A woman of many faces
As far back as her time when a Primary School Principal in Oldham, England, people began noticing the talent Julie Thomas had for drama. Through her grammar school years, she performed with the Oldham Youth Theatre.
After getting her teaching degree she enrolled with the Drama Studio in London where she was spotted and asked to perform in a play, called Lovers Too at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival. While working as a teacher Julie continued acting, writing in her spare time. A trip to New Zealand in 1985 saw her fall in love with a Kiwi and move to Katikati to raise her daughters.
Twenty three years later she returned to the theatre when asked to appear in Stepping Out in Waihi. The challenging role meant learning to tap dance for the first time, learn dance routines as well as act.
This started another phase. Julie opened the Time to Act drama school teaching children from eight to 16 years in Waihi and Katikati. Both schools put on yearly productions with every child having a part.
In 2010 Julie was instrumental in forming Katikati Theatre Incorporated and a new chapter for both Julie and Katikati began.
“It’s been a satisfying time,” Julie said. “Getting to act, direct and write. Particularly being able to bring to life local stories.”
Julie was involved with many aspects of plays focussing on Katikati. The first play performed by the theatre was Barry, a quirky take on our local kiwi icon statue. She has been involved in bringing to fruition the stories of both Dave Gallaher and Dr Joe (Burstein), Her alter ego, Queen Elizabeth II has been known to pop up around town occasionally, to celebrate a birthday or open an exhibition.
Julie’s dreams are simple — to inspire people to enjoy the magic of theatre and to bring the history and local stories of Katikati to life.
Julie Thomas as a con woman in Dinner Theatre at Forte Leza.
Behind the scenes during the play, Gallaher.
Playing a woman of dubious repute in Tales from the Lock Up.