The winners of the 2023 Sydney Theatre Awards have been announced in a now-traditional Monday evening ceremony hosted at the Seymour Centre.

Hosted by Marney McQueen, 30 awards were presented, shared between 15 productions which played on Sydney stages during 2023.

The ceremony opened with a performance directed and choreographed by Cameron Mitchell, Another Opening, Another Show; and featured performances by Erin Clare and from five of the original 1989 Sydney Theatre Company cast of Summer Rain (Valerie Bader, Peter Carroll, Nancye Hayes, Donna Lee and Genevieve Lemon), singing Once In A Blue Moon to celebrate the 40th anniversary of the writing of what is now a legendary Australian musical.

Best Mainstage Production was awarded to Sydney Theatre Company and Moogahlin Performing Arts staging of The Visitors, Jane Harrison’s thought-provoking perspective on the arrival of the First Fleet, as seen from the point of view of a group of Indigenous elders. The production also won Best Ensemble Cast (Luke Carroll, Elaine Crombie, Guy Simon, Joseph Wunujaka Althouse, Kyle Morrison and Beau Dean Riley Smith).

The Visitors. Photo © Daniel Boud

Best Independent Production went to A Streetcar Named Desire from Red Line Productions, which also took home Best Direction of an Independent Production (Alexander Berlage), Best Performance in a Leading Role in an Independent Production (Sheridan Harbridge) and Best Performance in a Supporting Role in an Independent Production (Catherine Văn-Davies).

Catherine Văn-Davies collects her Sydney Theatre Award. Photo @ David Hooley

Best Direction of a Mainstage Production was presented to Shari Sebbens for Sydney Theatre Company’s staging of August Wilson’s period drama Fences, while Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Mainstage Production went to Catherine Văn-Davies (Constellations) – her second award of the evening.

Best Musical was awarded to A Little Night Music (Hayes Theatre Co), whose director Dean Bryant was given Best Direction of a Musical.

The Judith Johnson Award for Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Musical went to Ruva Ngwenya for her blazing turn in Tina The Tina Turner Musical.

Ruva Ngwenya collects her Sydney Theatre Award. Photo @ David Hooley

Abigail Adriano (Miss Saigon) took home Best Newcomer, and Best New Australian Work was awarded to Brisbane playwright Lewis Treston for Hubris & Humiliation.

Two Awards for Lifetime Achievement were presented, one to Jane Seldon, an unsung heroine of Australian theatre and longtime Wardrobe Mistress for Sydney Theatre Company and countless productions on Sydney stages; and the other to director, actor, writer, composer and educator Terence Clarke.

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Sydney Theatre Awards 2023: the winners

Best Mainstage Production

The Visitors (Sydney Theatre Company and Moogahlin Performing Arts)

Best Independent Production

A Streetcar Named Desire (Red Line Productions)

Best Direction of a Mainstage Production

Shari Sebbens (Fences)

Best Direction of an Independent Production

Alexander Berlage (A Streetcar Named Desire)

Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Mainstage Production

Catherine Văn-Davies (Constellations)

Best Performance in a Leading Role in an Independent Production

Sheridan Harbridge (A Streetcar Named Desire)

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Mainstage Production

Andrew McFarlane (Hubris & Humiliation)

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in an Independent Production

Catherine Văn-Davies (A Streetcar Named Desire)

Best Stage Design of a Mainstage Production

Isabel Hudson (Constellations)

Best Stage Design of an Independent Production

Nick Fry (Metropolis)

Best Costume Design of a Mainstage Production

Isabel Hudson (Hubris & Humiliation)

Best Costume Design of an Independent Production

Grace Deacon (An ox stand on my tongue)

Best Lighting Design of a Mainstage Production

Benjamin Brockman (Constellations)

Best Lighting Design of an Independent Production

Morgan Moroney (Collapsible)

Best Sound Design of a Mainstage Production

James Brown (Constellations)

Best Original Score of a Mainstage Production

Grace Ferguson (On the Beach)

Best Sound Design and Composition of an Independent Production

Zara Stanton (Metropolis)

Best New Australian Work

Hubris & Humiliation (Lewis Treston)

Best Newcomer

Abigail Adriano (Miss Saigon)

Best Ensemble

The Visitors (Sydney Theatre Company and Moogahlin Performing Arts)

Best Production of a Musical

A Little Night Music (Hayes Theatre Co)

Best Direction of a Musical

Dean Bryant (A Little Night Music)

Judith Johnson Award for Best Performance in a Leading Role in a Musical

Ruva Ngwenya (Tina The Tina Turner Musical)

Best Performance in a Supporting Role in a Musical

Nancye Hayes (A Little Night Music)

Best Musical Direction

Zara Stanton (Metropolis)

Best Choreography in a Musical

Vi Lam (The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee)

Best Production for Children

Waru (Bangarra Dance Theatre and Sydney Festival)

Best Production for Young People

The Lies We Were Told (Shopfront Arts and Monkey Baa)

Lifetime Achievement Awards

Terence Clarke and Jane Seldon

 

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