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The newsletter of Wellington Repertory Theatre Inc.
Vol 96 No. 4, July 2022
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Dear reader

Contents

  1. President's Note
  2. Apartment - Coming Soon!
  3. Rope - Wrap Up
  4. Avenue Q auditions
  5. Submissions for 2023!
  6. Profile - Tama Smith & Belinda Campbell
  7. Supporting Roles
    - Pricing
    - Gift Vouchers
    - Email Signup

1. President's Note

Kia Ora all...

The cold hand of winter is extenbding its reach across us all...for those of us who enjoy a spot of ski-ing, we'd consider this a very good thing! But in our world of theatre, the best we can offer are some good shows for you to enjoy! There's a summary below of our recent production of Rope, which was well-received by cast and audiences alike. Right now, we're in the throes of preparing for Apartment and Avenue Q - and there's updates on each of those in this newsletter, including one of the most anticipated audition notices of the year.

We've had some changes on the Committee in recent times. We're really pleased to welcome Sheree Phillips as the new editor of Repertoire, but we're sad to farewell Jake Davis from the Committee - although we have no doubt he will still be a regular around our shows. We'd love to have more of you to 'share the load' on our Committee - so if you're interested, please let me know.

Covid-19 is still a big deal for all of nus, especially with the recent increase in case numbers. We seem to be inventing forever new and novel ways to mitigate our risks as the virus impacts hit casts, shows and audiences. But we'll make sure we keep bringing you great theatre!

Grab a cuppa, and enjoy the read.

Ngā mihi
Oliver

2. Apartment - Coming Soon!

Wellington Repertory Theatre’s next production is Apartment by Tama Smith, directed by Tama Smith and Belinda Campbell playing at the Gryphon Theatre from 3-13 August.

The dedicated cast has been working diligently to bring this production to life and they include:
  • Cashel – Menandi Pieterse
  • Hendric – Austin Harrison
  • Marissa – Helen Jones
  • Adele – Nancy Fulford
  • Ben – Tim Gruar
  • Floyd – Dylan Hutton
  • Nikki – Beth Drapper
  • Roy – Leroy Paton-Goldsbury
  • Ensemble – Jaitlyn Burtenshaw and Anya Kemp
Many new faces to Wellington Repertory Theatre and we welcome you all to what will be a very exciting production.
Apartment - FACEBOOK-01-01-01-01
Bitter-sweet and locally focused, this new and exciting play by Tama Smith, Apartment explores the intersection of the lives of a cluster of characters, living in the close quarters of an apartment block, as their world is pitched into the 2020 Covid-19 lockdown.

When the promise of a vaccine was ‘5 or 6 years off’ and most countries were in the horrific grip of overwhelming hospitalisations and deaths, here in New Zealand, along with a rigorous and robust trust in science, we decided that standing together (2 metres apart) would define our defiance of the biggest ‘unprecedented’ dilemma of recent history.
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3. Rope - Wrap up

Getting Rope onstage proved to be a huge challenge, courtesy of the pandemic. Almost every week of the rehearsal period, one or other of the cast was taken out by the dreaded Covid-19. But we kept at it and - almost miraculously - we made it through our two week run. So just for their collective courage and good spirits alone, I'd like to send a special thanks to all cast and crew. This was "grace under pressure" behaviour.

And what a good production it turned out to be! Helen Cashin (the co-director) and I (Paul Stone) were hoping to give audiences a "period" version of the play. No updating; just trusting the script. That's more or less what happened. All cast members put great effort into recreating the style and language of 1920s "gilded youth". They succeeded brilliantly. The moral urgency of the drama came through as the playwright intended. At the same time, Rope's themes did not seem dated. Privileged predators still live, hidden, amongst today (which may be why the play continues to pack a punch). In the words of one theatre goer, the audience spent a gripping evening with "high-key psychopaths and low-key lovers".
Rope Photoshoot-46-small

4. Avenue Q - Auditions!

Director: Ewen Coleman
Music & Lyrics: Robert Lopez & Jeff Marx
Book: Jeff Whitty

Audition Dates: 3-4 Sep
Production Dates:
23 Nov - 3 Dec

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.

Auditions are NOW AVAILABLE - visit Auditions – Wellington Repertory Theatre for further information and to complete the audition form.
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5. Submissions for 2023 Shows!

Yes, it's that time again...we're calling for submissions for our 2023 playbill! We've already had a few submissions and expressions of interest, but don;t be shy - if you've got some ideas for directing some shows in 2023, then let us know!

Please make your submission via this submission form - and please take the time to review the "how we work" protocols that go along with that.

6. Profile - Tama Smith & Belinda Campbell
Apartment directors

Tama Smith
Tama Smith
Bel3LowRes
Belinda Campbell
When did you first get involved in theatre?
Tama
I was a keen thespian in my school years. I have many fond and formative memories of being enthusiastically involved in elective drama productions and improvisation clubs and activities. It’s fair to say I have never really managed to shake off recognition that dramatic arts is my creative medium and means of self-expression. I have vivid memories of organising neighbourhood friends into performances, seldom would they actually really amount to a full performance but the feelings of adventure, imagination and friendship that were invoked have stayed with me ever since.

Belinda
I've been involved with theatre for as long as I can remember - attending my first show at only a few weeks old. Having only a temporary ban from theatre (by my parents) at about age 3, after laughing hysterically at a love scene in South Pacific. But soon I was back, involved in any way possible - selling programs, cutting gels to put in lighting frames, telling crew where to put set and props, walking lights - anything that helped create the magical make-believe world. My enthusiasm never wavered - and as I grew older, my focus became performing.

What is a recent ‘special moment’ you have encountered in theatre?
Tama
It may seem opportune to answer by talking about my current work rehearsing Apartment but 'special moments' have been coming steadily for weeks now as we build the show. I am eternally thankful for the interest people took in auditioning for the project and deeply grateful for the time and remarkable talent apparent in the cast. Although I am very familiar with the process of staging theatre in a school context, for the purposes of creative education, this mahi feels so very much more personal, so to have the feeling that others believe in it and are willing to commit precious time and energy to it is an exceptionally 'special' experience for me!

Belinda
I recently assisted on the third year VUW production of Much Ado About Nothing. It was really special to see them create really successful connections with the audience through direct address - entire exchanges improvised in character - completely delightful. They only had themselves to practice on, so it was really magic when the audience was there to interact with. It brought home for me how integral this style of performance is to the way we understand Shakespeare.

What is it about theatre that you enjoy?
Tama
Live theatre is just such a wonderful creative endeavour that brings people and passion together with purpose. It can be a tangible expression of empathy and a great emotional teacher. I find the volatility of live performance really exciting, and after a season wraps and time passes on, it remains a special bond between participants and witnesses.

Belinda
I enjoy the connections we make with people through storytelling. Theatre's ability to create positive change - spark conversations, remind us of history, speculate about the future, comment on society. I love how stories help us understand who we are and how we want to be. But mostly I'm just a big kid who wants to play make believe.

What is another interest/hobby that people might not know about?
Tama
I am an enthusiastic punter at live music events and the constant trawling and mining of different musical wormholes is another one of my happy places.

Belinda
I own three ukuleles! When I get the chance, I love to have a jam.

7. Supporting Roles

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 the Wellington Repertory website - keeping them informed as to the latest and greatest at Wellington Rep!
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