Green Room Awards ~ theatre notes

Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Green Room Awards

In my new guise as Green Room Awards theatre panellist for 2007, I took more notice than usual of the nominations for the 2006 Green Room Awards, announced yesterday at the Princess Theatre. Quite a few of my personal favourites in the three theatre divisions (and very good to see the sadly underrated Eldorado getting a few deserved nominations) but it beats me how anyone could think Jason Donovan's catatonic face-pulling in Festen is noteworthy acting, or that It Just Stopped shouldn't have been quietly filed away in a bottom drawer and forgotten. I guess if everyone agreed, life would be a sight more dull...

3 comments:

Anna said...

Does anyone know why there is no writers award for independant theatre this year?

Alison Croggon said...

I don't know. Did there used to be? I wondered myself, and thought maybe it was because there were other awards for writers (Premiers Prizes, AWGIE awards and so on). It seems rather an oversight.

Mark Williams said...

There is one award for 'Best New Australian Play' which is usually nominated by members of the companies, independent and new form panels and the nominations ratified by the Association at its ratification meeting. This year's nominees were Debt by Gabrielle MacDonal; Haul Away by Glynis Angell; The Pitch by Peter Houghton; It Just Stopped by Stephen Sewell and The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith. As you can see, a mixture of independent and company-based productions - Peter Houghton's play subsequently being picked up by Malthouse. The Award is one of the major awards of the whole Association and technically could go to the book of a musical or even an original work in dance - this year's set is down the bottom of the nominees on the website www.greenroom.org.au
Unlike the new AWGIE Richard Wherrett award announced today, the Green Rooms are peer reviewed but are not endowed with cash prizes. Some individual prizes are awarded by other charitable foundations in some categories on the recommendation of the Association, but unlike the increasing number of prize systems around, the Green Rooms have not sought massive endowment but also have not had to thread through the many minefields that a cash prize system creates - perhaps at the risk of eclipse by the money. I'd be interested to hear anyone's views on or off-line about what peer recoginition is worth in the arts without the dough.

Mark Williams, President, Green Room Awards Association.