Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards

The Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards are the main theatre awards in New Zealand's capital city, Wellington.

Established in 1992 and sponsored by law firm Chapman Tripp, the prestigious awards are a main highlight in Wellington's art and social calendar. The presentations also recognise important contributions to the arts and the community.[1] The winners are selected by a panel of Wellington theatre critics.

The main theatres in Wellington such as Bats Theatre, Circa Theatre, and Downstage Theatre, each have an individual Production of the Year award for their best production during the year.


In 2010 there were 21 categories of awards:[2]

  • Critics Wild Card
  • Brancott Estate Award for Most Original Production of the Year
  • Downstage Theatre Award for the Most Promising Male Newcomer of the Year
  • Circa Award Donated by TACT for the Most Promising Female Newcomer of the Year
  • Toi Whakaari: New Zealand Drama School & Victoria University of Wellington Award for the Most Promising New Director of the Year
  • Theatre Awards Trust for Costume Designer of the Year
  • Grouse Lighting Award for Lighting Designer of the Year
  • Weta Workshop Award for Set Designer of the Year
  • Absolutely Positively Outstanding Award for Sound Designer of the Year
  • Constance Scott Kirkdale Award for Outstanding Composer of Music
  • Peter Harcourt Award for Outstanding New Playwright of the Year Sponsored by BATS Theatre and Taki Rua
  • Orbit Corporate Travel Award for Supporting Actress of the Year
  • Chapman Tripp Award for Supporting Actor of the Year
  • Playmarket/Capital E National Theatre New New Zealand Play of the Year
  • Mayor's Award for Significant Contribution to the Theatre
  • Emerging Arts Trust Wellington Accolade for Outstanding Performance
  • Showcast Accolade for Outstanding Performance
  • Chapman Tripp Award for Actress of the Year
  • The ProActors and Gail Cowan Management Award for Actor of the Year
  • The Museum Hotel Award for Director of the Year
  • Chapman Tripp Award for Production of the Year

Notable winners

Winners at the Chapman Tripp Theatre Awards include the most acclaimed names in New Zealand theatre. Such names include directors such as multiple winner Colin McColl (Laureate Award, Arts Foundation of New Zealand 2007), Miranda Harcourt, Susan Wilson, Nathaniel Lees, Cathy Downes, Ross Jolly and Rachel Teaomarama House.

Best Actress winners include Jennifer Ludlam, Katherine McRae, Carmel McGlone, Grace Hoet and Madeleine Sami.

Best Actor winners include Ray Henwood, Tim Balme, Grant Tilly, Dave Fane and Peter Hambleton. In 2006, acclaimed Maori actor George Henare (NZ Laureate Award, Arts Foundation of New Zealand 2008) received a Chapman Tripp Best Actor Award for his portrayal of Willy Loman in Circa Theatre's Death of a Salesman. Playwrights include David Geary, Briar Grace-Smith, Hone Kouka, Hori Ahipene and Kirk Torrance.[3]


  1. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-02-20. Retrieved 2009-08-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  2. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2011-12-07. Retrieved 2011-12-05.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
  3. "Archived copy". Archived from the original on 2010-05-15. Retrieved 2009-08-04.CS1 maint: archived copy as title (link)
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