Dedicated Theatre Company pioneers to be remembered

July 20, 2016

Gwydir Shire Council’s Community Services and Planning Committee has endorsed a proposal to name the Green Room at the Roxy complex ‘The Woodroofe Room’.

The North West theatre company Inc. requested the rename to honour the late Richard and Mary Woodroofe, who were foundation members of the NWTC in 2002, and both made a significant contribution to the growth of the company.

In a letter to Council, NWTC Secretary, Ros Moulton said that Mary, who died last year, “was a champion for young people in theatre, wrote a number of adaptations for NWTC productions, especially pantomimes in which a number of young actors first discovered acting.”

“Mary also directed several shows and was a wonderful mentor to young actors, and had a profound influence on many youngsters such as Hannah and Ellen O’Rourke, Gabby Brennan and Lexi Hutton.

“Her bond with Lexi had much to do with Lexi’s determination to forge what is now an international career,” Ros wrote.

Richard Woodroofe, who passed away a few years before Mary, also played an active role in the NWTC.

He worked closely with Paul Moulton with set construction and front of house, and he played the part of Charles Dickens, the narrator in A Christmas Carol in about 2005.

The company suggested the Green Room be called “The Woodroofe Room” with a sign on the door and a short, suitable message on a notice inside. Suggested wording on the message is “In loving memory of Richard and Mary Woodroofe, who did so much to foster young people in theatre, and for their significant contribution to the North West theatre Company and the Roxy Theatre”.

Now that the NWTC has the support of council, the support of the Woodroofe family will be sought and a dedication planned.