October 23, 2009

At its Annual General Meeting held on October 22, The North West Theatre Company returned it’s Executive for another term and has commenced planning for an exciting 2010 program.Below is the President’s Report from John Wearne AM.

It gives me pleasure to report on the activities of the North West Theatre Company for 2008/09.

2009 got off to a good start on 28th March with the company’s presentation of “Roxy…where the Heart Is!” – our 4th regional concert since June 2005.  A good crowd enjoyed a varied program from performers throughout the area, and the company’s own contribution saw 6 of our members involved in a recital and musical adaptation of “My Country” with Tamworth’s Bill Gleeson.

The second major activity was the Drama Workshops held at the Roxy on Friday 4th September. The company had hoped to stage a Ten Minute Play Festival in conjunction with the workshops but, despite a wide search throughout the region, there were insufficient entries for what we had envisaged. 

The drama workshops were most successful, with more than 40 young people tutored across s full introduction to the theatre.  I would like to thank our tutors, Ben Daley, Jessica Russell-Davies, Lexi Hutton, Nick Hutton and Martin Hansford for making their time and expertise available. 

I also acknowledge a state government grant under the ARTSTART program of just under $2000, which was granted and facilitated by Arts North West.  This enabled the workshops to be conducted at a very professional level.

On October 10th NWTC hosted the Movies, Music and Mayhem Trivia night in support of the Westpac Rescue Helicopter. Eight teams, including two from Inverell, battled for the title of most knowledgeable, “silver screen and jukebox” combination.  The use of the Roxy Theatre’s technical equipment greatly enhanced the evening and made it most enjoyable for all concerned.

As I write this report, rehearsals are about to begin for our major 2009 production of “Hansel and Gretel LOST in Sherwood Forest”.  This production was encouraged by the huge success of last year’s pantomime “Jack and the Beanstalk”.  Mary Woodroofe has again adapted a lively script, with lashings of artistic licence, from this traditional children’s story. Around 18 mostly young actors from Bingara and the immediate area of the New England – North West have been cast, and the company has been most fortunate to secure the services of talented Inverell Director Ben Daley.

It is clear that the company is in “good shape”, with our activities underpinned by a strong financial position and a talented and enthusiastic group of supporters from the Executive itself, our members, and a number of people who are able to fill important roles during productions.

I particularly thank Vice-President Martin Hansford, Secretary Ros Moulton, Publicity Officer Rick Hutton, Treasurer Susan Hutton and Executive members Sally Olive, Frances Young and Glenda Wright for their efforts, plus the many others who are always available to help.  I particularly mention the assistance of H. Fay & Sons for ticketing and financial systems, Martin Hansford’s Wombat Tracks Audio for much technical advice and assistance and Erik and Noelene Ozols’ Imperial Hotel/Motel for their significant ongoing support.

We are grateful for the support and encouragement from Gwydir Shire Council, especially Roxy Theatre Manager Sandy McNaughton. Without this close level of collaboration and partnership the community as well as the company, would be diminished.

The most crucial decision to be made by the company during the remainder of this calendar year will be the 2010 program. The one clear necessity is that the company, continue to prevail, and make that magical gift of theatre available for as many people as possible both in front of, and behind, the curtain. 

Thank you.

John Wearne AM
22nd October 2009.