In an evening of celebration acknowledging the wonderful talent involved in musical theatre and plays in Otago and Southland, Southland born-and-bred musical, 18 Eden Avenue was recognised in two categories at the OSTAs (Otago Southland Theatre Awards); co-creator and Music Director, Dr Sally Bodkin-Allen, was there to represent the cast and crew.
The OSTA 2022 winners were lauded at their awards night on February 11th, held at the Gore Town and Country Club, with nominations from theatre productions across the Otago Southland region: Invercargill, Gore, Queenstown, South Otago, East Otago, West Otago, Taieri, and Cromwell. The shows were independently viewed and judged by OSTA-appointed judges during 2022, using established criteria.
Receiving seven nominations, including Best Leading Male in a Musical and Best Lighting & Visual Augmentation, the story of 18 Eden Avenue takes place in a large, formerly grand house and focuses on the relationships between the three generations of women who live there.
On the night, the musical won Best Set, and Best Vocal Direction by Sally Bodkin-Allen. Dr Bodkin-Allen said it was very exciting the new musical received the number of nominations it had.
“It was just great seeing the hard work that everyone put in be recognised. The award for Best Set acknowledged the hours of work that Director Jason Fraser, and Set Designer Malcolm McDonald, along with Kevin Marshall, put into the construction and design of the set.”
Playing to a sold-out season at Invercargill’s Repertory House in September 2022, the set cleverly utilised the space available and created a believable house with many different rooms. “It was quite beautiful and became another character in the story,” Dr Bodkin-Allen added.
She admits she was unprepared when she was announced as the winner of the Best Vocal Direction category.
“I was quite overwhelmed and had to pull myself together. I was honestly so happy to be nominated and hadn’t given much thought to making a speech and getting up on the stage in front of everyone!”
“It was lovely to have that moment on the stage to thank everyone, and celebrate the show.”
Dr Bodkin-Allen said the whole evening was extra special for her family, with her two daughters attending the awards. Meadow Bodkin-Allen, nominated in the Best Supporting Female in a Musical category for her role as Poppy in 18 Eden Avenue, received the I-Ticket Best Upcoming Talent Scholarship of $1000. “It was a pretty amazing night for us both,” Dr Bodkin-Allen said.