Two MATES Theatre Genesis actors have been recognised for outstanding performances in the group’s 2017 season with nominations in the ninth Gold Coast theatre awards.
The Gold Coast area theatre awards are an annual series of awards to acknowledge volunteer contributors to local theatre, as well as encouraging the next generation of stage performers coming out of school programs. The catchment area for the awards stretches from Redcliffe in the north and south to Ballina.
Roy Nunn of Wynnum and Suzanne Kelly of Cleveland were nominated for their roles in MTG January production of Jonathan Biggins’ witty, irreverent satire Australia Day.
Mr Nunn’s nomination in the category of best actor in a supporting role in a community theatre play is for his portrayal of the character Wally Stewart. Wally is a plain-speaking country local who is one-eyed patriotic about his home town of Coriole. Despite a hard exterior Wally confronts demons from his past formed in response to the tragic loss of a child with special needs.
Ms Kelly’s nomination in the category of best actress in a supporting role in a community theatre play is for her portrayal of CWA lady Maree Bucknell. Maree is a woman of contradictions; her cultural insensitivities born out through her casual, unconscious racism contrast with her compassionate concern for others.
Ms Kelly said she drew on her experiences working for primary industries when developing her character.
“I’ve met a lot of ‘Marees’ in my life. I did a lot of work in the bush, and there are lot of ‘Maree’s’ out there so I was channelling some of those ladies”, she said.
Both Mr Nunn and Ms Kelly said they were overwhelmed by their nomination saying that to be considered among the finalists was worthy acknowledgment of a quality individual performance and receiving industry acknowledgement was testament to the quality of the performances MATES Theatre Genesis put on stage.
This year is the third year actors from MTG have been nominated in the awards with six nominations to date.
Mr Nunn and Ms Kelly both came into acting late in life.
Mr Nunn has had several musical theatre experiences with Savoyards, been cast in drama and comedy plays with Mercury Theatre including the historical Queensland drama Presumed Guilty, and musical performances as part of the Brisbane City Council’s Lord Mayor’s Seniors’ Cabaret concert.
In his younger days Mr Nunn was involved in football and surf clubs, but it wasn’t until a singing teacher suggested he had a voice for musical theatre that Roy took first auditioned.
“I’ve never looked back. This is a whole new life and it can go on for the rest of your life,” he said.
Ms Kelly joined the Redlands’ branch of University of the Third Age (now, Redlands U3A Musical Theatre) and started in a play reading group, later joining U3A’s Footlites and then participating in a LINKS drama workshop held at RPAC.
The LINKS workshop introduced her to local writer Paul Mahoney who cast her in his short film The Australian Patient.
The 2017 Gold Coast Area Theatre Awards will be presented on Tuesday, December 12 at the Arts Centre Gold Coast and hosted by musical theatre’s Rob Mills.