Voting under way as Sanaa Theatre awards set for Monday

George Orido founder of Sanaa Awards
George Orido founder of Sanaa Awards. PHOTO | MARGARETTA WA GACHERU | NMG 

The public has around 24 more hours remaining in which to cast their votes in this year’s Sanaa Theatre Awards. So let me encourage all friends of Kenyan theatre to cast your vote online by going to the Sanaa website straight away and let your vote be known. The absolute deadline is noon on Saturday, December 1.

George Orido, founder of the Awards back in 2015, has been delighted with the public’s participation in this year’s voting process. “We have been experiencing an avalanche of interest in the awards this year,” says the theatre activist who apologised last Friday when the short-list of nominees were being announced at Kenya National Theatre. “We weren’t able to hold the awards last year due to the elections,” he told a room full of thespians, several of whom had gotten word that they were among those who had been short-listed.

“But (by Wednesday) we have already seen over 10,000 voters log into the website to cast their votes,” he says.

Among those short-listed thespians who were on hand in the KNT Gallery were actors like Nick Ndeda and Bilal Wanjau who are up for best actor in a supporting role, Pauline Kyalo for best actress in a supporting role, Walter Sitati for best playwright, James Murua and Anthony Njagi for best theatre, art and culture Writer, and Stuart Nash and Amar Desai for both best director and best producer.

In all those categories and many more (41 in all) there were a wide range of potential nominees to choose from. In fact, these past two years have been so bountiful as far as production of outstanding theatrical shows is concerned that it was a major challenge for the jurists to whittle down the numbers of fine thespians in every field to give the public a chance to focus on a few.

For example, the short-listing of potential best directors came down to eight individuals which doesn’t seem like much of a “short” list.

The winners of this year’s Sanaa Theatre Awards will be announced this Monday from 6pm at Kenya National Theatre.