Stacey steps into the spotlight

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THE 2012 “CityNews” Artist of the Year award has been awarded to theatre director Caroline Stacey.

At the ACT Arts Awards ceremony, held at the Canberra Museum and Gallery, composer Prof Larry Sitsky presented Stacey with a $1000 cheque and a contemporary glasswork, “Elements of Landscape,” crafted by Hilary Crawford and provided by Beaver Galleries, of Deakin.

The Canberra Critics’ Circle judges singled Stacey out for the award for her outstanding contribution to theatre in Canberra, as a practising director and as artistic director of The Street Theatre, where she has initiated and managed programs including the Hive, Made in Canberra, First Seen, dramaturgy program, actors’ solo work development, and “Solo at the Street”, which focus on encouraging, developing and bringing to performance level new local writers, composers and actors, providing opportunities for local designers and theatre technicians.

While also exposing Canberra audiences to exciting out-of-town concerts and shows, including Paul Capsis’ Helpmann Award-winning “Angela’s Kitchen”, she found time to plan and host The Capital Jazz Project and to direct a co-production of “Albert Herring” with the ANU School of Music.

She also continues to commission significant works by national writers, such as “MP”, by Alanna Valentine; “Cold Light”, by Frank Moorhouse and “Beyond Prejudice”, by Christos Tsiolkas, which provide additional opportunities for local practitioners.

Stacey was praised by the judges for more than 100 theatre projects commissioned and overseen by her, for her mature judgment and for having made The Street Theatre “hum”.

The awards evening, hosted by the Critics’ Circle, also featured the Circle’s own arts awards and the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance’s Green Room awards.

The 2012 Canberra Critics’ Circle awards went to: filmmakers Dallas Bland, Christian Doran and John Frohlich, and Kris Kerehona; writers Geoff Page, Bill Gammage, Robert Macklin, Nigel Featherstone, Kaaron Warren and Alan Gould; dance artists Adelina Larsson and Jordan Kelly; musical theatre artists Krystle Innes, Stephen Pike, Rose Shorney and Dick Goldberg; The Capital Jazz Project; Canberra Versailles Association; The Australian Rugby Choir; musicians John Shortis and Moya Simpson; Christopher Latham; Michael Sollis; Timothy Kain; visual artists Trish Roan, Masahiro Asaka, Dianne Firth, Bernie Slater, Alex Asch, Rachel Bowak and Robert Guth; theatre artists Everyman Theatre, Canberra Repertory Society, Caroline Stacey, Chrissie Shaw, barb barnett and Gillian Schwab, Hannah McCann, Jarrad West, Ronnie Flor and Naone Carrel.

The MEAA Green Room Award was presented by union member Andrea Close to actor Raoul Craemer for his strong theatrical work this year, especially for his role in the play “Kabir”. The 2012 MEAA Peer Recognition Award went to Stella Wilkie for her total dedication to theatre in Canberra.

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Helen Musa
“CityNews” arts editor

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