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The newsletter of Wellington Repertory Theatre Inc.
Vol 95 No. 8, November 2021
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Dear reader

Contents

  1. President's Note
  2. COVID Update
  3. Suddenly Last Summer Wrap-up
  4. Spitfire Grill update
  5. Profile - Sara Douglas
  6. 2022 Season
  7. Heretaunga Players Quiz Night
  8. Join WRT as part of the crew
  9. Supporting Roles
    - What's on around the region
    - Gift Vouchers
    - Email Signup

President's Note

Kia Ora all...

It's coming up to the end of a big year for Wellington Repertory. Like many, we have struggled with the impact of Covid-19 that has struck at the core of what we do. NZ is heading into a brave new world as 2022 approaches, and you can see below our new policy as the government position has become clearer.

We're well into planning our next season - with The Spitfire Grill already well into rehearsal. We're excited about the year!

No doubt, you will hear from us one more time pre-Christmas. We're looking forward to getting our usual 'Season Pass' offer out there in time for a great Christmas present; we'll keep you posted.

Nga mihi
Oliver

COVID Update

Over the past two years, all of us have been affected by Covid-19. We have gone through periods of lockdown. We have become used to masks and social distancing. And each of us knows someone who has come down with the disease (or at least been placed in MIQ). Despite the national vaccine roll-out, Covid-19 , in one form or another, will be with us for some time.

As a community organisation, Wellington Repertory Theatre’s priority is its people. We want you to be safe, and to feel safe. Whether you’re on stage, building a set or assisting with front of house, you have a right to peace of mind when it comes to the pandemic. For this reason, Wellington Repertory Theatre is introducing an interim “Covid-19 policy”. In doing so, we follow closely the official guidelines and requirements set down by the experts. If these guidelines change – then so will our policy.

But for the moment, our position is simple: all people participating in a Wellington Repertory Theatre must be fully vaccinated, or have a formal medical dispensation. This applies to every aspect of a production. From our first show in 2022, it will also cover audience members.

We have not taken this step lightly, and we respect the choice of anyone who still chooses not to become vaccinated. However, our policy is not negotiable, and will be strictly enforced in the interests of the public good.

Nga mihi
Oliver

Suddenly Last Summer wrap-up

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It's a Wrap - Suddenly Last Summer by Tennessee Williams

After so much hard work and dedication from all those involved, we have closed our production of Tennessee Williams's Suddenly Last Summer. This experience has been one that I will not soon forget, and I want to thank everyone involved for the time and energy put into bringing this show to the stage. Through lock downs, recasting, and postponement we have had just about every possible wrench thrown into our original plan, and I am proud to say that the cast and crew powered through with an admirable sense of drive and tenacity. I am so happy to have had the chance to share this show with the community and am grateful to all those who came out to support the work of this cast and crew.

Emily K Brown, Director
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Trustees

Spitfire Grill update

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Well, last Sunday we rolled into our first official get together since putting everything on hold because of COVID. The exciting thing is that not only have we retained our cast and crew, but we have a new musical director. Let me introduce you to Jennifer Church, or Jen C to avoid confusion. Jen C is a very experienced and skilled musical director, a very accomplished singer/performer in her own right, and a singing teacher to boot. Sunday is about bringing Jen C and the cast together to make magic. Although we will formerly launch into rehearsals in early December, the cast and crew will be getting to grips with the music. script, lighting design and wardrobe as we steadily build towards what will be an amazing show.

Spitfire Grill is all about change and challenging the status quo. It is about finding your place in the world, even when that world has changed around you, sometimes detrimentally. The story focusses strongly on the female characters who, unconsciously, bond with each other and feed off each other’s strengths and weaknesses. Set in the 1970s, at a time of major movement in the world social structure and makeup, of a strongly emerging new way of looking at things, whilst heavily influenced by well-entrenched social norms, each character must not only deal with their own issues, but those that circumstance has thrown at them as well. And all of this told through a strongly scripted story, supported by well-crafted song and music.

As I searched for a suitable show to direct a year or so ago, I came across this and from day one it has appealed to me as ‘special’. That has only become more so as each new layer of cast, crew, productions design and set design is added. And there is more to come. So, keep an eye on this space….

Jen G
Director

Profile - Sarah Douglas

Sara has appeared recently in Wellington Repertory's production of Popcorn, and will once again grace the stage playing the key role of Percy in The Spitfire Grill.

What brought you to New Zealand (and can you please stay here a very long time 😊)?

I originally moved to New Zealand (from Canada) because I’m a huge Lord of the Rings fan and only planned on staying here for six months to travel around the country. That was almost three years ago now. Thank you, Peter Jackson!
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How many shows have you been involved with?
I’ve acted in four shows since I’ve moved to Wellington, with my fifth being Wellington Rep’s production of The Spitfire Grill in March.

When did you first get involved in theatre?
My first experience in theatre was when I was 10 years old and took classes at “The Theatre School” in London, Ontario. These classes were on the weekend and taught us different elements of theatre and character work. I was 17 when I was cast as “llama” in my first non-school theatre show, Seussical the Musical. I don’t think “llama” was an actual part in the show but I learned to flail my limbs enthusiastically. Since then, I have performed regularly in both theatre and film and hope to make acting a full-time career.

What is a recent "special moment" you have encountered in terms of theatre?
A recent special moment was when I was cast as Percy in The Spitfire Grill because not only will this be my first lead in a musical, but it’s one of the few musicals I actually enjoy! I was also recently in Popcorn and the whole cast and crew were amazing to work with. It was highly amusing being in a show where blood literally dripped down the walls.

Why do you enjoy performing?
I love performing because being onstage and connecting to an audience is a feeling unparalleled by anything else. I love bringing characters to life and having the audience experience their stories. It’s particularly fun playing villainous roles, because what other job will allow you to become a fun-loving psychopathic murderer?

What is another hobby/interest you have that people might not know?
I perform stand-up comedy and improv because they are both absolutely terrifying to me, but well worth it! For non-performance related interests, I’ve unintentionally collected Archie comics. I have about a hundred but thankfully they’re all back home (thanks for the storage, Mom).

2022 Season

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The Spitfire Grill - directed by Jen Goddard
Music & Lyrics by James Volcq
Lyrics & Book by Fred Alley
Based on the film by Lee David Zlotoff

When: March 23rd - Apr 2nd

The town of Gilead is facing plenty of change - the “Spitfire Grill” finds itself in the centre of a community that has stagnated. A longing for the past coupled with finding the 'new' is the backdrop of a story about finding oneself.
Rope - directed by Paul Stone and Helen Cashin

When: Jun 1st - 11th

Brandon wants excitement at any price. He persuades his weak-minded friend Granillo to assist him in the murder of a fellow undergraduate, Ronald Raglan. They place the body in a wooden chest and invite some acquaintances, including the dead man's father, to a party - the chest and its gruesome contents serving as a supper table.
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The Apartment - written & directed by Tama Smith

When: Aug 2nd - 12th

WRT is proud to be supporting the development of this brand-new New Zealand play. It tells the story of residents of an apartment block in Wellington, set against the trials and tribulations of the Covid-19 restrictions. A must-see show for '22!
Avenue Q - directed by Ewen Coleman
Music & Lyrics by Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx
Book by Jeff Whitty

When: Nov 23rd - Dec 3rd

A well-known favourite makes a return to the Wellington stage. Not the show for your own 'little monsters', even if most of the characters are based on Sesame Street! Fun and entertaining, while still highlighting some serious themes, the show drips with sarcasm and parody.
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Heretaunga Players Quiz Night

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Join our team

Join WRT as part of the crew

Interested in being part of the crew for future productions? We want to hear from you!

The Wellington Repertory Committee is compiling a call list for those interested in helping out in areas such as stage management, lights, sound, props, production, music, front of house etc.

Contact us at president@wellingtonrepertory.org.nz and let us know what areas of production you have experience with, or are interested in learning more about.
If you haven't got experience, but you're keen to learn, we can help with that too!

Supporting Roles

What's On around the region:

Stagecraft Theatre Hangmen by Martin McDonagh – 17 to 27 November
Khandallah Arts Theatre It’s My Party (and I’ll die if I want to) by Elizabeth Coleman – 18 to 27 November
Realistic Golden Masks Composition
Gift
Gift Vouchers:
Did you know that you can buy Gift Vouchers for Wellington Rep?

Denominations are in $100 (for the Season Pass), $35, $30 or $25, with the ability to insert your own message into the voucher.

A great birthday idea!
Email
Email Signup:
Is there anyone you can think of who might want to join our "behind the scenes" mailing list? If so, they can signup via our website - keeping them informed as to the latest and greatest at Wellington Rep!