CAT’s out of the bag about Kevin's gong

IT’S the gold Logie of amateur theatre and now it belongs to Molong.

Molong Players director and writer Kevin Beatty took out the gold CAT (Canberra Area Theatre) award on Saturday night in recognition of his outstanding achievement in original scripts, performance and direction with the group.

The gong caps off his 15-year involvement with the Molong Players.

He puts the award down to juggling multiple roles on and off stage with the group since 2006.

When Mr Beatty was roped into a cameo role with the players in 1999 he had never tread the boards before, but after catching the acting bug he became a regular with the group and took up writing and directing seven years ago.

“It’s very rewarding making people laugh and clap and have a good time and working with a great team,” he said.

“It’s a good release from day to day life.”

Mr Beatty wasn’t the only player to walk away smiling from Saturday’s CAT awards at the Australian National University.

A long-time member of the group Launa Boucher won the best contribution by a senior category.

Mr Beatty said Ms Boucher had done a lot for the group - on and off stage.

“To see the categories and talent we were up against, some of these people are professionals, and for a little town like ours to be mixing it with them and ultimately to get the top award is great,” he said.

Mr Beatty said the judges told him they were impressed by the group’s community focus.

“When they watch it they have a ball and they can see the whole community gets behind the cause which is raising money for charity,” he said.

“They can feel the warmth of the whole community spirit.”

"To see the categories and talent we were up against, some of these people are professionals, and for a little town like ours to be mixing it with them and ultimately to get the top award is great"

After scoring Saturday’s honour, Mr Beatty plans to take a break from the players for the next year and allow someone else to step forward.

About 24 cast and crew members worked on the group’s last production of A Club Full of Cracks in August.

The Molong Players took out two of the four categories they were nominated in at Saturday’s awards, but the Orange Theatre Company and Kinross Wolaroi School failed to pick up any awards.

Kinross Wolaroi School received 11 nominations for their two 2013 productions - Tribes, Vines and Killer Joules and Hairspray.

Orange Theatre Company received six nominations for their 2013 production of The Phantom of the Opera including best production, best leading actress and best leading actor in a musical.

The last time someone from the Orange region took home the gold CAT awards was in 2012 when Kinross Wolaroi School writer, director and teacher Romko Hordynsky won for his original screenplay for Robbin’ the Rich.

clare.colley@fairfaxmedia.com.au

STORY: BEATTY WINS TOP GONG AT CAT AWARDS

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