The winners of the 2020 Performing Arts WA Awards, presented by Artist Relief Fund WA, were announced at an online ceremony on Saturday night.

Fully SikhSukhjit Kaur Khalsa and Pavan Kumar Hari. Photograph © Daniel J Grant

In theatre, Spare Parts Puppet Theatre’s On Our Beach took out the prize for Best Mainstage Production, beating out Black Swan State Theatre Company’s The Torrents, The Last Great Hunt’s Lé Nør [the rain], Black Swan State Theatre Company’s collaboration with WA Youth Theatre Company, Medea, and Sukhjit Kaur Khalsa’s new play Fully Sikh, a co-production by Barking Gecko Theatre and Black Swan State Theatre Company.

Fully Sikh took out three awards, with Khalsa herself winning Best Newcomer, Matt Edgerton winning Best Direction of a Mainstage Production, and Pavan Kumar Hari winning Best Composition or Arranging.

The Blue Room Theatre and Static Drive Co won Best Independent Production with writer Sam Nerida also taking out Best New Work.

Best Actor (Male) went to Humphrey Bower for his performance in The Apparatus, while Best Actor (Female) went to Charlotte Otton for Feminah. Best Supporting Actor (Male) went to St John Cowcher for Playthings and Best Supporting Actor (Female) to Amberly Cull for Tony Galati: The Musical.

Emily McLean was awarded Best Director of an Independent Production for The Blue Room Theatre and Red Ryder Production’s The Wolves.

In dance, Best Production went to West Australian Ballet’s Alice (in wonderland), with Chihiro Nomura taking out Best Performer (Female) for her performance as Alice. Scott Elstermann’s Act 2, Scenes 1-4 (part of BANG! BANG!) took out Best New Work, with Elstermann also winning Best Performer (Male), while Best Newcomer went to Lilly King for Radar. Best Director or Choreographer went to Rachel Arianne Ogle for precipice.

Best Sound Design went to Joe Lui for BANG! BANG!, Best Lighting Design went to Chris Donnelly for 歸屬 Gui Shu (Belong) – for which Tyler Hill and Ashley de Prazer also won Best Stage Design – while Caitri Jones won Best Costume Design for Lé Nør [the rain].

“These are extraordinary times for our sector,” said the Artist Relief Fund’s secretary Nick Maclaine. “We felt it was more necessary than ever for WA’s arts workers to be acknowledged, rewarded and celebrated.”

“It was a joy to come together online and celebrate the people who enrich our state,” he said.