WA’s performing arts industry celebrated the outstanding achievements of actors, directors, producers, theatre- and dance-makers at last night’s 2022 Performing Arts WA Awards.
The host – Artist Relief Fund WA – bestowed 46 awards across theatre, dance, musicals and opera, to a full house at the State Theatre Centre of WA.
Revenge fairy tale The Bleeding Tree by Angus Cerini from The Blue Room Theatre & Ian Michael led the charge with four awards including Best Independent Production and Outstanding Ensemble, with director Ian Michael picking up the award for Outstanding Direction of an Independent Production and composer Rachael Dease winning Best Sound Design.
Beanstalk by Spare Parts Puppet Theatre – a retelling of Jack and the Beanstalk written and performed by Sam Longley – took out the award for Best Mainstage Production; Luke Hewitt (Every Brilliant Thing, Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA) and Alison van Reeken (Nocturna by Ian Sinclair, The Kabuki Drop) both won awards for Outstanding Performers In Leading Roles; and Tobias Muhafidin won Outstanding Newcomer and Outstanding Performer in A Supporting Role for his performance in Minneapolis fromPerforming Lines WA.
Empowering new dance work Archives of Humanity from Co3 Contemporary Dance was bestowed three awards in the dance category including Best Mainstage Production and Outstanding Ensemble, with artistic director Raewyn Hill, design associate Bruce McKinven and sculptural artist Naoko Yoshimoto together taking out the award for Outstanding Stage Design. Steamworks Art’s JULIA won Best Independent Production.
Mesmerising dance presentation Slow Burn, Together from Performing Lines WA for Perth Festival won Outstanding New Work with one of the main performers, Francesca Fenton, winning Outstanding Newcomer.
In the Musical & Opera category, Angels & Devils – a reimagining of Suor Angelica from Freeze Frame Opera - won Best Production with soprano Harriet Marshall winning Outstanding Performer in A Leading Role and director Rachel McDonald winning Outstanding Direction, Movement Direction or Choreography.
Heavily nominated ET-inspired musical comedy, The Summer of Our Lives from The Blue Room Theatre & Western Sky Projects also won four awards including Outstanding Musical Direction, Outstanding Ensemble and Outstanding New Work, with actor/singer Nick Maclaine winning Outstanding Performer in A Supporting Role.
A Lifetime Achievement Award was presented to Chrissie Parrott AO for her extensive work in the creative industries as a dancer, lecturer, choreographer, arts festival director, director for theatre, TV, and film; set designer and costumes, teacher of multimedia and animation, and creator of largescale digital artworks.
Artist Relief Fund WA secretary Nick Maclaine congratulated the nominees and winners, saying each year the Performing Arts WA Awards seem to get bigger.
“Thank you to everyone who made 2021 a year worth celebrating,” he said. “These awards are powered by volunteers and reflect thousands of hours of commitment and creativity by professionals right across the arts sector.
“We congratulate the winners, salute the nominees, and thank our generous sponsors and volunteer judges for making this essential event possible.”
Additional presentations on the night included the Artist Relief Fund’s Student Endowments supported by Minderoo Foundation, which support promising second year Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA) students. Winners included Lucy Arnall (Aboriginal Performance), Ruby Henaway (Acting), Tegan Carter (Dance), Mia Guglielmi (Music Theatre), Harrison Lorenz-Daniel (Performing Arts) and Elouise Greenwell (Production & Design).
Many individual winners received cash prizes on the night thanks to the generous sponsorship of CircuitWest, Sandy Anghie, North Perth Community Bank Branch of Bendigo, Harlequin Floors, Media Super / Cbus, MEAA, Artist Management Australia, Moore Creative Artists, and Minderoo Foundation.
Event delivery and marketing for the 2022 Performing Arts WA Awards is being managed by GM Consulting on behalf of Artist Relief Fund WA.