Local lady Greta Warner has a passion for theatre; she loves teaching local youth the art of treading the boards. Chrissy Jones has a chat with Greta to find out what’s in store for the budding thespians in the upcoming school holidays.
Tell us about the Wauchope Youth Theatre Group, Greta. What do they do?
The Wauchope Youth Theatre is a group of youth that gather every Friday afternoon at the Wauchope Showground Hall to learn all forms of theatre and performance. These kids want to learn all aspects of the Arts; from acting, singing, dancing and all that goes on backstage to bring a theatre production to fruition. At the moment we have around 30 members and a great team of adult volunteers to help and nurture the talent that we have in our midst.
These kids entertain the public at all sorts of venues throughout the Port Macquarie-Hastings area, including the Camden Haven, with family entertainment. Wauchope should be proud of the Youth Theatre Group; they work very hard at what they love to do … entertain. We have so much talent that needs to be enhanced and supported by the community and businesses of Wauchope. Anyone wishing to help out is more than welcomed into the fold.
We have some very talented kids in the troupe. They vary in age up to 25 years. The youngest are 7 years of age, and they are ballet dancers; there are four of them, and they are fairly new to the troupe and very, very keen. They have said that they would love to get into the acting side of our activities, so that is what I am working on with these little ones.
We have a lot of kids in the troupe with very creative minds; we provide an avenue where they can release that at an early age. We have members who love to act out different characters, those who love music and have good rhythm and balance in dance and some who are talented in art, like painting.
So, we are attracting kids who are involved in all forms of the performing arts. They have nowhere to express that; they come to us and I find out what their talents and strengths are, what they want to do, and then we nurture that and guide them in the right direction.
How do budding young thespians find you?
Usually word of mouth and stories in the local media gets us out there. The Wauchope Gazette is very kind to us with promotions of our theatre productions. I would also like to thank The Framer/Art Supplies, Academy of Music in Port Macquarie, Classy Café and Bago Real Estate in Wauchope – they all help in anyway they can; if we have a production on, you will be sure to find a poster or two in their windows or on their counters.
Some individual talents in the troupe:
We have a host of great individual talents in the group – so many that I really can’t name them individually in case I miss someone out! The talent comes from singers, actors, dancers and back stage – ages range from 7 years to 25 years.
They all work so well together, because in the Arts, people like to teach and learn as much as they can from each other. Experience counts; we are forever learning the craft – very different from the majority of the world today.
What events have you got coming up?
We have our Pirates of the Jelly Bean performance in the September School holidays at the Wauchope Showground Hall. The audience is invited to board the SS Jelly Bean and sail the seven seas searching for buried treasure. The show has been written by me, and we are very excited about this production.
We are actually building a pirate ship in the hall for people to board on this wonderful adventure. We have a little pirate band as well; it’s a full on production, with the children involved in all aspects from the acting, music, singing and set production.
The children are helping to paint the sets; we are setting up various scenes for the audience to walk through. It is very interactive. Sound effects and an adventurous story line, including a ship’s ghost and an underwater city complete with mermaids will keep all enthralled.
The show sounds great – when is it, and how much does it cost?
The Pirates of the Jelly Bean is a real theatrical experience, an hour in duration. Dates for the production include afternoon matinees at 2pm on October 1 and 2 and a couple of morning shows at 10am on October 4 and 6.
Tickets are just $3, to help us cover our costs. To book tickets, please ring The Framer: 6584 0184.
Do you have any other talented, experienced entertainers that help you with the group voluntarily?
Two very talented ladies who provide services to the troupe are invaluable; they are Rosa Vanderley, our Musical Director and Brianna Rankin, who is our choreographer. They devote much of their time to the troupe, sharing their vast experience in the Arts with the members of the troupe.
How can the community help these kids?
We have been searching for a ‘home’ for the troupe for nearly a year now. We need a base – somewhere that we can do our productions and not have to pack everything up because someone else has hired the venue.
If anyone knows of a place that could be used by the children and their mentors to nurture and grow local theatrical talent at a manageable fee, please contact me to talk further.
We are willing to share, but would just like our ‘own’ area. Also, donations are greatly accepted to help with the provision of props, costumes and equipment. This is currently funded by ourselves, but donations would be great!