Parkes Musical & Dramatic Society History (1991)

The year started with a change of the executive, the president's position being taken by Rhonda Coulcher, replacing John Short who had served two years.

Secretary was Tracy Dawson and treasurer, Andrew Hunt.

It had already been decided to have four shows for the year - a musical, two one-act plays and finally a comedy, so it was a full schedule for the 12 months.

In view of the size of the cast for "The Sound of Music", the director, Toni Lam decided to hold auditions for the lead roles before Christmas 1990 and the balance of the parts in January.

Maria was played by Linda Turner and Captain Von Trapp by Neil Westcott. Other lead actors were Liz Matthews, Greig Ball, Margaret Dwyer, John Short and Wanda Whitmill.

To overcome stress with the many performances, Toni elected to have two sets of children alternating their roles so they weren't too tired.

With 39 actors and 29 stage crew, it involved most members of the Society, the music was led by Andrew Hunt, musical director, assisted by Kerriean Hood who played piano with Alison Westcott playing flute and Cathy Rawsthorne on piano accordeon and Xylophone.

It was a very successful season during May with six performances. So much so that Sister Eileen Quade from the Mercy Congregation Centre wrote to Toni offering her congratulations on an excellent show.

In an effort to provide members with drama as well as musicals, the Society entered two plays in Stage West 41st Festival of One Act Plays, being held in Coonabarabran over the last weekend in August.

The first play "The Dock Brief" was directed by Patrick Garvey, a two hander with John Short and Tom Coulcher playing the roles.

The other play was "Private Worlds" directed by Beth Taylor, with a cast of four - Wanda Whitmill, Hilary Wright, Leonie Coulcher and Suzie Ables.

The Dock Brief was nominated for five awards and was successful for best director, Patrick Garvey and best set.

The final production for the year in December was the hilarious female version of Neil Simons play "The Odd Couple", with Monnie Coppinger, Leonie Coulcher, Jenny Short, Liz Matthews, Beth Taylor, Wanda Whitmill, Grieg Ball and Paul Ferris. This comedy was directed by Patrick Garvey who also created the set, a talent which he had previously shown with such great effect in "Oliver" and "Dock Brief".