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Naledi Theatre Awards: Nominations Reveal 2017

After much anticipation, the Naledi Theatre Awards is proud to announce the nominees for productions staged during 2016.

Once again, the Market Theatre will be hosting the Nominations Reveal as a sponsorship in kind for which Naledi is most grateful. The reveal will take place on Monday 27 March 2017 at the Mannie Manim Theatre at 17:30 for 18:00. The Naledi Theatre Awards have been rewarding theatre excellence in South Africa for 13 years and has grown into one of the biggest and most prestigious Awards Events in the country. This year, the panel of 20 judges deliberated over two days and discussed over 100 productions in 27 categories which were staged last year in more than 23 theatres.

“It is indeed a huge commitment and labour of love for the judges whose only reward is two tickets to the shows,” says Dawn Lindberg, Executive Director of the Naledi’s. “The debates are open and vigorous, but in the end agreement is reached. Our only criteria is excellence, and it is particularly gratifying to see how much new local work is rising to the top.”

The Naledi Theatre Awards have been in existence for 13 years and are recognised as the Premiere Awards event on the Gauteng Theatre Calendar. 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 80 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. The Naledi Theatre Awards covers all mainstream professional productions from the period 1 January – 1 December of the previous year and the Naledi judges typically evaluate over 100 productions in approximately 27 categories. The Naledi panel of judges consists of informed and regular theatre-goers, academics and members of the media covering the arts in Johannesburg.

The Naledi’s are currently seeking funding for their 2017 Awards. Please contact to find out how you or your business can get involved.

Judges include: Renos Spanoudes (playwright, actor, presenter and drama teacher), Welcome Msomi (theatre producer and playwright), Sello Maake ka Ncube (TV and stage actor), Maishe Maponya (playwright and Arts Activist), Peter Feldman (arts journalist), Helen Heldenmuth (educational drama specialist, public speaker, writer and director), Gregory Goss (equestrian instructor, rider and international judge) Johan van der Merwe (theatre producer and Afrikaans Festival judge), Annelize Hicks (theatre lover and drama teacher), Jenni Newman (PR and radio presenter), Matthew Counihan (drama teacher and actor), Rudi Sadler (graphic designer and producer), Tiffany Higgo (drama teacher) and Lance Maron (ENT surgeon with a special interest in care of the professional voice and singer/performer). A special panel for Theatre for Young Audiences partnered with ASSITEJ SA to discuss this year’s nominees. This panel includes Gerard Bester (director of the Hillbrow Theatre Project), Allison Green (ASSITEJ SA director), Kgomotso Christopher (TV and stage actress), Omphile Molusi (theatre director and playwright), Dorianne Alexander (drama teacher), Lakin Morgan-Baatjies (arts administrator) and Renos Spanoudes.

“It is vitally important to keep Naledi alive as we hold a mirror to what is happening on our stages while encouraging new audiences and practitioners,” says Lindberg. “Theatre reflects our ever changing society and tells our stories of pain, rage, joy, celebration, and those of the human indomitable spirit,” she concludes.

“The date for the Awards event has not been determined as yet, due to lack of funding,” says Acting Chairman of the Naledi Theatre Awards, Welcome Msomi. “However, we are hoping to hear from NLC and other potential sponsors very soon so that the much anticipated Awards can proceed as planned.” The Nominations Reveal is open to all theatre practitioners, the media, and interested public free of charge. However, seating is limited so booking is essential. Please email: to reserve your tickets (maximum two per booking). For more information, visit and watch the 2016 promotional video here. Alternatively, you can connect with them on Facebook or on Twitter.

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