Naledi Theatre Awards 2016

Photo: Duncan Riley

The principal event in the Gauteng theatre calendar came to a dazzling climax in April, when the winners of the prestigious Naledi Theatre Awards were announced to a packed audience at the Lyric Theatre, Gold Reef City, Johannesburg.

Set and Lighting Designer Robert Hoey from Dream Sets incorporated a Robe rig for a glitzy look and feel. This year Robe Lighting, DWR Distribution and Dream Sets assisted as sponsors for this worthy event.

Executive Director, and Creative Director for the Event, Dawn Lindberg, said of this years 39th awards: “The standard of excellence gets higher and higher each year, making the judges’ job of selecting winners almost tortalogical. All the nominees are winners in our eyes!” The panel sees over 70 productions each year, with over 300 nominees on the list of excellence.” The process of seeing, analysing and assessing all professional productions staged in Gauteng during each year is a full time job which is not always acknowledged,” Lindberg continued. “Lack of sufficient financial support from Government and commercial sponsors is a constant battle, but Naledi is proud to be internationally recognised as the bench mark of excellence in SA live theatre.”

“All my creative knowledge and grounding has come from theatre, so I always want to give back where I can,” said Hoey. “Des and Dawn Lindberg are also a big motivation for me, I love working with passionate people and these two are incredible.“

Hoey wanted to bring the awards to life with colour, and as the Naledi logo vibrantly patterned he used this as his cue. “I also wanted to add the big showy look because the event is filmed for television. Another part of my design was getting the colour temperature right. I used no tungsten generics and all sources were arch or LED.”

The lighting rig consisted of 12 Robe BMFL Spots, six Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 Spots, 6 Philips Vari-Lite VL4000 BeamWash, 12 Martin by Harman MAC Quantum Spots, 22 Robe ColorWash 700E AT, six Robe ColorSpot 700E AT, MDG Haze and programming on a MA Lighting grandMA2 Light. It was the first time that Robert had used the VL 4000s. “As always, Vari-Lite has produced great products, powerful, refined with colours that rocked,” he said. “The BMFL were outstanding and I wish I could light all my shows with them.”

The Naledi Theatre Awards have been in existence for 12 years. Its mission is to recognise and reward excellence in the Performing Arts, to raise the profile of Live Theatre and to create awareness of the abundant talent alive and well on our SA stages. The Naledi Theatre Awards has honoured over 60 Lifetime Achievers: veteran artistes, technicians, and administrators who have dedicated their lives to SA Theatre, and also pays tribute to people in the Arts who have taken their final bows during the year under review.

Generous sponsorship is provided by the DAC’s Mzansi Golden Economy and Kyknet, with support funding from Business and Arts South Africa (BASA). Sponsorship in kind is received from the Lyric Theatre at Gold Reef City, Tsogo Sun, Distell, The Johannesburg Youth Orchestra (JYO), MJ Event Gear, Gearhouse Splitbeam, AVIS and Stiki corporate gifts. Category sponsors include: The Market Theatre (Emerging Voice), The SA State Theatre (Best New SA Script), ROBE Lighting (Best lighting design) and DWR Distribution (Best Sound design) (who are jointly sponsoring a trip to Prague to tour the ROBE factory for the winner of the Best Lighting Award), Dreamsets (Best Setdesign), Carolyn Steyn (Best Production of a Musical), and Percy Tucker (Best Director).