From the President

Below is my President’s Report for the July meeting. I’m sharing it here so that members can keep up with what’s happening around the theatre.


President’s Report

Strategic Plan

This month has seen us tick off several items on our Strategic Plan. This meeting will see us finally pass the changes to the Constitution about membership (hopefully) and we have made progress towards updating the website so that it can manage membership.

There’s also been a range of meetings with theatre management staff about the evolving nature of the role. Vivien has also met with Jo Michel about ticketing systems as part of our investigations into changes in this area in the future. In the office area, there’s been a clean-out ahead of plans to move the photocopier into the secure store.

Back of house, there’s been a lot of activity this month. Several of our members have been busily transferring set items, materials and props to our storage shed in Cardiff, and we are making progress towards refurbishing the green room. I will be meeting this week with our WfD supervisors to work out the next steps.

The replacement of the doors into the old theatre, the repairs and repainting of the wall in the old theatre are also significant improvements.

In line with our plan, we have also had the theatre professionally cleaned and at the July meeting we will be looking at and confirming plans for the future in this area.

The ADSC has also been very busy, getting us to the point where we can lock in next year’s season.


Independent Member’s Projects

Much Ado About Nothing was our ‘trial run’ for this kind of project and it has, in my view, been a considerable success. This project was the result of several months’ worth of committee discussions and recommendations, and a response to a long-running discussion with members.

Where this idea grew from is from members’ comments about club nights. We were looking for a model for club nights that engaged members and audiences. Shakespeare’s Women most certainly did this. The idea of a four-night club night taking over $4,000, total audience well over 200, and with strong positive press about its quality? If anyone had suggested that this was possible twelve months ago, would we have believed them?

Of course, there were some unanticipated problems. We ended up with three large shows rehearsing at once, and there was some strain on the people involved. Could I thank everyone who showed patience and made accommodations for others?

We also hadn’t considered some of the organisational needs in detail, so a few things were done in an ad hoc way. As one example, bump-out breakfasts happened and were successful, but they depended on the goodwill of a few of the members in all three casts in order to work.

I would like to hear from people involved in the production, and from committee, about difficulties we can address in the future. Clearly, we have the makings of a long-term initiative here. If we can successfully manage two or three members’ projects a year, it would be one way that we could better meet the needs of our members and contribute to the wider theatre community.



Unfortunately the charity who was keen to take on The Sea has had to pull out. We have had this happen a few times lately, and it begs the question: why? Perhaps we need to revisit arrangements for our final dress rehearsal? Or is this an issue of engagement? I am keen to hear people’s views on this.


Audience and Membership Engagement

I’d like to acknowledge the work of everyone who has been putting time into this area. Noel Grivas, Amy Hill, Debra Hely, Susan Dredge and Vivien Jones in particular have been instrumental in keeping this side of things running.  However, we are currently operating without a dedicated sub-committee in this area. I’d like to get this going as a priority. Running our website, planning for season 2018, staying in touch with members, engaging our audience, making decisions about publicity… these things are essential to what we do. I know there are a number of committee members with ideas and the capacity to contribute, so what can we do here? Is there a good time that people with an interest can meet?


Stewart McGowan

President NTC

Numbers to consider

Theatre in Newcastle

ticketOne of the most obvious things an artistically-minded newcomer to Newcastle would immediately note is that we have a very vibrant and active theatre scene. With so many shows on throughout the year, audiences have to plan what they see and how much money they are willing to part with. Naturally enough, we want our plays to be high on that priority list.

Vice-President Richard Murray sat down with the 2017 Theatre Guide prepared by recent Order of Australia recipient, Ken Longworth. These are the number of shows each month that Richard gleaned from that guide:

Month              Shows

January                   6

February                9

March                   18

April                      13

May                         7

June                       13

July                        13

August                    7

September           10

October                 13

November              6

December             Not listed

The total number of shows is 115! We are only doing 8 (1 already done) out of this number, which is close to 7% of known theatre in Newcastle. Of course, these are only the ones Ken knew about when he went to press.

Publicity and promotion are certainly big factors in helping audiences make their play selections. If you have any brilliant ideas and would be able to help the Committee in any way, be in one show per year or more, please pass your offer on to one of the Committee members. All help will be appreciated.


Picnic by William Inge and directed by Julie Black is well into rehearsals now. It opens on 4 March, and closes 18 March. Don’t just book your own tickets, start spreading the word. This is going to be another show you won’t want to miss. More information soon.


Julie’s passionate presentation about Picnic at the Launch


hot_newsBlood Brothers – matinee date moved

Blood Brothers – an excellent and moving piece of musical theatre written by Willy Russell and directed by Adelle Richards has a huge cast/band. For specific reasons, they have asked to move their Saturday Matinee (29 April) to the Sunday (30 April) and the Committee agreed to this on Monday night. This means they will have two Sunday matinees: 23 April and 30 April: NO SATURDAY MATINEE.


Adelle sharing her inspiration about Blood Brothers at the launch.

The AGM is approaching

According to the Constitution, all 2016 membership fully expires on 28 February 2017 (there’s a two-month leniency allowed). The AGM is being held on 1 March – so if you want to vote, you need to ensure you are financial. (To confirm your status email:

Anyone wishing to nominate for Committee needs to be financial at the time of nominating, as does the member nominating them. All nominations need to be submitted by 22 February. Details and forms have been emailed out. (Email the Theatre Manager if you need more information:

[Photos used were taken by Debra Hely; Clip Art - public domain/royalty free]

Submissions welcome:

If you have news that you wish to share with members here, please email me:

Until next time, cheers, Debra.

NTC: Quick Updates before the Christmas Break.


for one night only, that is, Monday 12 December at 7 pm, NTC members can see what member Carol Hong has done with her cast (mostly young people) these last few months. They’ve been rehearsing The Toymaker, and performing it for school-aged children. The show goes for approximately one hour. Tickets are $5 for members and children, a $10 for adults. Member Phil Haywood, who has worked tirelessly backstage (lights, set-building, working bees and more) in 2016 is on stage for this one.


Raffle winners:

The most recent winners in order were: Green A 004, Lorraine Edwards; Grey I 60, Raeline Jones; and Grey I 47, Lyn Vale.

[My apologies if I have misinterpreted the spelling of any of the hand-written names.]


2017 Membership – still only $30!

It’s that time again already. To be a financial member at NTC for 2017 please ensure that you pay your renewal ASAP. The 2016 membership expires on 31 December, which isn’t far away. Remember, only financial members can vote at the AGM or be nominated for Committee.

There are currently several ways to pay your $30.

  1. Cash, cheque or EFTPOS payments can be made at the Theatre.
  2. Cheques can be posted to:

Membership Secretary, NTC, 90 De Vitre St, Lambton, NSW, 2299.

      3.  EFTPOS payments can be made over the phone during office hours on: 4952 4958

Note: Payment by credit card over the phone attracts a 90c fee.

  1. Or you can pay directly into our *Bank Account:

Newcastle Permanent Building Society

BSB:  650 000

Acc No:  9817 496 08

Description: Your name & M’ship Fee


The Theatre Manager’s office hours are Mon-Fri, 3-6pm.

*Please advise our Membership Secretary if you have paid by Direct Deposit by emailing ( need to know the date so our Treasurer can balance the books accurately. Thank you.


Best wishes for this holiday season aka Christmas

Whether you celebrate Christmas or not, we wish you all the best and hope to meet up with you at the theatre in some capacity in 2017.

Cheers, Debra

On behalf of the serving Committee

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


Thank you
Debra Hely
Membership Secretary