By Peter Quilter
Directed by Jon T (JT) Kemeys
Season: 22 September - 7 October
The hilarious story of five women who inherit equal shares in a dilapidated theatre and plan to bring it back to life again. Tensions are high between them, but they must work together to make their dream a reality – to restore the theatre to its former glory and get the audiences flocking back. They try various fund-raising schemes but their most ambitious is to hold a concert…
JT is well known to community theatre audiences for his roles both on and offstage. As an actor he’s appeared at Dolphin in straight and farcical comedies, searing dramas, historical period pieces and even Shakespeare … twice!
As a director he is known for staging creative and compelling works. He strives to peel the onion on his characters, helping the actors find new levels to their performances. Curtain Up! marks his return to the director’s seat for the first time since the sell-out success of the musical Chicago at the Playhouse Theatre and the popular Love Off the Shelf, here at the Dolphin Theatre in 2011. Father to two and husband to one, he has a genuine passion for the arts, NFL and any New Zealand sports team playing anyone at anything.
I’m Lucy, from Christchurch. This is my first show in Auckland and what a great way to kick things off with such a vivacious show with strong female characters. I really admire Theresa’s determination and perseverance and would like to think I can see a glimmer of these qualities in myself, too. I love anything to do with art and performing. I love to sing, dance, play guitar, draw– and act, of course.
My name means “light” in Latin so I used this to help me think a little outside the box when thinking of my five words.
I seem to be spending a lot of time treading the boards here at the moment! But with a great play like Curtain Up! on offer, it’s hard to stay away. As Pam says, “Inheriting a theatre is not something any of us are used to” but despite the unusual situation, the themes through this play are those many of us can relate to. And of course, it’s hilarious. And who doesn’t need a good laugh in the middle of winter? Getting to hang out with a bunch of women (as well as JT) is always fun. I hope you enjoy this play as much as we do.
I enjoy the similarities between my life and Betty’s. We were both active before retirement – I was a hut ranger with the Department of Conservation. We both rise to the challenge of learning new moves, mine with acting and Betty with … wait and see! Not to mention our mutual “ditheriness” at times. I look forward to learning from the experienced actors and director and, above all, to having fun.
I discovered my love of theatre when I first tottered onto the boards, aged five, wearing a disproportionately large pair of cardboard wings. Truth be told, my earnest attempt to portray a convincing sparrow in Peter Rabbit left me envious of Flopsy, Mopsy and Cottontail, with their crêpe paper capes and cotton-wool ears. I solemnly vowed to move on to bigger things (and more lines). Since then, I’ve sported various costumes and learnt that small parts can be fun. I’m thrilled to report that playing Sharon has allowed me to indulge my, um, “inner” drama queen.
Having grown up with a father at rehearsals three times a week, turning to the theatre myself when I was no longer needed as a taxi mum was probably inevitable. I love working with so many talented, creative people and sharing in the unique camaraderie that evolves during a production. I am excited to be part of this delightful play, especially reminding the audience of the wonder that was the ’80s Lycra leotard! I’m trusting that living up to Jackie’s exacting fashion standards will keep me true to my fitness regime over the rehearsal months (although I won’t be seeking audience feedback on that part of my performance!).