And now for the 2010 Matilda Awards!

Last year Greenroom wrote about the Matilda Awards, since 1987 Queensland’s only awards for excellence in theatre production.  That post put a few questions about the nature, scope and range of work under consideration.

This year the award categories have been reduced from 12 to 10.  Best Musical Production has gone, with Best Technical Design and Best Design bundled together into the single category, Best Design – there had been a bit of a kerfuffle post-Matilda last year about this split in the design categories.

Like all smart arts organisations in this day and age, the Matildas now have a social media presence; theirs is on Facebook.  It was good to see some information on this year’s awards posted a week or so ago; FB fans had been asking when the nominations were to be announced.  Soon, it would seem, if the social media tom-toms are to be believed.  By the way, the 2010 Matildas will be held from 6.30pm April 19th at the Judith Wright Centre for Contemporary Art in the Valley, Brisbane.

In case you don’t have or want a Facebook account here is some information from the Matildas’ fan page.  Perhaps it will also encourage a bit more of a conversation and address those questions which remain unanswered:

  • What is a mainstage production, and how is it different from an independent production?
  • For that matter, what is Matilda’s definition of community theatre which is excluded from consideration? (see Voting Procedure below)  Is amateur theatre meant?  Some self-styled community theatre in the regions is pro-am – like a lot of independent theatre elsewhere – and that leads on to
  • Why the Matildas are still called ‘Queensland’ awards, whilst regional professional and independent theatre is excluded?  Why not be proudly Brisbane, and be done with it.

Good on the Matilda judging panel/committee/board/ and the terrific Playlab Press (sponsoring again) for working hard on an event that profiles, supports, and celebrates the work being done in the Brisbane professional and independent theatre community.  PS Did you know that Playlab is Australia’s second-largest publisher of theatre and new work for performance?

Award Categories

There will be ten commendations in the following categories:

• Best Mainstage Production
• Best Independent Production
• Best Direction
• Best Actress In A Lead Role
• Best Actor In A Lead Role
• Best Actress In A Supporting Role
• Best Actor In A Supporting Role
• Best New Australian Work
• Best Emerging Artist
• Best Design (set, lighting, sound or costume)

However, if the judges see something they feel is outstanding but does not fit into any of the above categories, for instance a musical, they will be at liberty to give an award to it. These award winners will receive a framed certificate.

  • Another question: Why doesn’t a musical fit into any of the categories cited above?  Compensation perhaps for dumping the award for Best Musical Production?

As well as the commendations, there will be five Matilda Awards.

These are the premium awards and the winners will receive trophies.

A Matilda is awarded for outstanding work in any area of the theatre industry.  Awards may be given for a body of work, or for a single work.  Receiving a commendation does not disqualify a theatre worker from receiving a Matilda in that same year.

The 2010 judging panel

Voting Procedure

The judges compile a comprehensive list of all the productions that are eligible for that year adhering to the following guidelines:

For an arts worker to be nominated for work on an individual production that production must comply with the following guidelines:

  • the production was either a fully professional or a pro-am production – no community theatre
  • international and national touring productions are not eligible
  • the play must have been seen by at least 50 per cent of the judges.

If there is no category for a show that amazed everyone, then a category should be created to award that show. Further, if half the board saw a show and rated that show the best they had seen, then that should be seen more favourably than a show everyone saw but thought was mediocre.


For each category, committee members should award two points to their first choice and one point to their second.  This ensures that a board members’ second preference also gets counted.

There should be at least four nominations in every category to form a shortlist.

Judges cannot vote in categories where they have a conflict of interest, for instance if they or a family member have been involved in a production in any way.

4 Replies to “And now for the 2010 Matilda Awards!”

  1. Further Update: Really curious now. The category Best Emerging Artist appears not to have attracted any nominees, at least not in the list published by the Courier Mail Arts Blog. Why, Matilda, why?

  2. Update: All the nominees were announced today. Congratulations to everyone! The good thing is we think we now know (judging by these nominations) what Matilda means by the term ‘Mainstage Production.’ It’s a show that’s been produced by either Queensland Theatre Company or La Boite Theatre. Dilemma solved.

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