The highlight of the Annual General Meeting of North West Theatre Company held at the end of 2012, was the election of theatre stalwart Mary Woodroofe as the company’s first ever Patron – an honour indeed given the length of time that NWTC has been operating. Mary was a foundation member and, with husband Richard, was instrumental in developing the company’s profile and theatre programs.
In particular are her skills as a writer. She has written and adapted scripts for “A Christmas Carol”, “Jack and the Beanstalk” and “Hansel and Gretel”, was Assistant Director for “Seven Little Australians”, and has been a source of encouragement and inspiration to many young Bingara performers.
Mary remains an active and key participant in NWTC,where her considerable abilities and experience lend much to the quality of the company productions.
There was little change to the NWTC Executive committee. John Wearne was re-elected as President, Martin Hansford Vice-President, Ros Moulton Secretary and Public Officer, Susan Hutton Treasurer and Rick Hutton Publicity Officer, while new members on the Executive are Lee Loudon and Nick Hutton.
Treasurer Susan Hutton reported that the company is on a solid footing financially, while the General meeting following endorsed the current arrangements for Film Club screenings in 2013 – 4pm on the last Sunday of each month between February and November, with annual subscriptions for the 11 films remaining at $60.
In his report to the Annual Meeting, President John Wearne spoke about a year which saw the company confirm its reputation as a key producer and presenter of quality entertainment in the Bingara and wider community.
“We are extremely fortunate to have the services of some very talented people within our ranks, covering the key areas of writing, direction, sound and lighting, set design and construction and costumes, as well as acting,” Mr. Wearne said.
“Without doubt, the highlight of the year was the joint production, with Bingara Central School, Warialda High School and Bingara Pre-School, of Rick Hutton’s ‘Big River Dreaming’.
“A production on this scale requires the use of just about every resource that small communities like Bingara and Warialda can muster, and this was particularly evident in this instance.
“The project would not have been possible without a brilliant score and the skilled direction of Rick Hutton, a massive effort from the staff and students of Bingara Central and the Pre-School, a large group of very talented young people from Warialda, a wonderful composite band from the Gwydir Schools Band program headed by Robyn Conway, a sound and lighting effort from Martin Hansford which was not only pro-bono but technically flawless, a set designed and built by Paul Moulton that would have done justice to any capital city theatre, a great collection of props made by Geoff Leech, costume co-ordination for more than a hundred participants from Susan Hutton, and a huge booking and box plan effort from Jenny Mead.
“I haven’t mentioned scores of others…Mark Vale’s patronage and support, the support of Gwydir Shire with program printing and staff help, Roxy Manager Sandy McNaughton, sponsorship from Essential Energy, and the always-supportive Nancy Capel at the Bingara Advocate. It purely and simply shows what a community can do – so take a bow, everyone.
“A production on the scale of ‘Big River Dreaming’ occupies much of a year, and this prevented the company from producing a normal season of plays.
“We intend to address this in 2013, and much of the discussion at the General meeting following this Annual General Meeting will centre on next years program.
“A further step forward this year was with the completion of the new storage shed at the back of the Roxy Theatre. The basis of this came from a council community grant, which effectively purchased the materials, and a collaboration with Gwydir Council which saw us do the demolition work and some post-building landscaping, and Council the construction as part of the TAFE Hospitality Trade Training Centre project as well as power and lighting to the building.
“What a difference it has made – for both NWTC and the Roxy itself, with whom we share the facility. I would like to acknowledge the support from Max Eastcott, Glen Pereira and Peter Kennedy for their strong personal support.
“One of the pleasing aspects of 2012 has been the success of our Film Club. We finished the year with 38 members – a sizeable increase on 2011, and have now screened 20 films in our 18 months of operation. We have already settled on next year’s program, which will enable us to offer membership packages as Christmas Gifts.
“I would like to sincerely thank the members of the Executive for their support for everything the company does – Ros Moulton is among the most efficient secretaries and minute writers I have worked with, Vice President Martin Hansford gives his considerable experience and abilities so generously, Treasurer Susan Hutton handles a complex role most effectively, Publicity Officer Rick Hutton wears so many theatre hats – performing, writing, directing and teaching, John Alliston is a very effective link with Bingara Central School , while Mary Woodroofe – the life and soul of the company since its inception – is the wise young head for advice. Thank you all.
Mr. Wearne paid tribute to people in the local community and the wider region for their support during 2012.
“Without you, our theatre audience, we could achieve nothing,” Mr. Wearne concluded.