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Theatre broadens scope

re-energise the arts presence in rural
areas to “put more bums on seats”.
JAC “We are about to do community
MO consultation where we get around to
Email: all communities to access a snapshot
of where we are and what people
MOUNT Gambier’s main theatre’s want to see – from there we can plan
red carpet has seen a steady increase to improve over the next three to five
in traffic in recent years, while the years,” he said.
amount of commercial productions “As you will see in the coming
taking to the stage has more than season, we are looking to diversify
tripled in the past year. and energise more people by holding
Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre school programs, music and theatre
ticket sales indicate the dedication of workshops so it is not just about seeing
the region’s arts aficionados grew as shows.”
over 34,000 patrons attended a broad The launch on Saturday night for
spectrum of performances over the the coming season unveiled a myriad
last financial year, while membership of performances from a modern lunch-
numbers almost doubled. box-size adaptation of the traditional
“Our Friends of the Theatre members “crown of the stage” Shakespeare’s
grew from 113 to 211, which indicates complete works to a virtuoso show by
the community is taking real owner- the James Morrison Quintet.
ship and pleasure in the theatre in a Also amongst the shows on offer will
healthy arts environment – we aim be the new comedic Australian musical
for 300 by the end of the next season,” about “big round, beautiful bouncy
manager Frank Morello said. boobs” – Breast Wishes – a high-octane
Phenomenal growth in the amount performance by AcO2 that Mr Peluso
of commercial productions hitting said would “blow audiences musical
the stage was also encouraging and socks off”, and a play by David Stevens
indicative of a growing arts culture for the sentimental amongst us called
in the city, Mr Morello said. The Sum of Us.
“The amount of commercial produc- Just for Kids performances will run
tions tripled over the previous year, during school holidays, while work-
which shows that outside promoters shops offered by artists, musicians,
are showing interest in what we are writers, puppeteers, new media artists
doing down here,” he said. and dancers will look to engage local
“If we have patrons filling the shows budding artists.
we will see that increase again, there- Mr Morello invited Mount Gambier
fore even more will be on offer for the and the wider region to continue to
pleasure of our patrons.” embrace the theatre, stating its sole
With an even broader repertoire purpose was serving “the pleasure of
planned for next year, Country Arts the patrons”.
SA executive producer for performing For more information about shows
TANTALISING THEATRE: Country Arts SA chief executive Steve Saffel (left) and executive producer for arts Anthony Peluso said the organisa- coming up at the theatre phone
performing arts Anthony Peluso open the curtains on the year ahead at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre. tion was embarking on research to 8723 8741 or visit the box office.
547399 The Border Watch, Thursday, November 18, 2010 - 15