Parkes Musical and Dramatic Society History Number 47 - 2016

The cast of Footloose in 2016.

The cast of Footloose in 2016.

A look back at what happened for the Parkes Musical and Dramatic Society in 2016.


After a good previous year, the first meeting for 2016 wasted no time in allocating funds of $20,000 for improvements to the lighting of the theatre.

Also included were the purchase of six music stands and LED lighting for the sound booth.

Other news were the nominations of Morgan Flynn, Matt Prow, Emily Green and Gracie Townsend for CAT awards and Gracie was congratulated on winning her nomination.

Gail Smith requested to use the foyer for training sessions, and this was granted at the reduced rate of $25 per session.

The AGM in March saw Neil step down as president with Lyn Townsend taking on that role.

Vice president was James Whalan, Christa Radley the secretary, while Gail carried on as treasurer.

In March, Dave MacCrae and Ben Bevan completed a full audit of the theatre lighting in consultation with Dubbo Civic Centre personnel, so that any future expenditure would be of maximum benefit.

At the management meeting, Neil and Warwick discussed the estimated cost of the tiered floor and new seats for $280,000.

Other monthly business covered:

  • Honor Boards to be updated with CAT award nominees and past presidents
  • A new TV for the foyer
  • Gutter guard to be installed to stop blockages

The society moved to send a condolence card to Councilor Barb Newton on the loss of her mother.

One of the oldest Society members, Stan Kingham, was in hospital for an operation and Lyn sent a get well card on behalf of members.

At the November meeting, Neil Westcott and Bill Jayet were congratulated on their election to the Parkes Shire Council.

The need to have a Code of Conduct was approved, especially in relation to the consumption of alcohol within the theatre building.

Other matters discussed:

  • The checking of power cables
  • The painting of the theatre outside by Council
  • Christmas function to be held at the Coachman Hotel


May saw the start of 'Footloose' with the preview night very well received and ticket sales progressing satisfactorily.

Production personnel

  • Director - Lyn Townsend
  • Musical director - Neil Westcott
  • Artistic director - Greg Ballantyne
  • Choreographer/assistant director - Gracie Townsend

The cast rehearsed over many weeks with thirteen main characters and forty seven supporting cast, not to mention the band members and lighting, sound and back stage crews.

To quote the direction team - 'we don't do ordinary'!

Main characters

  • Ariel - Birdee Sideris
  • Ren - Morgan Flynn
  • Rev. Shaw Moore - Neil Westcott
  • Vi Moore - Shevaun Brown
  • Ethel McCormack - Christa Radley

Other actors

  • Brittni Carroll
  • Maddison Day
  • Chloe MacRae
  • Greg Ballantyne
  • Matthew Prow
  • Jack Ford
  • Jacob Townsend
  • Aaron Kingham

Band(under the direction of Neil)

  • Nigel Thomas
  • Alison Westcott
  • John Henry
  • Doug Richards
  • Helen Hurley

The story revolves around the objection by community elders to the modern trend of song and dance at the local High School.

'Footloose' was a strong musical depicting the younger generation revolt against old prejudices and had a very successful season for the first show in 2016.


In June, the society was successful in obtaining a $3000 grant to purchase two new computers which were installed later on in the year.

Our treasurer, Gail, said she was finding looking after theatre bookings on top of the treasurer work had become a burden and would like someone else to handle the bookings.

After consideration, Lyn offered to fill in until a solution could be found.

Rock of Ages

October saw the opening of 'Rock of Ages' which Greg Ballantyne had foreshadowed earlier in the year as being his last directorship after ten years.

Once again with the very strong support from Hayley, his wife, a very vigorous young cast was chosen with assistance from Angie Drooger.

Using backing tracks, Christie Green was the musical director with artistic support from Lyn Townsend.

Main characters

  • Drew Boley - Matt Prow
  • Sherrie Christian - Shannon Green
  • Dennis Dupree - Harrison Baker
  • Stacee Jaxx - Dooley Thomson
  • Regina Koontz - Georgie Goodrick
  • Lonny Barnett - Greg Ballyntyne
  • Hertz Klinemann - Erin O'Leary
  • Franz Klineman - Klira Christensen
  • Justice Charlier - Christie Green
  • Constance Sack - Piper Hennock
  • Ja'Keith Gill - Andrew Francis

In addition, there were four supporting actors, and numerous members such as

  • Lighting - Ben Bevan
  • Sound - Hollie Oates, Rachel Thorncroft
  • Backstage and set construction crew (led by Brittni Carroll)
  • Choreography (jointly supervised by Hannah and Amelia Tanswell and Greg Ballantyne)

After a very successful season, Greg said 'Rock of Ages' was about having fun and celebrating a time when life was simpler, made possible by the enthusiasm of the young and energetic cast.

This lighthearted production was a huge success.

Our journalists work hard to provide local, up-to-date news to the community. This is how you can access our trusted content:

Follow us on Facebook

Follow us on Instagram