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The newsletter of Wellington Repertory Theatre Inc.
Vol 96 No. 1, February 2022

Dear reader


  1. President's Note
  2. Covid-19 Policy
  3. Auditions - Rope
  4. Spitfire Grill update
  5. Suddenly Last Summer Wrap-up
  6. Profile - Sara Douglas
  7. 2022 Season Pass now available!
  8. Antoinette Awards 2021
  9. Supporting Roles
    - Price Changes
    - Gift Vouchers
    - Email Signup

President's Note

Kia Ora all...

2021 was 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, and this is not set to change as we start 2022. Culturally, we probably all have to get used to the increase in case numbers that we are now seeing. Late last year, WRT introduced a new policy as the government position became clearer, and we will be applying this for our productions in the immediate future.

The Spitfire Grill is already well into rehearsal, and you can get ready for your Rope audition, coming up on March 5th. We're excited about the year!

All the best for the year ahead.

Nga mihi

Covid-19 Policy

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 many of us know 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 has introduced 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.

Rope - Auditions now available!

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We're pleased to announce that auditions for Rope will be held on March 5th at the Brooklyn Scout Hall in Harrison Street. The production will be directed by Paul Stone and Helen Cashin, and opens on June 1st.

The show is a tension-filled murderous 'thriller', unusual in that the audience knows what has occured while most of the cast remains oblivious.

There's plenty of information on the audition page on our website - and in a new bid to make it easy for you, we have moved our audition process online too!

If you think you can help out as part of the crew, please let us know (email here) - we'll be looking for the usual complement of set builders, lighting and sound crew!

Spitfire Grill update

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Well, one Sunday in December we rolled into our first official get together since putting everything on hold because of Covid-19. 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. We've brought Jen C and the cast together to make magic.

The cast and crew have done a great job getting to grips with the music. script, lighting design and wardrobe as we steadily build towards what will be an amazing show.

The 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 focuses 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

Suddenly Last Summer wrap-up

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

It may seem a while ago now, but we were thrilled to see Suddenly Last Summer recognised in the Antoinette Awards with its "Best Drama" gong!

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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Profile - Sara 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!
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 Pass now available!

We're pleased to once again offer our 2022 Seasons Pass, to give your theatre fix for the year for only $100 for FOUR shows - including 2 musicals. That represents a discount of $27.50 on the usual price, and is great value for you or a friend.

To claim your Season Pass, simply book 1 (or more) tickets to each of WRT's four shows in 2022 - the discount will be automatically applied at checkout!
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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 3rd - 13th

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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Antoinette Awards 2021

We know this might be old news now...but back in early December, the Wellington Theatre Federation's 'Antoinette Awards' were a great night out for the strong WRT contingent represented!

The Awards were dominated by Stagecraft Theatre, who won Best Overall Production, Best Comedy and Best Technical Production with She Kills Monsters. WRT's Popcorn was also nominated for each of these categories, as well as Best Set (won jointly by Stagecraft's Hangmen and She Kills Monsters). Hangmen also took out the award for Best Costume.

WRT won Best Drama with Suddenly Last Summer. Kauri Theatre picked up the gong for Best Musical with Shortland Street, with a host of WRT actors featuring in the nominations for Excellence in Acting. Our congratulations to WRT actors Jonathan Beresford (Popcorn), Margot van de Water (Suddenly Last Summer) and Alister Williams (Captain Corelli's Mandolin) for icking up three of the five awards!

The quality of Wellington's community theatre groups continues to shine! Here's to a successful 2022.

Supporting Roles

Price Changes
After many years, WRT has reluctantly increased its standard ticket prices, to take effect from our second production (Rope). Covid-19 is a factor in this, but so are the gradual increases in underlying costs of staging our shows. The increase is only $2.50 - but remember that our 2022 Season Pass is a great way to beat the increase!
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 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!
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