Parkes Musical and Dramatic Society History 2012 - Part 43

AWARDS NIGHT: The Downtown girls toasted their CAT Award success in 2013 with a well-earned glass of bubbly. From left Belinda McGrath, Christie Green, Christa Radley, Cath Adams and Shevaun Brown. Photo: Bill Jayet
AWARDS NIGHT: The Downtown girls toasted their CAT Award success in 2013 with a well-earned glass of bubbly. From left Belinda McGrath, Christie Green, Christa Radley, Cath Adams and Shevaun Brown. Photo: Bill Jayet

During the January holidays, Jack Thompson and Harrison Baker hired the theatre for a fortnight of Junior actors workshops, which were very successful.

At the same time the production of "Downtown" with five females was in rehearsal.

March saw the announcement of the CAT awards - Lyn Townsend named for costume design, Wizard of Oz won best production for Youth/Schoot Musical. A great effort for the Society.

"Opera at the Dish" also won two awards.

Betty Stroud from Dubbo put forward a proposal to direct See How They Run in August.

The 2012 AGM saw a change in the executive, as Belinda McGrath stepped down and accepted the role as treasurer while Neil Westcott was elected president with Lyn Townsend VP and Christie Green, secretary.

A constitutional motion was approved limiting the term of president to three years unless there were no other nominations.

Requests were received from Neighbourhood Central for plastic chairs, Parkes Public School for use of amplifiers and Artsout west to hire the theatre in November.

June 15 saw opening night of "Downtown, The Mod Musical".

This show was a collection of popular tunes during the sixties and seventies, directed by Shevaun Brown, Christie Green, Christa Radley and assisted by Belinda McGrath. These four plus Cath Adams and Greg Ballantyne were the main characters assisted by backup dancers grooving away to the rhythm of the popular tunes of Cilla Black, Petula Clark, Lulu Kennedy-Cairns and Dusty Springfield.

Set design and construction was the inspiration of Brian Townsend and Steve McGrath, while the catchy music was played by Gail Smith, Mitch and Doug Richards and Nigel Thomas.

The whole production had the theme of the Women's Movement in the sixties, providing great music for Parkes patrons, from June 15-30.

AWARDS NIGHT: Belinda McGrath, Cath Adams, Christa Radley, Christie Green and Shevaun Brown wowed the crowd during their performance at the CAT Awards in February 2013. Photo: Bill Jayet

AWARDS NIGHT: Belinda McGrath, Cath Adams, Christa Radley, Christie Green and Shevaun Brown wowed the crowd during their performance at the CAT Awards in February 2013. Photo: Bill Jayet

At the mid-year meeting, Rhianna Goodwin was awarded the annual Junior Award which helped defray expenses at the performing arts course in Sydney.

The Film Society removed all their equipment from the theatre so it was decided to obtain a projector cradle for future use - Peter Magill of Griffins kindly donated this to the society.

A DA was issued for the shed extension after the plans had been submitted. The Shire Council was able to have the breakout area finalised by the end of the year.

ln August, Betty Stroud, directing "See How They Run" travelled over from Dubbo for the duration of the rehearsals and performances, so it was a relief at the start when she was able to complete her cast which included six men, always hard to get. They were Steve McGrath, Aaron Kingham, Sam Noakes, Tim Keith, Trevor Gilbert and Russell Tanswell, while the female cast members were Ashlee McGrath, Liz Matthews and Sarah le Roux.

The set was constructed by Brian Townsend and Russell Tanswell with Betty overseeing the decor and costumes.

This three-act farce was very well received with a great audience on the last night which unfortunately is usually the case as it takes a few performances for the public to get the message about a great show. ln view of the fact Betty had so much travelling, $500 was allocated for her fuel expenses.

Following hard on the heels of the play, the annual PACC Concert was underway, called "Circle of Life". Directed by Lyn Townsend, Neil Westcott and Gail Smith, the cast numbered 42, with a guest appearance of Tapestry, a seven strong cappella group.

Choreography was thanks to Georgia Ryan, Nikki Standen, Shannon Green with Gracie and Lyn Townsend.

The show consisted of skits, solo and group singing, poetry and dance items in two acts. The production was very well received with almost full houses, raising over $4000 which supported the Parkinson Group and Relay for Life charities.

As the year wrapped up, the Society started planning for next year with rehearsals for "Nunsence" Nuns' chorus beginning.

Donations of $250 were made to both the Jack Scoble Scholarship and Australia Day awards.

Belinda organised an Australia Day concert, featuring "Downtown" girls and cast of "Circle of Life", both production casts had members nominated for CATS Awards. Bob Cock generously offered to sponsor M&D news in the Champion Post.

The Society decided to put Northparkes grant money of $1000 and surplus SSOO fund towards a new projector with Neil Westcott's family offering to donate the balance. This was the last business before the Society closed for the Christmas break, with the president wishing a merry Christmas and a happy new year to all members.

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