Parkes Musical and Dramatic Society history 2013 - Part 44

HUGE SUCCESS: Some of the main roles performed by Parkes Musical and Dramatic Society members in the 2013 production of The Sound of Music. Photo: Parkes Champion Post
HUGE SUCCESS: Some of the main roles performed by Parkes Musical and Dramatic Society members in the 2013 production of The Sound of Music. Photo: Parkes Champion Post

The Society junior members who had started rehearsing late 2012, were now ready to entertain the elderly by performing at age care facilities. In January their first gig was at Southern Cross Village, receiving a very warm welcome. The other retirement homes would be catered for as time permitted.

In March the AGM was held with the executive elected being Neil Westcott president, Lyn Townsend vice president, James Whalan secretary and Gail Smith treasurer. At this meeting members discussed banking arrangements and the contribution to the Jack Scoble Scholarship.

Also in March Mayor Ken Keith made a special request for the Society to put on a show to celebrate the official opening of the new Break Out Area, made possible with funds from the NSW State Government CPP, the Society, Parkes Shire Council and a generous donation from the local member Troy Grant.

The Charity Concert "Raise the Roof" was coordinated by Neil and Lyn with many members of the Society, "Waldorf and Statler" and "Tapestry". Proceeds from the concert went to help the replacement of asbestos roofs in Weberek, East Timor.

May saw the musical "Nunsense" staged and directed by Belinda McGrath. The cast consisted of five nuns, all Little Sisters of the Hoboken Convent, played by Christa Radley, Angie Drooger, Brittni Carroll, Alyssa Miller and Belinda as the Mother Superior. The five Sisters returning from a trip, find the cook, Sister Julia, had accidentally poisoned 52 Sisters, so the five decide to hold a charity concert to raise money to bury them. With no band, Anthony McGrath provided the backing tracks and as Belinda described him, "The Band in a Box", while Michael Green of country music fame recorded some new tracks for the show. The cast and Belinda worked on the choreography and costumes.

Although "Nunsense" had a small cast, the girls made this an entertaining and thoroughly bright musical over four weekends.

At the May meeting the need for a new photo copier was discussed with the decision to investigate availability. Warwick and Neil travelled to Dubbo for a meeting with Troy Grant about further development of the Little Theatre. The missing plaque for the Break Out area was found.

At the June and July meetings, matters discussed were problems with PayPal and a motion allowing up to $500 for director expenses. The Society finally had approval for the shed extensions and members decided to add an honour board along with the president and life membership boards, detailing the Society's successes at the annual CAT presentations.

August saw the much anticipated return of "The Sound of Music" previously performed in 1989. Musical Director was Neil Westcott with Lisa Betts, Pam Ward, Amy Deardon, Doug Richards and Niger Thomas making up the band.

Lyn Townsend directed the whole production, assisted by Shyamini Naidu. The 15-strong nuns chorus was led by Gail Smith as Mother Abbess and directed by Carolyn Butler. Main roles were competently portrayed by Shevaun Brown as Maria, Neil Westcott Capt. Von Trapp, Christie Green Ersa and Bill Jayet as Max.

The Von Trapp children were performed by two separate groups to lessen the fatigue on these young players.

The Salzberg Group consisted of Nia Boggs, Olivia Nichols, Sarah Macaulay, Trefor Douglas, Eilie Macaulay, Jonathan Barker and Rhianna Goodwin.

The Vienna Group was Nikita Martin, Maia Hennock, Gracey Jones, Riley Thomson, Shannon Green, Morgan Flynn and Mireille Marks.

Of the 40-odd cast and crew, special mention must be made to the Backstage Boys of Russell Tanswell, Brian Townsend, Peter Guppy, Michael McGrath and Geoff Lindsay for their untiring effort. The production was a huge success being a very profitable season for the Society.

Final show for the year was "A very Theatre Christmas" with over 40 society members joining together to produce a great variety concert to end the year. The Direction team was Lyn Townsend, Gail Smith, Gracie Townsend and Shyamini Naidu, combining to coordinate the items covering dance, song and acting. Music was by Lisa Betts on keyboard and Nigel Thomas on drums.

At the final meeting in December, the Society acknowledged the very generous contribution of Bob Cocks in sponsoring a monthly article in the Champion Post.

In an effort to promote junior members, the Society provided a $250 scholarship for two members to attend a fortnight training course with NIDA at Orange.

At the close of the meeting, members enjoyed a Christmas supper at the theatre.

CORRECTION: There was a glitch in saving over Warwick's last history piece number 43, published in the Champion Post April 20 print edition. Gremlins in the machine added a five (5) in front of all the dollar ($) amounts mentioned in the article, making the total dollars far greater than the actual figure.