Quality local theatre was celebrated at the Otago Southland Theatre Awards (Ostas) in Oamaru recently with three Central Otago performers winning awards at the event.
Best supporting male in a play went to Nick Meissel, of Alexandra for his portrayals of Alan Brown and Justice Adams in the Clyde Theatre Group’s production of Daughters of Heaven
As a play based on real people it was interesting researching Crown prosecutor Alan Brown, he said.
“I think he might have lost his marbles a little bit afterwards, because he went into [Christchurch newspaper] The Press building with a gun.”
He was pleased to win the award but had praise for John Barham who was also nominated for his role of Pauline Parker’s father Herbert Reiper.
“I thought his portrayal of the father was a really strong emotional retelling of what that father must have gone through.”
Best leading female in a play went to Hannah Anderson, of Alexandra for her role of Pauline Parker in Daughters of Heaven
She said it was “exciting to hear” when she won the award.
“It is nice to feel recognised for the effort you put in to a particular role.”
Shortly she would be moving to Auckland to study performing arts at Unitec.
“It is an acting course primarily.”
“I’m just really interested in doing anything in that sphere”.
Best leading male in a musical was won by Bruce Potter, of Alexandra, for the role of Jean Valjean in West Otago Theatrical Society’s production of Les Miserables
This was the third time he had played the role of Jean Valjean, and he had racked up 56 performances.
“I am really grateful to everyone at West Otago Theatrical Society for giving me the opportunity to be a part of such a wonderful team and making me feel so welcome in their community.”
The award was particularly appreciated because Mr Potter was ill during the season – “I ruptured my biceps muscle during the dress rehearsal but the support and help I got from everyone around me helped me to overcome those difficulties and perform the best I could.”
Margi and Jeff Rae were “amazing directors to work with”, he said.
A memorable time during rehearsals was a visit by American singer and performer Gary Morris, who performed the role of Jean Valjean on Broadway.
“The comments he had for me I shall treasure my entire life and are the highlight of my musical career”.