A woman of many faces

Katikati Advertiser - - Your Community Voice -

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.

PHO­TOS / JO BRYANT

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.

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