Guidelines and Judging Panels

The guidelines for eligibility for awards are simple:
Awards are given annually for new productions that have opened on Sydney stages in the calendar year of voting.
Only Australian performers and creatives are eligible. International performers and creatives are ineligible, even if they are working on Australian produced shows.
Productions are eligible only in the year they commence in Sydney - remounts of the same show are ineligible, although replacement cast are eligible.

A new judging panel structure, which includes prominent industry specialists alongside theatre critics, has been introduced in 2021 for the Independent Theatre categories and for the awards in Children and Young People’s Theatre. This new structure will be expanded in 2022 to include the panels for Mainstage Theatre and Musicals.

The panels for the 2021 Sydney Theatre Awards are:
MAINSTAGE THEATRE PANEL – Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jade Kops (BroadwayWorld), Jo Litson (Limelight), John McCallum (The Australian), Cassie Tongue (Sydney Morning Herald/The Guardian), Suzy Wrong (Suzy Goes See)

INDEPENDENT THEATRE PANEL – Jason Blake (Audrey Journal), Harriet Cunningham (Sydney Morning Herald), Bernadette Fam (director/dramaturg/writer/producer), Imogen Gardam (Griffin), Sarah Odillo Maher (Ensemble), Dom Mercer (Belvoir), Kenneth Moraleda (actor/director), Catherine Swallow (Riverside Theatres)

MUSICALS PANEL – Deborah Jones (The Australian), Jade Kops (BroadwayWorld), Jo Litson (Limelight), John Shand (Sydney Morning Herald), Cassie Tongue (Sydney Morning Herald/ The Guardian), Suzy Wrong (Suzy Goes See)

CHILDREN AND YOUNG PEOPLE’S PANEL – John McCallum (The Australian), Amy Matthews (Riverside Theatres), Joshua Maxwell (Jopuka Productions), Danielle O’Keefe (The House that Dan Built), Ian Phipps (ABC Radio)

Other special awards will be decided by the core group of critics.

The Sydney Theatre Awards is an entirely voluntary organisation, from the Critics Panel and Panel members to Awards producers, presenters and performers. All give their time because they believe that acknowledging the work of peers not only recognises their outstanding achievements, but contributes the strength, quality and diversity of the Sydney theatre community.

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