Lo­cal the­atre groups are gear­ing up for an­other great year, with new shows in re­hearsals and au­di­tions wait­ing in the wings

The Gold Coast Bulletin - Play Magazine - - DRESSING ROOMERS - KATE PETERS

It’s a quiet week the­atri­cally on the Gold Coast, but there’s lots in re­hearsal, in­clud­ing GCLT’s Back to the 80s, Spot­light’s Satur­day Night Fever, Bal­lina Play­ers’ Shrek the Mu­si­cal Jr., Javeen­bah’s Night, Mother and Tu­gun The­atre’s Wait Un­til Dark. Au­di­tions com­ing up in­clude those on Fe­bru­ary 5 at GCLT for Crown Mat­ri­mo­nial, the story of the Ab­di­ca­tion of Ed­ward VIII through the eyes of his mother, Queen Mary, and Tweed The­atre’s Broad­way Block­busters in Con­cert (Fe­bru­ary 12). The pop­u­lar Queens­land The­atre of Pup­petry will open Un­der the Sea at their the­atre on MacIn­tosh Is­land on Jan­uary 9, run­ning two shows daily at 9.30am and 11am. Pay at the door – no book­ings needed. It’s al­ways a good show for the lit­tlies. The­atre party supremo Doreen Hin­ton is host­ing her first char­ity night of the year on Fe­bru­ary 8 at 7.30pm for Spot­light The­atre’s Satur­day Night Fever the Mu­si­cal. The cost is $25 in­clud­ing sup­per. Doreen’s char­ity for 2017 is The Reef Aquar­ium Tur­tle Hos­pi­tal at Townsville. I heard a nice story from one of the Coast’s most ex­pe­ri­enced ac­tresses this week. Vet­eran thes­pian Jean Watson tells Dress­ing Roomers that when she and her hus­band came to Aus­tralia and set­tled on Syd­ney’s North­ern Beaches at Elanora Heights, there was no the­atre close by so they started one. They put let­ters in neigh­bours’ boxes and held their first meet­ing and re­hearsals in their own home, per­form­ing in the lo­cal com­mu­nity cen­tre. Af­ter Jean came to Queens­land, she thought no more of the the­atre un­til re­cently when she Googled the name. Imag­ine the thrill when she dis­cov­ered they had just cel­e­brated 50 years of “outstanding com­mu­nity the­atre”. Baz Luhrmann had been one of their mem­bers. She was too late for the cel­e­bra­tions in Septem­ber, but got in touch and found they had made her an hon­orary mem­ber and in­vited her to Syd­ney for the first pro­duc­tion of 2017 in Jan­uary. A happy end­ing for an en­ter­pris­ing lady, who is now be­ing ac­knowl­edged. As we en­ter an­other great per­form­ing year on the Coast, I’d like to pay trib­ute to the many vol­un­teers who work at com­mu­nity the­atres. Un­sung he­roes who man the box of­fice, sell booze at the bar, show peo­ple to their seats, pack up fur­ni­ture, pay the bills, and gen­er­ally keep the shows com­ing. They are the back­bone of any lo­cal per­for­mance group, and make it pos­si­ble for the rest of us to strut our stuff on the stage. A great big thank you to you all. See you in a crowded foyer real soon.

Lo­cal lead­ing lady Jean Watson has been ac­knowl­edged for her con­tri­bu­tion to com­mu­nity the­atre.

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