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FOR YOUR DIARY

Open Rehearsal Visiting Mr Green -                  Sunday 22 March 3.30 pm
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15 March 2015


Hello Friend,

Well what a wonderful start to the year with such a compelling production and so superbly executed. Of course we're talking about The Other Place. Congratulations to the director, cast and crew on this fine presentation. Read all about it with both our in-house reviewer Jennifer Paragreen's and VDL Theatrecraft's reviews below.

Time never stands still at WLT and as one production exits the other commences and we have news of Visiting Mr Green, our next production, to be directed by Brett Turner. Now into rehearsal, the production is cranking up with all the elements being pulled together. This late April/early May production will have its Open Rehearsal on Sunday 22 March. Pop that date in your diary. Our Open Rehearsals are a special opportunity for WLT-ites to get a feel for the new play while giving the cast some beneficial audience reaction.

The momentum continues with auditions due in April for the third production of the year. Time Stands Still by Donald Marguilies will be directed by Ellis Ebell.

Look out also for details on our Retro Sale coming up on Saturday 2 May.

You will notice in Diary Dates below that we are advertising two upcoming Auditions for Time Stands Still and Buffalo Gal - full details on our website CLICK HERE. The Buffalo Gal audition is being promoted early as we need to find an African American actor in his 40s. Spread the word please.

Click on any of the links below to go straight to the article of your choice.

Visiting Mr Green

 

WLT is proud to announce the cast for Visiting Mr Green by Jeff Baron, directed by Brett Turner.

Trevor Hanna - Mr Green 

Kieran Tracey - Ross

Congratulations to both Trevor and Kieran and to Brett on casting such talented performers. 

We welcome the return of Brett and Trevor to WLT. Brett has previously directed for WLT and has stage managed many of our productions. Trevor was last seen on our stage in The Cemetery Club. We extend a warm welcome to Kieran to WLT. 

Seasons dates: 23 April - 9 May

Open Rehearsal: Sunday 22 March at 3:30pm 

The Production Team includes Adrian Valenta as Assistant Director. George Trantor is set designer ably supported by Brian Christopher, who will head the set construction team. Craig Pearcy is the lighting designer and Brett Turner assisted by Neil Williamson will be designing the audio. Shirley Sydenham steps into the role of Stage Manager and Robert Edwards and Erica Potts will take on the roles of assistant stage managers. The sound and lighting /operator for this production is Patrick Slee

Tony Tartaro will be designing the costumes and Barbara Hughes will have the mammoth task of organising and sourcing the numerous props needed for this production! Barb’s helper for this production is Maria Haughey. Kay Hambling will be the rehearsal prompt. As you can see, it takes a lot of dedicated and willing people to put a production together! 

Barb still needs phone books and unmarked, brown-paper shopping bags. If you are able to donate either of these items to be used as props for Visiting Mr Green, please give Barb a call on 0417 589 015

 

Bernadette Wheatley 
Production Coordinator


Thanks to Shirley Sydenham for these images taken at the first read-through where you will see both the cast and some of the crew, identified by Bernadette above. We love the cast and crew shot with Brett doing his footy team picture pose!

Trevor Hanna and Kieran Tracey

The Other Place Reviews

 

Williamstown Little Theatre
The Other Place by Sharr White 
Directed by Kris Weber

Performance - Saturday 14 February 2015 (Opening week)
Reviewer – Jennifer Paragreen

 

The Other Place is a taut 90 minute play first staged off Broadway in 2011 and subsequently presented in San Francisco. It opened on Broadway in early in 2013 at about the same time as the Melbourne Theatre Company introduced it to Australian audiences.

The play centres on Juliana, a highly intelligent and successful woman who has forged a career with a pharmaceutical company initially as a research geneticist working on a new drug to treat dementia and ultimately as a marketer for that product. Aged in her early fifties, she is suddenly confronted by the emerging effects of Alzheimer’s.

The irony of this becomes apparent as the play opens with Juliana in full flight confidently spruiking the drug at a medical conference only to be distracted by “the girl in the yellow bikini” and further thoughts on aspects of her life which seem to be collapsing around her.

Playwright, Sharr White, has set out to create an intricate puzzle in which nothing is quite what it seems and fact blurs with fiction. As well as being its protagonist, Juliana is painted as the play’s narrator so that we are privy to her perceptions. We become increasingly aware that she is an unreliable narrator but sense that there are threads of truth in there somewhere, a mystery to be unravelled. 

Never off stage, Janine Evans delivers a gripping performance as this complex woman with an increasingly brittle mind. We see and feel her pride in her academic success, her condescension and acerbic bitterness towards those she considers beneath her or who have displeased her and her desperate search for a physical rather than a mental cause for her disease.

Chris Baldock delivers a compelling performance as her oncologist husband, Ian. Described by Juliana as a philanderer who is about to divorce her, Chris brings extra dimension to the role with his palpable mix of exasperation with and concern for his ailing wife. The scene where they confront the speculation as to who hit whom first is one of the most compelling in the play.

Clare Hayes has a trio of roles as ‘the Woman’ and succeeds in making each one distinct both physically and intellectually as she portrays a doctor named Cindy, the estranged daughter and a stranger who now owns the Cape Cod beach house which is the eponymous Other Place. There is irony in the fact that Juliana mistakes this stranger for her daughter and the change in attitude from alarm at the home invasion to concern for the delusional woman was convincingly conveyed.

Wesley Forke capably filled the more bland roles assigned to ‘the Man’, as a nurse and notably the research assistant who becomes the unwanted son-in-law.




Director, Kris Weber, elicited finely nuanced, multi-layered performances from all four members of the ensemble.  It is no easy task juggling a script which moves back and forth from present to past complete with a good dose of delusion particularly when the writer has designed the play to confuse reality and illusion. 

The momentum and intention of the production never faltered thanks to intelligent direction and slick stage management.

John Burrett’s abstract set, featuring aged palings, brick walls and a discrete space for projections, bore a timeless and apt quality.

Craig Pearcey’s lighting design contributed well to the atmosphere of each scene.

Well chosen costuming provided background on the disposition and status of each character though Cindy’s jacket was too tight.

The medical projections set the scene well for Juliana’s initial presentation though I thought the slides seemed too disparate to belong to the same piece of research.

Perhaps there could have been more of a marine flavour to the visuals for the other place where Neil Williamson’s excellent soundscape did the heavy lifting. 

The touching film with the innocent little girl playing on the beach in her yellow bikini brought the play to its poignant ending.

This production of The Other Place proved to be another fine example of talent and teamwork combining seamlessly to provide Williamstown Little Theatre’s audience with engrossing contemporary theatre.

Jennifer Paragreen























































 


Published with kind permission of VDL Theatrecraft


 


A big thank you

 
There are always lots of unsung heroes around WLT and although we try to remember everyone sometimes we need to remind ourselves how lucky we are to have the group of willing volunteers who step up time and again to do all manner of tasks that keep the theatre up there amongst the best. Our Front of House crew are a case in point. Those smiling faces behind the counter are usually the first official greeters that patrons encounter as they enter the foyer to see the show.

With The Other Place there was no interval so our Front of House folk found this a shorter gig where they weren't run off their feet. Nevertheless we want to thank them all for their valued service. Please salute our FOH team seen behind the counter this last production.
 

Ray Hare, Ross Dufty, Ann Chadwick, Sandra Fitzpatrick, Liz Buckley, Kay Hambling, Evelyn Robertson, Marjorie Munn, Bryan Thomas, Jane Harris, Tony Tartaro, Sue Dyer, Maree Jones, Sandra Thorn, Linda Smart, Marise de Quadros, Oleh Kowalyk, Bernadette Wheatley, Alex Begg, Louise O'Byrne, Fenella Long, Bob Harsley and Peta Ripper.

Time Stands Still - Auditions



 

Time Stands Still
by Donald Margulies

 

Director -  Ellis Ebell
Production Coordinator - Barbara Hughes

 

Season: 2 - 18 July


Audition Dates:  
Sunday 26 April 1.00pm to 4.00pm
Monday 27 April 7.30pm to 10.30pm


Auditions by Appointment:
Contact Ellis to make an appointment 0417 393 296



Synopsis:
Set in a loft apartment in New York and spanning a year, the play starts with Sarah and her partner James arriving at the apartment after Sarah was injured in a roadside bomb incident in Iraq.  The play deals with her physical rehabilitation and also her emotional adjustment to life in New York. She longs for the chaos and adventure that covering a war gives her. James, on the other hand, is recovering from a breakdown and longs for a conventional family life.

Along comes their longtime friend Richard with his new young girlfriend Mandy.  Mandy is not their intellectual equal but she is caring and kind and honest and sincere.

The relationships between the four characters are complex and makes for some compelling theatre.

Characters:
Slight New York accents required for all roles.

Sarah Goodwin (major role) the photojournalist, late 30’s early 40’s.
The atrocities she’s witnessed have given her a tough edge. She has a wry sense of humour and seems to thrive on conflict and chaos, trapping moments through the camera lens and fixing them in time, using her lens as an emotional shield.  We see her slow recovery from the effects of the bomb.

James Dodd (major role) Sarah’s partner of eight and a half years, similar age to Sarah late 30’s early 40’s.  
He’s a freelance journalist who had a breakdown covering the war in Iraq and returned home to NY.  He wants to settle down and have a family.  Sarah finds this concept difficult!

Richard Ehrlich (support role) photo editor, older friend of both Sarah and James. He’s about 55. He’s brash but has genuine feelings for them both. 

Mandy Bloom (support role) 25ish.  
Richard’s much younger girlfriend. Initially comes over as a bit of a bimbo but she has a heart and is not afraid to speak her mind.  She’s probably one of the most complex characters in the play.
 

Costume Workshop

 

Seven members attended our Costume Workshop on Sunday 1 March and enjoyed an informative as well as social event. After a talk through our new Costuming Guide and Resource Booklet we adjourned upstairs to look at the wardrobe department and how to find costumes and accessories in the WLT collection. Cake and coffee followed. Here are some members’ comments about the activity.

“Costuming a show always seemed like such a big task, but the workshop showed me that there are many components to costuming (not just sewing), which means you don’t have to take on everything at once if you don’t want to.  You can ease yourself in, helping out with specific tasks until you gain confidence.  The workshop was lots of fun & I learnt many useful tips!”

“Thanks … presented in detail and very well organised in regards to the costume facility.”

“I have no sewing talent whatever but I enjoyed yesterday. It was great to see the fantastic organisation up there.”

“Great afternoon! Lots of ideas and resources. Particularly like the idea that my lack of drawing skills need not be an impediment!”

A few have already signed up to be an “apprentice” to our more experienced costumers for coming productions with a view to developing the know how to take over as costume coordinator/designer for a future production. We look forward to working with these members on future costuming projects at WLT.

A couple of members were unable to attend on the day so we will be arranging another event later in the year. If you’re interested in joining us let Tony Tartaro know by email.

Email Tony
Tony Tartaro & Shirley Sydenham

Thanks to Shirley Sydenham for these images below with the top being the assembled group in the foyer (minus Maureen White who arrived later) and the others with Barb Hughes taking the group through the wardrobe department upstairs.
 

Editors Note:  Before we leave the wardrobe, the Editor had a recent opportunity to spend a little time up in the wardrobe and he was fascinated with the collection and how professionally it had all been assembled. This is a great tribute to the hard work and dedication of Barb Hughes, Tony Tartaro, Maggie McInnes and many others. Here's some pictures of the excellence that is now our Wardrobe!

Retro or ridiculous?

 


Retro or ridiculous?  Wonderful or just plain weird?  You’ll find it all at our Frivolous Fashion Parade and Retro Sale.





Our wardrobe department is bursting at the seams.  We’d love to keep it all but we just can’t so now’s your opportunity to snap up a bargain.

The fun starts at 1pm with the Fashion Parade.  Buy a glass of bubbles and enjoy it as we take a stroll through the fabulous and frightful fashions of the 60s, 70s, 80s and beyond.  The Parade will be followed by the Retro Sale with bargains galore!

All ladies’ clothing but blokes are welcome too. 

Enquiries to Barb on 0417-589-015.

For Pete's Sake

 

It’s March. Autumn is upon us. Easter is around the corner. Season one has left the building. Big congratulations to Kris and her team for a wonderful production. What a way to start the year.

I was chatting to a patron in the foyer after the show one night. She confided in me that she rarely gets to go to the theatre as other priorities tend to take over. At one stage during the conversation she said, “You’re so lucky – you get to hang around with all these wonderful, friendly, professional people”. I was chuffed that, when she said that, she was indicating our Front of House staff.

She’s right, you know. Our Front of House people are amazing. Along with our hard-working ticket secretary, they really are the face of the company to the general public. Ably coordinated by Bob Harsley and Peta Ripper, our army of FoH volunteers is well trained and very willing to donate their time and energies to ensuring that the theatrical experience of our patrons is first class. We can put on the best shows in Melbourne but, if the FoH experience is lacklustre, it will seriously jeopardise our patrons’ capacity to have a great night out. And that’s what it’s all about.

For those who have never done FoH at a community theatre, here’s an inside tip…… It’s actually quite fun. You get to work alongside some amazing, talented, community minded people. You get to meet and chat with our regular patrons as well as those coming to the theatre for the first time.  Once the audience is safely in their seats and the doors are closed, it’s a great opportunity to sit back in our foyer or courtyard with a glass of something and chat to the people you’re working with. It’s a lovely way to spend an evening.

So to all our FoH vollies – a heartfelt thank you from the company and from those that benefit from your service. For those who haven’t joined us, but have often thought you might like to give it a go, come along! It’s gotta be better than watching Gogglebox.

See you in the foyer!

Peter  

Diary Dates











Set Construction Visiting Mr Green
Every Saturday 1pm
Contact: Brian Christopher 0458 134 469




















Visiting Mr Green
By Jeff Baron
Director: Brett Turner

Open Rehearsal:
Sunday 22 March 3.30pm

Season: 23 April - 9 May




















Time Stands Still
By Donald Margulies
Director: Ellis Ebell

Auditions:
Sunday 26 April 1pm - 4pm
Monday 27 April 7.30pm - 10.30pm


Season: 2 - 18 July




















Buffalo Gal
By A.R. Gurney
Director: George Werther

Auditions:
Sunday 5 July 1.30pm
Monday 6 July 7.30pm


Season:  10 - 26 September

Members & Friends


 
We're not sure how WLT is going to function over the next little while? One of our key people has headed off overseas. That's right, our very own Shirley Sydenham, theatre Secretary and much much more is currently in Viet Nam having some well earned R&R. Shirley's itinerary is taking in all the 'must see' locations with both Hanoi and Ho Chi Minh City (Saigon) bookending her visit and side trips to HaLong Bay, Hoi An (and here's some of those beautiful lamps you see in Hoi An), Hue and a few others - we're so envious! We wish Shirley a safe and wonderful trip and look forward to welcoming her back to the fold soon.


 
--ooOOOoo--
 
Interested to see this article in the local Maribyrnong Star Weekly (who we thank for this article) about Ian Johnson and his family's retail connections in Seddon, going back several generations. Ian and Betty Johnson are long-standing Subscribers and have been coming to our opening nights for years. Ian and his wife Betty are life-long friends of former WLT President Bryan Thomas and his wife Lorraine. Ian was Bryan's best man 50 years ago.

Loyalty their currency

Communications at WLT

Part of our success at WLT is all about communications. We try really hard to keep all our members and friends as informed as they can be about everything we are doing. The feedback tells us that this is what people like and it's all about engagement.

Cues & News in company with our website www.wlt.org.au are the bastions of our communication drive, ably supported by fabulous programs for each production, our Facebook page and to a lesser extent our Twitter feed.

In the past year we have formed a small Sub Committee to manage the communications and Shirley likes to call it Comms Comm.

We want to thank Jennifer Piper for her support of Comms Comm with her fantastic efforts around production programs, the website and general input around a host of different communication issues. Sadly Jennifer, with the demands of her paid work, has had to step down from the WLT Committee and Comms Comm. We will miss her greatly but kinda think that she'll be there if we really need some advice or help. Cheers Jenn...

Time then to welcome Tony Tartaro, new Committee member and Costumier extraordinaire, to Comms Comm. The Editor has already experienced his incisive proof-reading of this edition. Move over Shirley Sydenham the real Punctuation Police have arrived on the scene! Welcome Tony and we look forward to working on communications with you.
FIND US on F A C E B O O K
F O L L O W US on T W I T T E R
Website

STOP PRESS - Damp day in Nimh Binh


Our intrepid Secretary Shirley Sydenham posted this soggy story from her trip south of Hanoi. We include two of Shirley's images that well and truly capture what the day was like. Travel well Shirley and today she is moving between Hanoi and the old imperial city of Hue.


We went to Nimh Binh, about 2 hours drive south of Hanoi. Rain was steady and reasonably steady all day. It's that mysterious limestone landscape, today wreathed in mist and rain. Photography really difficult with rain on the lens making it impossible to know if in focus. First up ancient temples of the first two kings of what is now Vietnam. They are still active temples so tourists jostle with worshippers. However the dripping umbrellas added to the discomfort! After lunch we went to the river and onto bamboo boats for a trip down river and through three caves. With all that rain we did surrender to the rain cape thingies our guide insisted we take, and actually were glad we did as the rain got heavier..pants and shoes soaked to the skin, but top merely dampish. Our guide took the photo of us in the boat, as you can see I was saying 'don't you dare!'. Most on the river photos are blurred, but you can see the first cave approaching. At least it wasn't raining in the caves! It was more fun than it looks, but a long drive home when you're wet through!
Enquiries: wltsec@tpg.com.au
Website: http://wlt.org.au

Editor: Frank Page  M 0417 010 817  E frank@pagebell.com
 
Copyright © 2015 Williamstown Little Theatre, All rights reserved.


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