More hands needed

The Playhouse theatre cast of Not Quite the Three Billy Goats Gruff rehearses at the theatre this week. Photo: Linda Robertson
The Playhouse theatre cast of Not Quite the Three Billy Goats Gruff rehearses at the theatre this week. Photo: Linda Robertson
A Dunedin theatre is making a scene to get more volunteers.

Otherwise, it says, it could be closing its curtains for good.

Dunedin’s Playhouse Theatre, run by the Dunedin Repertory Society, has made an open call for volunteers as helper numbers dwindle to just 12.

Repertory Society committee vice-president Jemma Adams said that number could not manage the theatre long term, or make any progress for existing or future developments.

‘‘We’d prefer to have a stronger committee of 14 or 15.

‘‘There’s plenty of enthusiasm about the theatre and it’s not all kind of doom and gloom, but we are going to need some more people to help those dreams happen.’’

The theatre provided a wide range of quality amateur shows to children and parents looking for a fun and affordable way to spend school holidays, Ms Adams said.

She had been going to the theatre since she was just 5. Her mother used to take her during school holidays and now she took her own 4-year-old daughter to all the shows. Hers was not a unique story by any means.

‘‘Lots of people would recognise it as kind of an iconic or traditional school holiday thing to do.’’

Over the past decade some long-standing committee members had left, and parents who had been involved while their children were involved had moved on once their children had grown.

The biggest need the theatre had was for someone who could help with maintaining the building.

‘‘For a committee of volunteers who are primarily from the arts and stage and production side of things, managing a building like that is a challenge.’’

The company also needed a handyperson and people with health and safety and/or accounting skills, but it would welcome anyone with any skill sets, Ms Adams said.

The ‘‘happily retired’’ Playhouse actress said she would not give up on providing opportunities for children who wanted to know what working in a real theatre with real paying audiences would be like.

‘‘As long as there’s a committee base there to keep the venue going, and to direct the kids and kind of manage them into being in a show, then you’ve got such great benefits on both the performing and the audience side.’’

The next play at the theatre will be Not Quite the Three Billy Goats Gruff, directed by Christine Colbert, from July 6 to 14.

fisi.carrasco@odt.co.nz

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