North West Theatre company on course for another active year

December 5, 2010

The recent annual general meeting of North West Theatre Company has set the course for another sound year of performing arts activity.

In his annual report, President, John Wearne, said  the year was highlighted by two very successful major productions, and a quiet recent few months due to the renovations occurring in the Roxy Café complex.

“The first company activity was our involvement in “Frog Dreaming” – a schools environmental day sponsored by NSW National Parks and Wildlife , in which we were invited to perform several well known Australian poems , spaced between the various presentations.

“Our major 2009 production was another pantomime, designed to build on the success of the previous years classic “Jack and the Beanstalk , with the purpose of again involving as many young performers as possible. 

“Hansel and Gretel – LOST in Sherwood Forest enjoyed another wonderful script from the talented hand of Mary Woodroofe.  The December production was directed by Inverell’s Ben Daley – a most impressive young director who threw all his energies into the production.

“The six-performance season also featured a number of young Inverell actors.  It was a great show, which made the mediocre attendances disappointing, and caused the company to have misgivings about future productions so close to Christmas.

“However , the show was a great experience for everyone involved, and again underlined the company’s commitment towards young people’s theatre development.

“Early this year NWTC approached Bingara Central School with a proposal for a joint production of a musical.  This was at the suggestion of Rick Hutton, who had much experience with school productions during his teaching career.
“Thus was born our own local production of “ Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”.  Staged during June, it proved a triumph for the school, who embraced the opportunity with an almost whole – of – school and school community effort.  Most of the students – all in the infants and primary classes – were involved , with great support from the staff – a number who took onstage and backstage roles.

“One of the major highlights was the opportunity to involve the Gwydir Schools Concert Band and BSC choir – and the efforts of Musical Director Robyn Conway and conductor Tamara Doyle must be acknowledged.

“The two-generation team of Jon Alliston (Producer) and Paul Alliston (Stage Manager) also took much time and effort.

“At the risk of forgetting someone, I would also compliment Paul Moulton on another outstanding set, much of which was produced by Mark McGowan’s technical students at school, and Susan Hutton in her role as Wardrobe Director.  Martin Hansford again contributed sound and lighting – as only he can.  What would the community do without this immensely talented and generous pocket rocket ?

“The whole production was only possible by having Rick Hutton available to direct.  Rick had previously been involved in  other school productions of “Joseph”, and this was a major bonus.

“His experience, energy and attention to detail was a great example of what is required to succeed in theatre.  The students involved in the show would have learnt much.

“My last comment on “Joseph” – apart from how well the model of school/company worked – is that the sponsorship of Country Energy really helped take the weight off some of the production costs.  It was also great to see their senior executives and their families attend.

“Our next task will be to consider possible 2011 productions.  The addition of the Roxy Café for catering capacity will provide us with even more options in the future.

“I would particularly like to thank Vice-President Martin Hansford, Secretary Ros Moulton , Treasurer Susan Hutton, Publicity Officer Rick Hutton and other members of the Executive for their efforts and support during the year.

“Another pleasing relationship exists with Gwydir Shire Council , who remain great supporters, and Roxy Manager Sandy McNaughton who provides the company with every assistance.

“The company is in excellent shape financially and is ideally placed to continue to produce and present all manner of entertainment, and to continue to encourage young people from throughout the region to “break a leg”.

“Thank you for the privilege  of being President over the past twelve months,” Mr. Wearne concluded.

The election of Office-Bearers resulted in:

  • President – John Wearne AM
  • Vice President – Martin Hansford
  • Hon. Secretary / Public Officer –  Ros. Moulton
  • Treasurer – Susan Hutton
  • Publicity Officer – Rick Hutton
  • Executive Members – Frances Young and Jon Aliston

“It is particularly pleasing to see the election of Jon Alliston to the Executive – this will provide a very significant working link with Bingara Central School, and their healthy number of young actors, some of whom have had prominent leading roles in a number of NWTC productions,” Mr. Wearne said.

The Executive will meet on December 14 to discuss a program for 2011, and possible options for the next musical collaboration with Bingara Central School in 2012.