More platinum found in the Redlands - The Community Leader and Real Estate New and Views

Kate Peters with Jan Nary. Photo: Supplied.

While they don’t get the same international coverage as the Cannes Palme d’Or cinema awards, the Gold Coast’s Gold Palm Theatre Awards are eagerly awaited every December by theatre groups all over south-east Queensland and northern NSW. Inaugurated in 2009 (originally as the Gold Coast Area Theatre Awards) the “Palmies” are now regarded as an annual highlight by community theatre groups, high schools and colleges.

The brain-child of actor/producer Kate Peters, the awards were initiated in 2009 as a way of publicly acknowledging the contribution made by community and non-professional performers, celebrating the essential part that theatre plays in our society, providing a network of connection and resource sharing and encouraging the pursuit of theatrical excellence.

Kate says that people are transported to another time and place by theatre.

“They’re taken away from the problems of their daily lives… performers create magic, and historically live performance has been embraced even in the darkest of times.”

Plays presented by participants (50 groups in 2023) are assessed by three judges (from a full panel of 12), all of whom have a long history in theatre as actors, educators, and administrators. Thirty-two awards, covering every aspect of production and stagecraft, are presented at the end-of-year celebration. The pick of the crop is the Platinum Palm Award, presented to the individual or company deemed to have presented/supplied/staged or appeared in a production or given a service to the Theatrical Community which is considered outstanding; this year it will be coming to a home with Theatre Redlands in the Redlands Museum.

Jan Nary, one of the principals of Museum-auspiced Theatre Redlands, was the awarded the trophy for her play about the Australian Women’s Land Army, The Other Diggers, which premiered in June. A thoroughly researched re-creation of a group of Land Army women, the play was inspired by a talk given by Redland Councillor Paul Bishop.

“Researching, formatting and writing the play was a big task but the results were intensely gratifying,” Jan says. “I managed to find two women who had been in the Land Army; their stories were priceless additions to what I could glean from family members and limited records. I had support from RADF to create a stage presentation – an Australian first, I think – that pays homage to those wonderful women and their vital wartime role, a role that has been largely overlooked by history.”

The new trophy will join a Special Platinum Award and a Judges’ Discretionary Award, presented for the Theatre Redlands’ 2020 Hallowe’en show When the Darkness Moves, on the Museum’s “Skite Site” display shelf.

You may be interested in