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06 December 2023
A Horsham-based theatre group won recognition for its latest production at a state awards ceremony in Melbourne.
Smart Artz Theatre Inc’s ‘Shuddersome: Tales of Poe’ received four nominations for best actor or actress at the Victorian Drama League annual awards, winning the gold award for best costume design.
Amy Anselmi and Juliet Hayday took out the award for costuming, while Mars Crooks, Lou Kelly, Scott Robinson and Adam Roche were nominated for their acting performances.
Spectres, ghosts and ghouls came alive in the vivid theatrical adaptation of some of Edgar Allan Poe’s best-known works – including The Tell-Tale Heart, The Bells, The Raven, The Oval Portrait and The Masque of the Red Death.
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Larissa Riddell directed the production.
Ms Anselmi said she collaborated with her mother, Juliet, on Shuddersome’s costuming, after an early conversation with Smart Artz co-founders Larissa Riddell and Luke Mitton led to her volunteering for the role.
“Mum has quite a bit of experience with costuming for the theatre. She’s actually won two costume awards previously from the Victorian Drama League,” Ms Anselmi said.
“She’s also an actor.
“I have a long history of being a choreographer but for me, costuming is relatively new.”
Ms Anselmi said Shuddersome allowed the duo to ‘delve into the steampunk aesthetic’, with the production running during the Wimmera Steampunk Festival in Dimboola.
“We felt the pressure to become knowledgeable about steampunk as an aesthetic and to do it justice in a theatrical way,” she said.
“It was a lot of hours. We made all of the hats, which were personalised for each character.
“We did source some ready-made costumes, but there was further embellishment to go with the steampunk genre, such as metal gears, clocks and watches.
“I’m just so thrilled with how great every single cast member looked.”
Smart Artz was previously a winner of Victorian Drama League awards for ‘The Laramie Project’, where it won best production, director, supporting actor, lighting and sound.
Horsham Town Hall has received funding and called on the theatre group to perform Robert Fagles’ translation of ‘Oedipus the King’, which will appear on the VCE reading list from next year.
The cast will include seasoned and emerging performers.
The group’s production of ‘Oedipus the King’ will take place in May 2024.
The entire December 6, 2023 edition of The Weekly Advertiser is available online. READ IT HERE!