Drive to bring new life into Wellsford theatre scene
Posted at 11:38am Monday 29 Jun, 2020
Carolynne Andrew inside Wellsford Drama Club's extensive wardrobe department.
Wellsford resident Carolynne Andrew wants to revive Wellsford's flagging theatre scene with a public meeting later this month.
She says in years gone by the Wellsford Drama Club thrived, with more than 180 members and two or three shows a year, with up to 60 participants involved in each show.
The club became especially well-known for its children's and variety shows.
But over the last 10 years interest has waned, and formerly active committee members have become old and frail.
Carolynne hopes to find fresh blood and a new direction.
She says one encouraging thing is that the club still has an extensive wardrobe department held in a large room at the Wellsford Community Centre, plus substantial lighting and sound equipment.
Carolynne says theatre boosts confidence and feelings of self-worth and creates a wonderful family atmosphere.
“You create a really strong feeling of respect and friendship for the people you are working with. Many of the children I worked with in the children's shows went on to flat together at university. They became the best men and bridesmaids at each other's weddings,” she says.
She adds there is nothing like putting a show together.
“You start off wandering around like headless chooks and thinking ‘God, it's never going to come off' and then a week before opening night, it starts to come alive, like a phoenix. It's absolutely magical,” she says.
Carolynne says for the audience, nothing can replace the energy and immediacy of watching people just like themselves doing something remarkable and perhaps thinking they might be able to try it themselves.
“You can't get that from watching Dustin Hoffman or Meryl Streep.”
Carolynne says she is eager to hear from anybody with an interest in directing, acting, sound, lighting, set design, wardrobe, choreography and stage management. She is also keen to hear from sponsors, willing to help fund the club and its productions.
“The whole thing is a leap of faith for me. I hope there are people out there who have the desire and the passion and the drive to give Wellsford a cultural heart,”she says.
The Wellsford Drama Club's public meeting will be held at the Wellsford Community Centre on Sunday, July 26 at 2pm. All welcome.