2017 Season Launch

Next year will be NTC’s 60th anniversary!

What exciting plays will be offered for this season? Last year we not only launched a terrific season; we also launched a whole new look.

theater       director       eyes-looking

All will be revealed this coming Wednesday, 16 November from 6 pm.

Audience members will get the opportunity to book their season passes early.

Actors can start thinking about audition possibilities. And the creative team members who work behind the scenes can feed their creative synaptic urges.

Festive Spirit Poster

Festive Spirit Poster

Don’t forget our final play for this year Festive Spirits written by our own Sally Davies opens this week: 19 November and ends on 3 December.

The cast of Festive Spirits

The cast of Festive Spirits

NTC members should have received an email about our Christmas Celebration on Wednesday 7 December. Looking forward to catching up with you at any of these coming events.

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It’s 2016 – don’t let your NTC Membership Lapse!

Dear Valued Member,

No one wants to be a lapsed NTC member.

For a mere $30 you get to stay an active and financial member. You get to know what’s going on at NTC before anyone else. (And our insurance covers cast and crew too.)

This year, we have a one-off super deal going. For $120 you can purchase a five-year membership. That’s right! Only pay for four years but get five! How cool is that!

In 2016, all members – financial and life will be getting a membership card – that will also act as a receipt / proof of membership. The sooner you pay, the sooner you get your card.

Bring your card with you to auditions, shows, the AGM, or when purchasing tickets – merely flash it and those who need to know will be assured that you really are a financial member.

How do you pay? It’s too easy.

Cash, cheque or EFTPOS payments can be made at the Theatre. [The office hours are 3-6pm, Monday to Friday.]
Payment by credit card over the phone [4952 4958] attracts a 90c fee.

Or fees can be paid directly into our Bank Account:

Newcastle Permanent Building Society
BSB: 650 000
Acc No: 9817 496 08
Description: Your name & fees

A BIG THANK YOU TO EVERYONE WHO HAS ALREADY PAID. 

Thank you
Debra Hely
Membership Secretary
ntcmemship@gmail.com

Image

NTC – another busy year.

It seems to be just as well that we’ve reduced the number of shows this year, because NTC has been a very busy place.

A well attended Working Bee on 10/11 January kickstarted everything. Anyone who hasn’t yet seen the Green Room will be amazed with what was achieved. I’m attaching a few photos  here and there that I took on the day in between jobs.

We need coffee

We need coffee

We have to move that?

We have to move that?

Doubt: A Parable by John Patrick Shanley, directed by John Wood was a successful Opening Play for our 2015 season. The ensemble cast made it a very memorable visit to the theatre – and the technical aspects totally complimented their work, or was it the other way around?

 

 

In February we had our AGM and had a some changes in our Committee. John Wood has stepped down but is still involved in the Artistic Development Sub-Committee (ADSC). They have already started play readings for possible selection in 2016. If you’re interested in attending the readings, let John know (johnpond_1989@hotmail.com). New to the Committee are Michael Byrne; David Ebert and Janine G. Mullins. We also welcomed back Life Member John McFadden to the team. Committee Meetings are held on the first Monday of the month @ 7:30pm (except for April when it’s the 2nd Monday). Members are welcome to attend but cannot vote. Executive Meetings are held the Monday after @5:30pm.

Where to start?

Where to start?

The job begins

The job begins

Keep or toss?

Keep or toss?

In March, lauded director Julie Black mounted the intriguing drama, Les Liaisons Dangereuses by Christopher Hampton. Audiences were once again impressed with the variety and talents on show in our theatre.

Julie must be a serious workaholic as she was also preparing a return season of Emma Wood’s successful play, Mr Bennet’s Bride, which has a brief encore season before beginning an exciting tour. We expect updates of the responses from the audiences as well as interesting touring gossip.

Elsewhere, Woy Woy Little Theatre is building on the success it had with its Flash short play festival last year, and is doing it again in 2015. This year’s theme is Free. To get writers in the mood they held a weekend workshop run by wordsmith and playwright, Alex Broun. Two members from NTC attended the workshop – Peter Oliver and Debra Hely.

Man stuff

Man stuff

What tools did you say to bring?

What tools did you say to bring?

Meanwhile, Cactus Flower by Abe Burrows and directed by the esteemed Brian Wark, is bumping in, getting ready to open on on 2 May. It promises to be a fun night with lots of comedic episodes, with an essentially heart-warming story at its heart.

Michael Blaxland and his team are in rehearsals for Lady Windermere’s Fan by Oscar Wilde. What an evening that promises to be!

Janet Nelson, and her AD Louise Johnson have just cast Dancing at Lughnasa. Successful auditionees include: Amy Wilde, Brian Randell, Howard Rawlinson, Matthew McFarlane, Pearl Nunn, Tracey Gordon, Tracey Owens & Tracy Ebbetts.

Nutrition and a smiling face

Nutrition and a smiling face

Crowd favourite, Isobel Denholm is getting ready to hold auditions for The Female of the Species by Joanna Murray-Smith. Details have been emailed out.

I don’t have the time to even begin to start on the successes members have also been having with other theatre groups. However, congratulations all of you.

Phew – now to get on with updating Membership work…

cheers

Debra Hely

Paint changes everything

Paint changes everything

Here’s the last of the photos from the Working Bee – apologies if I neglected to shoot / include you.

[This is my first go at adding photos here – not so good a job. But it’ll do for now.]

All work and no silly business like photo bombing

All work and no silly business like photo bombing

Sweat, sweat and more sweat

Sweat, sweat and more sweat

You go gals

You go gals

Just one more coat

Just one more coat

Keep or ?

Keep or ?

Back from the tip

Back from the tip

Fill 'er up for another tip run

Fill ‘er up for another tip run

Lunch break and that smiling face again

Lunch break and that smiling face again

Carry that load

Carry that load

Trying to psyche up to get back to work

Trying to psyche up to get back to work

Toasting a job well done

Toasting a job well done

Love this hard yakka

Love this hard yakka

Brief haitus

Brief haitus

Lunch

Lunch

One moment

One moment

Cake delivery and that smiling face again

Cake delivery and that smiling face again

Giant Monster Working Bee

What really needs to be done around our theatre?
Worker
1. We need a shed out the back that is big enough to store major scenery pieces
2. We need to decommission and replace the current large air conditioning unit with an appropriate, low noise fan unit
3. The costume area! It needs new shelves, sorting, reorganising
4. We’ve collected a lot of old flats and other pieces that are well past their use by date and need to be dumped. There’s also some large items to dispose of.
5. Our set construction area is evolving but it needs finishing and organising
6. If the rail on the loading bay stairs was removable…

There’s the priority list. What we’ve got planned is a giant monster working bee centred around the weekend of the 10th and 11th of January. The plan is to concentrate on the first three items in the list.

On both days, we’d get teams working at around 9 with a finish after lunch at around 2pm. What we need now is people who’d like to volunteer for a team. To volunteer, send an e-mail to Viv at the theatre. We’d like people for:

The Shed-building team
The air-con decommissioning team
The costume room team
The clean-up team
The catering and drinks team

Vintage_WWII_Patriotic_Posters_United_States_America-4LGIf you’re available for only one day, or for both, that’s fine. If you’re not available that weekend, there’s some work to be done pre- and post- the event.
2014 was such a big year that we haven’t really had the time for some of the major work around the theatre. So this is our chance to catch up and get the place ship-shape. We’ve got enough to keep everyone busy. Each team will have a ‘Captain’ who’ll be involved in the planning of the day so if you’re interested in this role, let Viv know as well.

Looking forward to seeing a great many of the members there!

Stewart

Belated Updates from the NTC Committee

The Committee has been very busy this year, and somewhere along the way, we forgot to update everyone with many of the decisions we’ve made. If you want the full details, you can always read the Minutes, or, if you’re really interested, attend meetings (1st Monday of the month, 7:30pm).

Decisions
In no particular order, here are some of the decisions. To:
• reduce the size of our seasons back to 8 shows from 2015;
• continue to pursue approvals from Council for various improvements;
• revise the manuals / folders for Directors, Production Managers and Stage Managers;
• revise the mentoring relationship for new directors;
• revise publicity options for our productions;
• continue to support the CONDAs;
• revise the audition process;
• revise membership;
• continue to raise money for improvements at, and maintenance of NTC;
• organise working bees at bump outs and provide a brunch for workers;
• revise bump out / bump in procedures;
• revise security (especially after several break ins); and
• continue to deal with matters that arise as smoothly as possible for all concerned.

Actions
Again, in no particular order, here are some of the actions (on top of the many activities that are ongoing). In 2014:
• the Stage Manager’s Manual has been updated;
• the Production Manager’s Manual has been updated;
• a clear policy has been written re the roles and relationship of a Mentor Director working with a beginning Director;
• security has been investigated and improved;
• the Repartee newsletter has been replaced with this blog;
• the New Membership form has been updated – and now clarifies actors’ commitment to ushering;
• a survey has been written for all members when renewing membership so we can ensure we have up-to-date information (more to come soon);
• various publicity initiatives have been sought and discussed and we hope to be able to implement some of these soon. Volunteers are needed – can you help?

Directors & Auditions
Finally, the 2015 directors got together for a debrief re various changes that include:
• auditions at the earliest occur 16 weeks before Opening Night (with a few exceptions). However, earlier call outs asking for an expression of interest will be okay.
• All cast and crew must be financial members before they attend their first rehearsal [especially important for insurance issues].
• Directors and Production Managers are reminded to be flexible with audition times when actors are unable to make initial dates.
• If directors wish to pre-cast specific / pertinent roles, they must seek approval from The Committee first. If approved, only the other roles will be announced for auditions.

Obviously there are also other things we are working on. Stay tuned because there will be more to come, in smaller doses.

Don’t forget, if you’d like to volunteer to help out in any capacity, don’t be shy.

Debra Hely

CONDA nominations

Robyn and I are just back from the announcement of the CONDA nominations for 2014. It was probably the best announcement event I’ve seen. Agosti’s was a cut above the usual theatre foyer.
I’m very much in favour of Shane Bransdon’s call for the CONDAs to be seen more as a celebration of theatre in the region and less of a competition. But a little bit of competition’s not a bad thing, right?
It’s been a bumper year for nominations at NTC. Calendar Girls received nominations for best dramatic production, lighting design (Sarah Jane Judge), excellence by a female actor (Janet Gillam and Jan Hunt), excellence in a supporting role (Arlene Richards) and direction (Isobel Denholm).
Continuing through the season, James Chapman was also nominated for an acting award for Sleuth.

James Chapman in Sleuth. Photo by Amy Wilde.

James Chapman in Sleuth. Photo by Amy Wilde.


Emma Wood’s Mr Bennet’s Bride was nominated in the best new play category. Julie Black was nominated for direction and the whole company was nominated for best ensemble acting. Dean Blackford, Tracey Gordon and Alison Cox all have nominations for acting awards.
God of Carnage also has a slew of nominations. Directing, acting and ensemble nominations for John Wood, Richard Murray, Linda Read, Rosemary Dartnell and Michael Byrne.
The ensemble of Company was also nominated, with Stephanie Priest earning an acting nomination and Kieran Norman nominated for musical direction.
Nicholas Thoroughgood and Alex Waye were both nominated in the excellence by a male actor under 18 category. Alex Waye also earned a nomination for the lighting design on Lost in Yonkers. Nola Wallace was nominated in the excellence by a female actor category.
Closing out the year’s nominations, Mick Byrne and Amy Wilde were both nominated for The Boys.
Well done to all our nominees. To see the full list of nominees from all companies, click here. http://www.theherald.com.au/story/2704668/conda-awards-2014-full-list-of-nominations/?cs=2372
Naturally we’ll all have ideas about the list and what else should be there. But let’s not let that detract from the moment. Congratulations to all our nominees, and to those from other companies. I’m looking forward to CONDA night!
Stewart.

From the Executive Meeting

As part of the ‘keep everyone in the loop’ process, here’s a quick summary of what we discussed at yesterday’s executive meeting.

1. We’ve talked a fair bit about the major theatre improvements that need to be done. Particularly the idea of putting a shed out the back for major scenic pieces. On top of this, there’s a need to rationalise costumes and improve storage facilities for them and there’s work to do on the front of the old theatre. We’ve decided to have a major theatre improvements working bee in January. I’m suggesting the weekend of the 10th or the 17th. Feedback please.
2. Our Christmas party is on at the theatre on Wednesday, 10th of December. Tickets will be $35 per person for a pre-show get together plus the Wednesday performance of Season’s Greetings. Catering cost is $20, so cast members and those who already have a ticket need only pay for the catering. It’s a ‘bring your own’ function, starting from 6.00.
3. There’s some logistics that go with all of that – it’s still a public performance, it’s likely that people will stay around to meet the cast and share a celebratory after-show drink – and we talked through the details. I won’t write them here but please discuss any issues with us.
4. John McFadden is happy to take responsibility for marketing and promotions and has a range of good ideas. He’s also volunteering to edit Repartee! I’ll be chatting with him soon.
5. We agreed that given the cost of running the CONDA awards that we would offer to sponsor a CONDA. The glass things with wings cost around $350 each. Oh, I’ll be at the announcement of the nominations this evening. Watch this space!
6. Newcastle City Council. No further movement here. I’m still working on getting the senior Development Officer out for a site inspection.
7. We talked in detail about what we wanted to get done in 2015. I’ll present this at the Executive meeting.
8. We talked generally about some custom and practice issues. How flexible should we be with time when auditioning, for example? (Our view was that we should do our best to accommodate people who can’t make it to a set audition time.)
All in all, it was a busy meeting – nearly two hours. The minutes will be with committee members soon.

Stewart McGowan