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.

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).

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.

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