The hills are alive as MMuDS scoop mu­si­cal theatre awards

Mansfield Courier - - NEWS - By KYLIE WIL­SON and DAVID MIMS

MANS­FIELD Mu­si­cal and Dra­matic So­ci­ety (MMuDS) were big win­ners at the 25th and fi­nal Zonta Awards for Per­form­ing Arts, held at Qual­ity Ho­tel Wan­garatta Gate­way on Fri­day.

MMuDS had en­tered its 2014 pro­duc­tion of Sound of Mu­sic in the mu­si­cals sec­tion, which was up against huge com­pe­ti­tion: My Fair Lady from Al­bury-Wodonga Theatre Com­pany, The Boy from Oz by Be­nalla Play­ers, and Fame from Al­le­gro.

The awards were con­tested by a large num­ber of theatre groups through­out the North East, with 10 shows be­ing con­sid­ered for awards in all, and shows were con­sid­ered in both the drama and mu­si­cal cat­e­gories.

There were mo­ments of ex­u­ber­ance, spir­ited cheer­ing, speeches filled with emo­tion and grat­i­tude, and lots of singing along.

Each com­pany per­formed a song or short ex­cerpt from its show or play, which was a hugely en­ter­tain­ing ‘cho­co­late box as­sort­ment’ for the guests, given the va­ri­ety of pro­duc­tions nom­i­nated.

This cer­tainly demon­strated that am­a­teur per­form­ing arts is very much alive and well in North East Vic­to­ria.

The big­gest win­ners on the night were Mans­field Mu­si­cal and Dra­matic So­ci­ety (MMuDS) and their pro­duc­tion of The Sound of Mu­sic in the mu­si­cal cat­e­gory, and The Other Theatre Com­pany (TOTCo) for Much Ado About Noth­ing in the drama cat­e­gory.

MMuDS fared ex­traor­di­nar­ily well, earn­ing five awards and 10 nom­i­na­tions in to­tal.

The MMuDS web­site noted: “Con­grat­u­la­tions to all in­volved - these awards and nom­i­na­tions are tes­ta­ment to the cre­ative vi­sion and hard work of ev­ery­one in­volved in mount­ing the pro­duc­tion.”

Awards pre­sented to MMuDS were: Best Mu­si­cal Pro­duc­tion - Di­rec­tor Michael Is­bis­ter; Best Fe­male Lead - Jen O’Don­nell; Best Mu­sic/Or­ches­tra/Mu­si­cal Di­rec­tion; Best Stage De­sign; Best Cos­tumes. Other nom­i­na­tions earned by MMuDS were: Best Male Lead - Ian Todd; Best Sup­port­ing Male - Tom Bolitho; Best Sup­port­ing Fe­male - Hay­ley Robin­son; Best Sup­port­ing Fe­male - Maria Lieberth; Best Light­ing; Com­men­da­tion for Dig­i­tal Pro­jec­tion - Milton Tay­lor. Other win­ners in the mu­si­cals cat­e­gory were: Com­men­da­tion - Hamish Nel­son from Be­nalla Theatre Com­pany’s Boy From Oz as a ris­ing star for play­ing Young Peter Allen. Best Light­ing - My Fair Lady, Al­bury Wodonga Theatre Com­pany. Best Sup­port Fe­male - Rachel Feldt­mann, Boy From Oz, Be­nalla Theatre Com­pany. Best Sup­port Male - Jake Wil­lett, Fame, Al­le­gro Theatre Com­pany. Best Lead Male - Jamie Boat­wood, Boy From Oz, Be­nalla Theatre Com­pany. While this was the fi­nal cur­tain call for the Zonta Awards, Mans­field au­di­ences can be con­fi­dent that MMuDS will con­tinue to pro­duce qual­ity mu­si­cal and dra­matic pro­duc­tions, util­is­ing the won­der­ful ar­ray of tal­ent within the com­mu­nity.

PHOTO Kylie Wil­son

WIN­NING PER­FOR­MANCE: Proud MMuDS mem­bers at the Zonta Awards for Per­form­ing Arts on Fri­day night in Wan­garatta were (from left) Michael Is­bis­ter, Karen Pirie, Michele Padbury, Or­vokki Brit­ton, Jen O’Don­nell and Milton Tay­lor.

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