READY FOR 2017
Local theatre groups are gearing up for another great year, with new shows in rehearsals and auditions waiting in the wings
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.