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Fundamental, Stick Figures win big

Asst Prof Somporn Fourrage was also a winner at the intimate IATC Thailand Dance and Theatre Review

Asst Prof Somporn Fourrage with her Lifetime Achievement Award. Photos: Wipawee Chowlert

Theatre artists from 17 productions were nominated this year for the IATC Thailand Dance and Theatre Review, which took place on Tuesday at the Bangkok Art and Culture Centre (BACC). Now in its fifth year, the ceremony is hosted by the International Association of Theatre Critics Thailand Center. The casual and intimate event honours plays, musicals, and movement-based productions by artists residing in Thailand.

B-Floor Theatre reigned yet again with five nominations and three wins. The company's second collaboration with Korea's Theatre Momggol, Something Missing: Rite Of Passage got a nomination for Best Performance by an Ensemble. With four nominations, Teerawat Mulvilai's Fundamental, which commemorated the 40th anniversary of the October 6 Thammasat University massacre, took home instead the Ensemble award, as well as awards for Best Art Direction and Best Movement-based Performance.

Thai star Witwisit "Pchy" Hiranyawongkul wins Best Performance by a Male Artist. Wipawee Chowlert

The year 2016 was a big year for the tireless and versatile Pattarasuda Anuman Rajadhon. Like Teerawat, she was nominated for her work in two productions. Her bold and harmonious adaptation of three versions of the story of Shakuntala earned her a Best Adapted Script nomination. Her direction of both the Thai- and English-speaking casts of Josh Ginsburg's Stick Figures won her the Best Direction award. Stick Figures' three acting nominations and one win for the leading actress in the Thai cast, Varattha Tongyoo, are further proof of Pattarasuda's directing chops. If that wasn't enough, the artist was also part of the stellar cast of Nophand Boonyai's lovely Happy New Year, Mr Smith, which got three nominations.

Actor/singer-songwriter Witwisit "Pchy" Hiranyawongkul, the most recognisable face at the award ceremony, won Best Performance by a Male Artist for his work in Best Musical winner Cocktails The Musical, for which he wrote the lyrics.

Another big winner of Tuesday evening was the three-year-old Splashing Theatre Company, whose challenging play, The Disappearance Of The Boy On A Sunday Afternoon, took home Best Original Script and Best Play.

This year, the IATC Thailand Center honoured Asst Prof Somporn Fourrage of Thammasat University with a Lifetime Achievement Award. Three of her former students who are active theatre and TV artists today paid her tribute with funny and moving anecdotes. Known for her work in mime and lighting design, the humble and beloved professor, who almost got away with not giving an acceptance speech, concluded her brief and touching speech with: "Please, there's no need to send me the trophy later on. Having taught all these students is enough of an award for me."

Because of Somporn's teaching, the theatre scene has been gifted with many artists, most notably veteran lighting designer Supatra Kruekrongsuk; actress, lighting designer and co-founder of Democrazy Theatre Studio Pavinee Samakkabutr; dancer-choreographer and founder of Sun Dance Theatre and Bangkok's first Queer Theatre Festival Sun Tawalwongsri; and artistic director and curator of Thong Lor Art Space Wasurachata Unaprom.

Asst Prof Somporn Fourrage with her Lifetime Achievement Award. Photos: Wipawee Chowlert

Veteran stage artist Wannasak Sirilar beams as he accepts Best Adapted Script of a Play/Performance for Asorapis (The Snakes). Wipawee Chowlert

The cast of Fundamental pick up the Best Performance by an Ensemble award. Wipawee Chowlert

Winners of the IATC Thailand Da nce and Theatre Review 2016

Lifetime Achievement Award

- Asst Prof Somporn Fourrage

Best Play

- The Disappearance Of The Boy On A Sunday AfternoonSplashing Theatre Company

Best Musical

- Cocktails The MusicalThong Lor Art Space

Best Movement-based Performance

- FundamentalB-Floor Theatre

Best Script of a Play/Performance

- The Disappearance Of The Boy On A Sunday AfternoonThanaphon Accawatanyu

Best Adapted Script of a Play/Performance

- Asorapis (The Snakes)Wannasak Sirilar

Best Book of a Musical

- Mom: The MusicalDaraka Wongsiri

Best Direction of a Play/Performance/Musical

- Pattarasuda Anuman RajadhonKhon Kang Pla (Stick Figures)

Best Performance by a Male Artist

- Witwisit HiranyawongkulCocktails The Musical

Best Performance by a Female Artist

- Varattha TongyooKhon Kang Pla (Stick Figures)

Best Performance by an Ensemble

- The cast of Fundamental

Best Art Direction

- The design team of Fundamental

For the full list of all the nominees, please visit IATC Thailand's Facebook page.

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