Canberra Repertory Theatre Program for 2001
Which Old Time Musical reaches its "Olympiad" in 2001? The answer is, of course, Canberra Rep's well regarded romp which raises its writhing hoary Hydra head for the 27th time next year - surely an Olympic feat of gold (sponsored by Oasis for Hair at Rydges).
Rod Quinn of ABC Local Radio fame asked much more obtuse quizz questions of Rep members at their 2001 Launch last Friday at Happy Hour, and it was Sue Richards, daughter of Joan and with her own daughter Katherine by her side, who put the clues together for the first production: the Turkish bath play Steaming by Nell Dunn, to be directed by Liz Bradley and sponsored by Coralie Wood Publicity.
Through the generations Rep has survived where professional companies have been short-lived, and will present theatre of quality and interest to Canberra audiences with a series designed in 2001 to attract a new range of people to audition, as well as appreciate from the audience perspective.
Cat on a Hot Tin Roof (Tennessee Williams, directed by Walter Learning, sponsored by Rocksalt Restaurant), Wait Until Dark (Frederick Knott, directed by Geoffrey Borny, sponsored by Mazet's Restaurant at Hotel Heritage) and Black Comedy (Peter Shaffer, directed by Aarne Neeme, sponsored by Class-Inn Restaurant at CIT) complete a program that should give everybody, new and old, a great chance of a part on stage or backstage which will both challenge and satisfy.
A new arrangement for subscribers is that the sponsors offer discount deals on presentation of the ticket stub, so the variety of the shows is not all that people will remember. If you want 2 meals for the price of 1, or scintillating scissor work and sensational setting for your next hair-do, then you can choose your play accordingly.
But seriously, Canberra Repertory Theatre Society at Theatre 3 offers a suitable and even exciting array of plays, from farce to tragedy and all in between, for the coming year - the kind of program which should be just right for Rep and will maintain its place in the Canberra community through to at least the next Olympiad.
It's been a concern for some time that the membership of Rep is growing older on the average each year, while the younger keen actors around town have set themselves up in small companies rather than join Rep. This may well be a sign of the times a'changing - young people in general are more inclined to do their own thing rather than join established clubs. This program for next year, however, ought to encourage auditions from actors who want to work in plays of established writers and often with directors of good standing, including people like Aarne Neeme.
Theatre 3 also has an excellent performing space and technical possibilities for new people to take up and consolidate their backstage experience. Rep should not be left to the old guard: it's time now for a new generation to work the repertoire of established plays.
© Frank McKone M.A., F.A.C.E.
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