Bendigo’s Melissa Harrington enters the new year full of confidence after winning the Gladys Moncrieff Award at the Music Theatre Guild of Victoria’s 2015 Bruce Awards in December.
The Gladys Moncrieff Award goes to the best first performance in a featured role.
Harrington won the award for the role of Carrie White in Fab Nobs Theatre’s production of musical Carrie.
While she is an experienced performer in Bendigo, Carrie was her first major role in Melbourne.
“I have been in Melbourne for five years but this is the first show I've done,” she said.
“(Fab Nobs) took a chance on an unknown. I hadn't done anything since All Shook Up in 2009. I was studying musical theatre and a screen acting course.
“I found late that I was nominated. It was amazing because I was nominated with Natasha (Bassett) who played my mum.”
Harrington and Bassett performed Why Not Me? at the Guild Awards shortly before Harrington’s category.
“It was completely unexpected. My category was right after my performance, so there was no time to think. It all happened very fast.
“It was nice to get recognition for what we achieved in a small venue, there are so many shows on in Melbourne.”
In Bendigo, Harrington featured in the small independent production of Title of Show in November.
The show featured other talented locals Alicia Barker, Jason McMurray and Joel McDonald.
“Joel and I lived down road from each other when we were kids, so we had been friends since grade 1,” Harrington said.
“Joel talked about Title of Show and I said I’d do it if he ever got it off ground. It’s nice that it came though and I could do it.
Harrington said she had always loved music and theatre from a young age.
“My first musical was at Eaglehawk Secondary but I grew up playing cornet in the Citizens Brass Band,” she said.
Harrington is looking forward to finding new projects in 2016.
“I’m going to spend this year finding projects that are fun and creative,” she said.
“I want to perform at Ulumbarra, so when that chance arises I’ll definitely go for that.
“It’s a tricky balance living in Melbourne, affording life and filling the creative part of me that needs to perform.”