The calendar year for judging runs from January to the end of November. Participating societies nominate which productions they would like judged throughout the year. Each show is independently viewed and judged by the judges using the same criteria. A report is submitted to the convenor after every show.

The panel meets in early December to identify a list of final nominees, who are announced at a separate event hosted by one of the musical societies. The judges then meet again to vote on the winners of each category with the final results announced at the awards evening.

How the judging works
Each of the judges must see a show once in their capacity as a NAPTA judge - where ever possible avoiding both opening and closing performances. Judges are free to attend shows again, but judging occurs only on the first viewed performance.

The Judges independently complete an assessment of each Award category for a show. Each category is rated on its own merits. Comments are also recorded for each category. The forms are collected and held by the convenor.

Click here to view the 2017 Judging Criteria Guidelines... (PDF)

On completion of the judging year, the convenor will tally the scores and nominees are generally found using these scores. A maximum of 5 nominations in each category is the guideline.

The final decision
On completion of the nomination process the final decision process then takes place. The judges are presented with the collated comments of all nominees for each Award category.

An open discussion is then entered into followed by a secret ballot. After 4 - 5 categories the convenor and adjudicator will collate scores. If a minimum of three judges have voted for one nominee they become the NAPTA recipient. If a recipient is not found then further discussions take place & another ballot is taken until a recipient is found.

The convenor is the only person who knows who the recipients are. They then collate the recipients in readiness for the NAPTA Awards evening.

2019 Season Judges

  • Geoff Hughes

  • Geoffrey made his stage debut in Auckland when he was 14 and since then he has been on the stage, back stage or producing shows. He has written and directed 3 pantomimes, stage managed 2 live to air concerts, owned and managed an entertainment company for 12 years (which toured NZ 8 times a year), freelanced professionally for 10 years and graduated with a music degree from the Queensland Conservatorium of Music.

    He has appeared professionally in Hong Kong, Australia and New Zealand in productions and in concert with the Melbourne Symphony Orchestra & the Auckland Philharmonic Orchestra.

  • Julia Leathwick
  • Julia has had a long association with all sides of theatre, from stage management to making props, serving tea and coffee, sound and lighting design to painting sets.

    An accomplished actor and director Julia has been on stage since 11 - some 43 years of involvement. As a committee member who specialised in marketing Julia has mainly been involved with The Dolphin Theatre and Ellerslie Theatrical Society but has worked at most theatres around Auckland.

    A former Showdown judge for Auckland school shows Julia is delighted to be a NAPTA Judge in 2020.

  • Craig Rodgers
  • Craig has been involved in the Auckland theatrical scene for almost 20 years now. On stage he has performed in over 30 shows in lead, cameo and ensemble roles for both amateur and pro-amateur productions, previously being NAPTA nominated twice for best leading male in a musical. Back stage, he has directed two shows, performed the role of production manager for several productions and has occasionally picked up a hammer to help build a set.

    Craig also served for 10 years on the Auckland Music Theatre committee in the roles of secretary and vice chair. After a sojourn from theatre to pursue a career in international travel, Craig is delighted to be returning to the scene.

  • Rosalie Mayo

  • A previous NAPTA judge Rosalie has been involved in theatre since 1990 and over the years has performed both in musicals and plays, been involved with costumes, Props design, front of house at various theatre groups and also has several NAPTA nominations. Most recently she was Production Manager for 2 shows as well as being a Committee member and Secretary of Centrestage Theatre and project-managing the refurbishment of the auditorium.

  • Debbie Penney

  • Debbie has been involved in Musical Theatre since the late 80’s and performed in musicals throughout New Zealand, Australia, and Asia. She originally studied singing with the late Beatrice Webster and under her guidance went on to study Theatre Performance at Auckland University.

    Debbie has played nearly every role in the long running Australian production of Menopause the Musical and more recently toured New Zealand with a local production of the show. She also performed in the controversial show “Jerry Springer the Opera” at the Sydney Opera House and has represented New Zealand in Japan in the Asian, Pacific Expo.

    An experienced teacher, Debbie has had responsibility for training choirs, writing, directing and producing school productions and co-ordinating schools for choral events, so she is no stranger to what goes on behind the scenes to make a production come to life.

  • Sue Wilson - Convenor
  • Sue has been involved in Auckland theatre for about 40 years, starting out with Light Opera and North Shore Music Theatre.

    Since then she has performed with societies all around Auckland including Harlequin, Papakura, Centrestage and Auckland Music Theatre. Both a singer and a dancer back in the day Sue has had roles in such musicals as Guys & Dolls, Chicago, Sweet Charity, Godspell and Victor/Victoria. With a 17 year break raising a daughter, it’s a thrill to be involved with theatre once again.

Selection of Judges
Judges are appointed by the NAPTA Trust for a maximum period of two consecutive years. Participating societies are called upon to nominate suitable members to fill the 5 annual judging roles.

If you are interested in becoming a NAPTA Judge, or would like to nominate someone, please contact us.


Thank you to our 2019 Season Sponsors:

Event Partners
iTICKET Geoff Clews, Barrister

Award Sponsors

Artemis Executive Recruitment Amici Productions Amici Trust Music Theatre International Australasia

Estee Lauder Companies NZ Musical Theatre New Zealand Origin Theatrical Auckland Performing Arts Academy

Event Sponsors

Stageantics Childrens Musical Theatre Studio Stewart and Co Creative Ambiance Stage Technologies

Event Funders

Pub Charity Ltd Bluesky Community Trust