Toko­roa’s theatre suc­cess


It was more than just Mum’s Fate that was held in the bal­ance when a play by the same name was en­tered into the 2015 Bay of Plenty TheatreFest com­pe­ti­tions held in Ro­torua.

Fol­low­ing on from the pre­miere stag­ing of the play as part of Toko­roa Lit­tle Theatre’s One­sies pro­duc­tion in April, the lo­cal group packed their set and cos­tumes into a van and headed off to the brighter stage lights of the city, where they hoped the work would be equally well re­ceived. And it was. Mum’s Fate re­turned to Toko­roa with three awards. Best Fe­male Ac­tor went to Melissa Isaac­son, Most Promis­ing Ac­tor was won by Chad Goessi, and the play it­self was nom­i­nated to move up to the re­gional com­pe­ti­tion to be held at Te Kuiti in Au­gust.

The play was writ­ten by John ten Velde, pres­i­dent of Toko­roa Lit­tle Theatre. He said the play was a com­edy about two main is­sues: the fi­nal stages of grief and the Mar­riage Amend­ment Bill of 2014.

‘‘The idea of the story has come from my per­sonal ob­ser­va­tions on the treat­ment of th­ese two sub­jects by friends and fam­ily com­bined with the val­ues and ex­pe­ri­ences I gained from two other plays I had a role in: Who Wants To Be 100? and A Time For Farewells.’’

Once au­di­tions and cast­ing were done, ten Velde asked the play­ers if they would be pre­pared to en­ter the TheatreFest com­pe­ti­tions in ad­di­tion to the lo­cal show­ing.

TheatreFest is a one-act-play con­test, held each year by Theatre New Zealand of which Toko­roa Lit­tle Theatre is a mem­ber.

Theatre NZ rep­re­sents non-pro­fes­sional theatre so­ci­eties through­out the coun­try and fos­ters and men­tors all as­pects of com­mu­nity theatre, in­clud­ing per­for­mance, pro­duc­tion, stag­ing, de­sign and script writ­ing, through work­shops and the an­nual TheatreFest.

In Ro­torua, Mum’s Fate was pre­sented to an au­di­ence of about 70 peo­ple in Sham­bles Theatre.

Mum’s Fate cast mem­bers Chad Goessi, Melissa Isaac­son, John ten Velde (direc­tor), and Keith Mal­lett scoop up some se­ri­ous prizes at the 2015 Bay of Plenty TheatreFest.

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