After holding the ceremony online last year due to the state being in lockdown, WA’s performing arts sector are planning a gala celebration in real life on June 14, for their annual Performing Arts WA Awards recognising excellence in professional theatre and dance.
Presented by Artist Relief Fund WA, the state’s benevolent fund for arts workers, the ceremony will bestow over 34 awards in categories including best actor, best dancer, best newcomer and best production, as well as five new awards recognising achievements in musicals and opera.
Artist Relief Fund WA secretary Nick Maclaine said the Awards are about shining a spotlight on the people who entertain our state. “WA arts workers did so much to inspire and keep us connected last year. This year’s Awards are about recognising their achievements and celebrating the entire sector’s resilience.”
Multiple category nominees include the production Hecate from Yirra Yaakin Theatre Company in association with Bell Shakespeare with adapter and director Kylie Bracknell [Kaarljilba Kaardn] nominated for Best Mainstage Production, Best New Work and Best Director in Australia’s first large-scale Shakespeare production entirely in Noongar. Hecate actors Cezera Critti-Schnaars, Ian Wilkes, Kyle J Morrison, Maitland Schnaars and Della Rae Morrison are all nominated in the Best Actor categories.
In the Dance Awards, Hofesh in the Yard from STRUT Dance in association with Hofesh Shechter Company as well as WA Ballet’s The Nutcracker and Ballet at the Quarry: Light and Shadow have received multiple nominations. In the new Musical and Opera Awards categories, Bran Nue Dae by West Australian Opera in association with Perth Festival leads the charge with eight nominations across five award categories.
Additional awards to be presented on the night at the ceremony include the Artist Relief Fund’s Student Endowments supported by Minderoo Foundation, which support promising second year WAAPA students. The City of Perth is also sponsoring the return of the Lifetime Achievement Award and two new awards recognising outstanding achievement by Aboriginal and Torres Strait Islander artists and innovative initiatives by companies to engage audiences during the pandemic last year.
The 2021 Performing Arts WA Awards Ceremony presented by Artist Relief Fund WA is a public event held in the Heath Ledge Theatre Foyer at the State Theatre Centre of WA on 16 June at 7pm. Tickets on sale now via Perth Theatre Trust.