President of the Douglas Theatre Arts Group
Not long after the 2013 local government election, I was approached to see if I would be interested in joining the Douglas Theatre Arts Group Committee. Having cabaret room experience and loving the old theatre, I jumped at the chance for an opportunity to be involved with this local treasure. The Arts can play such an important role in our lives, particularly in local communities, and the experience of being a cast member in a show lives with you for a lifetime while bringing much joy to those who come to see productions.
It was challenging at first: money was tight, experience levels were mixed and the theatre itself needed a lot of work. But over the years we have been very successful with our productions, which have included Annie, Grease, The Sound of Music, The Full Monty and most recently, Oliver. We have also had many solo artists and groups perform at the theatre who locals normally wouldn’t have access to without a trip to a city.
Our success is due in part to being highly successful with grant applications, receiving over $100 000 through various funding streams over the past five years. These grants have allowed us to improve disability access to the theatre, ensure the theatre meets occupational health and safety standards, and for modernised equipment to be environmentally friendly and more cost-effective. As President of the Association, I am extremely grateful to the committee and the experienced professionals who assist in making it all happen.