Backstage Workshop
17 January 2017
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Happy New Year!

15 January 2017

Dear <<First Name>>,

Happy New Year and welcome to our first Cues & News for 2017!
Editor Frank Page and Ellis Ebell are currently in California having enjoyed a white Christmas in Colorado Springs.

I'm standing in for Frank in his absence and am taking a rather minimalist approach, especially as I battle with photo placement (Mail Chimp doesn't behave like the website does; the photos won't sit where I want them to) and layout. I'd intended this issue to be a mini Cues and News but it's turned out just a bit longer. However, Readers, fear not; February's Cues & News will once again be its usual gorgeous self with Frank back at the helm! Meanwhile, apologies for the lack of smoothness of presentation but communicating the news is the main thing.

WLT has been anything but quiet over the holidays. Rehearsals have continued almost unabated, a set has been created, set dressing and props accumulated, costumes appeared ... and, of course, our famous Tuesdays in January working bees have begun. All welcome!

TICKETS... We thank the many Subscribers who last year took a moment to notify us of any tickets they couldn't use so we were able to put those tickets straight back into circulation. With tickets in high demand, we really do appreciate your consideration in doing this. And the indications are that in 2017 we'll need you to keep up this practice even more so.  If you know a few days in advance that you have tickets that can't be used, you can email David Dare  or if it's on the day itself you can ring the theatre in the half hour before a performance begins. Thank you in anticipation!

Subscribers had a clear run till January when public bookings opened.  Ticket demand has been high for 2017's plays. For those patrons seeking an elusive ticket, email David Dare to be put on a waiting list and he'll notify you when tickets become available.

FINISHING TIMES... In order to assist patrons who have babysitters or who organise a pick up from the theatre we will try to inform you of the approximate finish time of performances as soon as we get a clearer picture of timing. Thank you to the subscriber who suggested this!  Finish time will be added to the information about the play on the landing page of our website

Many subscribers come in a group organised by one person whose email we have but not those of the group. If other members of the group would like to receive Cues and News, please email me at to be put on the email list.

Shirley Sydenham
Temporary Guest Editor!

Frank always has a table of contents so you can click on an item to go straight to it....sorry, this process has defeated me and you'll have to scroll manually. Don't despair, the final picture may be a reward for all that scrolling....!



A reminder that memberships for 2017 are now due.
Membership is a requirement of participation in any WLT production or sub committee. To be able to vote at the AGM, to nominate, second or be nominated for a Committee position at the AGM you must be a financial member.

To become a member or to renew your membership download in the membership form here and return it to WLT with payment.

It's $10 for single membership and $15 for family membership to 31 December 2017.

Bad Jews Update

Rehearsals for Bad Jews have just been flying along. As a wonderful set takes shape around them, our four actors have been building strength on strength. Our prompt, Rosalin Shafik-Eid, has taken up residence as the actors conquer some mighty big monologues and rapid fire dialogues. Director Tess Maurici Ryan is very happy with how things are shaping up.

Set design is by Laurice Banwell (who designed the Buffalo Gal set) and the construction team to date is Brian Christopher, Xavier Ryan (recently on our stage in London Suite) Neil Williamson, Raymond Blake and Dion Sexton. They have been doing a great job, as you can see by Kerry Drumm's photos, and it is exciting to see this interesting set take shape.

Maria Haughey has been accumulating props that include beds, a snowboard and luggage with her customary efficiency and thoroughness. Stage Manager Ness Harwood and Assistant Stage Manager Kerry Drumm have been in attendance at rehearsals and it's great to see the whole team settling in together.

  • Contains frequent strong contemporary language.
  • Duration: 90 minutes with no interval.
A crowd of around 30 came along to watch the Open Rehearsal on Sunday 8 January. They thoroughly enjoyed what was more of a preview than rehearsal... there was much laughter and very enthusiastic applause at the end. The actors were books down already and breezed through their lines with speed and confidence. They coped easily with small glitches... including a runaway rehearsal wig! We thank Eleni Miller for a very wonderful job standing in at short notice for Francesca Bianchi. It was a most enjoyable afternoon and the audience agreed that this really rockets WLT into Season 2017. We can't wait to see the final, polished performances.

Shirley Sydenham, Production Coordinator

Annual General Meeting

FRIDAY, 3rd FEBRUARY 2017  AT 8:00pm

  1. Opening
  2. Apologies
  3. Minutes of Previous AGM held 05-02-16
  4. Business Arising
  5. Reports: 
  • Secretary
  • Treasurer
  • President
  1. Election of Office Bearers and General Committee
  2. Agenda Business
  3. General Business
  4. Next Meeting
  5. Close


If you enjoy membership of this wonderful theatre company, please consider joining the Committee to help run it!  We need a team of people who are prepared to make a commitment to keeping this company at the forefront of non-professional theatre. We need your energy, enthusiasm and ideas.

Nominees, Proposers and Seconders must all be financial members of Williamstown Little Theatre. 
All positions are up for re-election, including President, Vice President, Secretary, Treasurer and all general committee positions.
Each nomination form must be signed by the Proposer, Seconder and Nominee and may be brought to the AGM or sent to be received by the Secretary by 1 February at the address below OR
The Secretary
Williamstown Little Theatre
PO Box 35
Williamstown   3016

I wish to nominate……………………………………………………………………..

to the Williamstown Little Theatre Committee,  for the position of (Circle one) :
President         Vice President        Secretary         Treasurer         General Committee

Signed ………………….…..………………… PROPOSER ……..……................(NAME)
Signed ………………………………………… SECONDER ………..…................(NAME)
Signed …………………………………… NOMINEE        DATE …..……………

January's Tuesday Working Bees

Every Tuesday in January, from around 5.30pm or whenever people can get there, is a working bee. It's when we do our annual tidy up, clean up, clear out, cull, declutter, sort and organise... lots of tasks big and small are undertaken. 

Everyone is welcome!

Each one always ends with a fabulous meal and the odd beverage... always a pleasant, laughter-filled evening at dusk sat around a table in the courtyard. The last few years we've had a feature drink to kick off the evening: we had the summer of daiquiri for example, or a jug of Pimms or mojito or whatever Bernadette Wheatley surprises us with each Tuesday!

Four tubs of boots paired, sorted, categorised, labelled, photographed, recorded and tubbed! Took 4 people a couple of hours with pleasant chatter but would have taken one person much much longer... such is the beauty of a working bee!

Backstage Workshop

For those who are interested in joining our backstage teams, and for those who are just curious about what that's all about, here's a chance for you to find out!

Join Alex Begg and Neil Williamson on Tuesday 17 January at 5.30pm. Alex will talk to you about what Stage Managers and Assistant SMs do and will organise on-the-job training, working with the SM  in one of this year's productions if you're interested in giving it a go. Neil will demonstrate our operation system and will train and mentor anyone who'd like to operate sound/lights for a production.

Contact Alex if you'd like to know more:
Alex Begg

Farewell Chris

This month, WLT farewells one of its favourite sons. Chris Baldock has decided to head northward to Canberra to pursue career opportunities en route to returning to his home country of New Zealand.

Chris has had a long and distinguished association with WLT. He has directed twelve memorable productions and won no fewer than six Craven Awards – our in-house award for Best Production. These include Masterclass (2001), Three Days of Rain (2004), Old Wicked Songs (2006 – which also won the VDL award for best production), The Drawer Boy (2008) and Compleat Female Stage Beauty (2012). It was most appropriate that his last directing gig at WLT, last year’s The Nance, took out the award for best production.

Chris also performed on stage in a number of our productions. Audiences will remember his performances in Scenes From A Separation (2005), Honk (2008) and the vast majority of Gross Indecency (2007) – just to name a few. His most recent on-stage work with WLT was in 2015, in The Other Place.

Chris also spent some time on the WLT Committee and was instrumental in establishing a contemporary and user friendly website.

Chris, we wish you every success in the future. In this age of electronic communications you’ll never be far away from us. As one of the more avid social media commentators, we look forward to following your career and your travels from afar. And we hope you’ll drop in and say hi whenever you’re in the neighbourhood.

Best wishes from all your friends at WLT.

 by Peter Newling

From the archives L-R T-B : 'Allo 'Allo (2006) ; Honk! (2008) ; With Tim Constantine: Gross Indecency-The Three Trials of Oscar Wilde (2007); Farragut North (2014);

For Pete's Sake

Happy New Year!!!

I hope you had a very relaxing and festive Christmas / new year period. I’m sure summer is meant to have kicked in by now!  I also hope you’ve sent in your completed WLT subscription form. Last time I checked, seats for our shows for 2017 were already over 85% sold! [Editor's note: this was written before online bookings opened.]  This is a remarkable achievement and a great start to the new year.

2017 is going to be a strange year for me – I have no theatre gigs booked in at all! Directors usually know a couple of years in advance where they’re likely to be – for example, I already know where I’m directing shows in 2018 and 2019 – but for some reason, this year is a clear slate for me. So, here’s some things I plan to do with all the spare time I have in 2017….

1. See a lot of theatre. When you’re involved in a show, it’s all consuming – and it’s very hard to find the time to see other people’s work. So I’m hoping that 2017 might be a year for getting out and seeing the great work other companies are doing.

2. Catch up on all the WLT stuff I have been neglecting. Each member of the Committee has a suite of things they’re responsible for. Mine includes the props area, which Judi Clark has been doing a wonderful job of keeping under control – but I’m looking forward to giving it some focused attention.

3. Go on holidays. Alexandra and I are heading over to the Montreal Comedy Festival in July, which I’m really looking forward to. And we’ll be popping in to New York on the way home. Looking forward to catching some off (maybe off off) Broadway stuff while we’re in town. Suggestions welcome!!

4. You may find this hard to believe, but I’m already booked in to see three musicals in 2017….. Strange days indeed.

5. Make myself more available for Front of House. It’s a great way to help out the company and to catch up with people!

6. Watch TV. Or learn how to knit. Or take up stamp collecting. Pretty much figure out what people do when they’re not at rehearsals.

Above all, I’m looking forward to seeing another year of memorable productions at WLT. It’s a great looking program of plays – truly something for everyone. Bring it on!!

See you in the foyer!


We wish Maggie McInnes a speedy recovery after suffering a TIA... or as she calls it with her customary humour,  'a Claytons stroke'.  A stay in hospital was not a flying start to a new year Maggie! Hope you're soon up and about and able to come on down to WLT.

She's pictured here propping up the bar at the second Pleasant Sunday Afternoon's Entertainment in May after having us all in stitches with her performances onstage as she vibrantly reprised several of her roles from just a few years ago... !

Front of House Prices

This year there are a few changes at Front of House. Price of wines, bubbles and beer will rise to $7. Light beer is now $5 and tea, coffee, juice and sherry rise to $2.  All packaged sweets will now be $3.  

The sad news for many is that we will no longer be able to carry chocolate gingers. The wholesale unit price is now too high.
AUDITIONS for When I Was Five by Jeff Baron, directed by Brett Turner
Sunday 12 February from noon and on Monday 13 February from 7.30pm.
From the author of the acclaimed Visiting Mr Green.  A humorous, emotional journey of discovery and self acceptance.  Will, a screenwriter in his 30s, goes to see Ellen, a slightly unconventional therapist, to figure out why he's never had a successful relationship. She helps him realise that he's never really dealt with a childhood tragedy. Using a creative technique, she shows Will the way this affected him as a boy and unlocks barriers that help him see a better future.  An Australian premiere.
All require East Coast American accent
WILL: mid-late 30's
Screenwriter, can come across as neurotic and self obsessed. Not good with confrontation. Has difficulty forming relationships with others

ELLEN: 50s
Therapist. Comes across as cool, collected, self assured - almost cold - but has her own demons to contend with.

Will when he was a child.

​** Note: . It is a requirement that everyone involved with this production must obtain a Working With Children Check. Our organisation is committed to child safety. We have zero tolerance of child abuse.
Full details here.  For all enquiries and audition appointments contact 
Brett Turner

Diary Dates

17 Jan   5.30pm                  Backstage workshop and light/sound operation
3 Feb    8.00 pm                  Annual General Meeting
9 Feb                                   Opening Night Bad Jews
12 Feb from 12pm               Auditions When I Was Five
13 Feb from 7.30pm            Auditions When I Was Five
25 Feb                                 Last night Bad Jews
28 Feb                                 Bump out from 5.30pm; dinner provided
4 Mar        1.00 pm              Set Construction begins: When I Was Five.... 
Enquiries Brian Christopher 0458 134 469
We're looking for Vincent's chair! Or a similar one that we can transform... we need a plain wooden ladder-back chair with crossbars across the lower part. The cane seat we can do as well as the yellow paint. If you have an old chair of similar structure that you can loan or donate, or if you spot a cheap one for purchase, please can you let us know.
Two would be terrific but certainly one is essential!

Tony Tartaro, Production Coordinator Vincent in Brixton
Tony Tartaro


Friday 17th March at 8.00pm
National Theatre, Cnr  Barkly & Carlisle Sts. St Kilda

Oh, hang on...Barb is IN The Full Monty playing Jeanette, the piano player.   Wem Etuknwa, who you will remember from our 2015 production of Buffalo Gal, is also in the cast playing Horse (the big black man!). 
The Full Monty is a warm, funny and poignant musical about a group of unemployed steelworkers in Buffalo who set out to put on a strip show.   Along the way they must face up to, and conquer, their own fears and prejudices until they can finally ‘let it go’.

It would be fun if we could go to the show as a group so, if you’d like to go on Friday 17th March at 8.00pm, please let Barb know at or on 0417-589-015 by Sunday 29th January.   There are three seating areas with the following prices:
A Reserve:   $74.00 Concession $70.00
B Reserve:   $64.00 Concession $60.00
C Reserve:  $49.00
Just let Barb know which area you’d prefer.  Barb has also recommended Restaurant in Barkly St., just up from the theatre, for a pre-theatre dinner. 

If you can’t make it on the 17th but would still like to see the show bookings can be made at

We hope you can join up for a fun start to the WLT 2017 social calendar. 

Editor: Frank Page  M. 0417 010 817  E.

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