’s highly valued sponsors, including Out of the Square, in its ninth year as Major Sponsor, the City of Newcastle’s Civic Theatre as the Presenting Partner and Industry Partner, JH Productions”.


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