This year’s Green Room Awards ceremony is almost here, and ahead of the big night, the Association has announced four special awards to be included as part of the festivities at The Comedy Theatre on Monday, March 21st at 7pm.

The 2016 Lifetime Achievement Award is being made to the late Malcolm Robertson in honour of his substantial contribution to Melbourne’s theatre industry and his support of emerging playwrights. With ties to the John Alden Shakespeare Company, the Union Repertory Theatre Company and its evolution into the Melbourne Theatre Company, the Australia Council, Playbox Theatre (now Malthouse Theatre) and La Mama, many from their early days or inception, he was a constant supporter of new talent. His legacy continues through the Malcolm Robertson New Playwright Award, which was established in 2000, and the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, which was set up in 2005.

The Technical Achievement Award for 2016 will be presented to costume designer and seamstress Laurel Frank. Starting her career at the Pram Factory in Carlton, she was given a crash course in all aspects of theatre and eventually focused on costume making. In 1978 she joined the project that eventually became Circus Oz, where she is their resident costume designer and wardrobe manager, sending them on countless Australian and international tours. She continues to design for a myriad of productions, companies and events and regularly puts together teams of professional costume makers, prop makers, milliners etc. to achieve large and small projects.

In 2015, the Green Room Awards Association introduced the Geoffrey Milne Award for Contribution to the Development of Contemporary and Experimental Performance or Independent Theatre. The award will alternate between these two panels with which Geoffrey Milne was so closely associated. The Independent Theatre panel is presenting this year’s award to Mary Lou Jelbart, Artistic Director of fortyfivedownstairs.

The final special award is being presented by the Opera panel for Orchestral Excellence to the Australian Youth Orchestra for their involvement in Victorian Opera’s The Flying Dutchman.