Voting closes at midnight in the Audience Choice Theatre Award

The Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards has one public vote category. And now is your last chance to have your say

The cast and production team of ‘Pals: The Irish at Gallipoli’ collecting their award at last year’s   event. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

The cast and production team of ‘Pals: The Irish at Gallipoli’ collecting their award at last year’s event. Photograph: Aidan Crawley

 

Voting in the Audience Choice prize for the Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards closes at midnight this evening. The awards celebrate the best plays, performances and production work in the Irish theatre.

This year, the Theatre Awards celebrate their 20th anniversary. They are given out across 15 categories, and almost entirely decided on by a panel of three judges. This year’s shortlists have already been announced.

The judges for 2016 were Anna Walsh, director of Theatre Forum, Trinity College Dublin professor emeritus Nicholas Grene, and Ella Daly, general manager of Dublin Youth Theatre. Between them, they saw more than 150 productions all across the country.

The Audience Choice prize is decided by the public. Each year the judges produce a shortlist of productions to act as a guide. Members of the public can vote now at irishtimes.com/audiencechoice  for their favourite production from 2016. They can choose from the shortlist or nominate their own, fresh selection.

Votes are limited to one per person, and the prize will be awarded to the professional Irish theatre production, first staged in 2016, that receives the most votes. The closing date is  midnight on Wednesday, February 15th.

Among those productions on the shortlist are Theatreclub’s production of It’s Not Over; the Abbey Theatre production of The Plough and the Stars, by Sean O’Casey; the Druid productions of Waiting for Godot, by Samuel Beckett and The Beauty Queen of Leenane, by Martin McDonagh; Swan Lake/Loch na hEala, by Michael Keegan-Dolan with Sadler’s Wells Theatre London, Colours International Dance Festival, Theaterhaus Stuttgart, Dublin Theatre Festival, and Theatre de la Ville, Luxembourg; The Father, produced by the Gate Theatre and written by Florian Zeller; These Rooms by Anu and Coisceim Dance Theatre; the Abbey Theatre and Royal Court Theatre co-production of Cyprus Avenue, by David Ireland; the Landmark Productions and Galway International Arts Festival production of Arlington [a love story], by Enda Walsh; and the Wide Open Opera production of The Barber of Seville, by Gioacchino Rossini.

The winner will be announced at this year’s ceremony, which takes place in the National Concert Hall, Dublin, on Sunday, March 5th. In addition, those who register a vote in the Audience Choice are in with a chance of winning a pair of tickets to the ceremony and a season pass from our friends at the Dublin Theatre Festival 2017. A runner-up will also receive a pair of tickets to the Theatre Awards.

Last year’s winner was Pals – the Irish at Gallipoli, produced by Anu with the National Museum of Ireland, the Department of Arts, Heritage and Gaeltacht, the National Archives of Ireland and the ICTU.

One prize in the awards has already been announced. This year’s Special Tribute award will be given to Siobhán Bourke and Jane Daly of the Irish Theatre Institute (ITI). Siobhán Bourke is the founder and co-director of the organisation, along with Jane Daly.

The ITI is a resource organisation for Irish theatre. It provides a range of networking, information and training programmes, based in its offices in Dublin’s Temple Bar. It researches and promotes the Irish repertoire through Playography Ireland, an online searchable catalogue of new Irish writing that goes back to 1901.

It also provides extensive programmes for supporting artists and developing work, including the Show in a Bag and Six in the Attic programmes. Almost every Irish theatre practitioner will have used its services at some stage in their career.

Tickets for this year’s Irish Times Irish Theatre Awards are now on sale from nch.ie (€20).

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