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Thursday, October 15, 2009

Reps Newsletter – October 2009

Greetings to you all in this very hot month of October. It’s all go in and around Reps, as the calendar is very busy from now until the end of the year – and also right through 2010 – so there’s lots for you to look forward to on our stages in coming months. There are also socials in the members’ bar and elsewhere, so keep watching for news about these in coming weeks and months.

Awards galore for our one-act performers
Well done to the cast and crew of the two one-act plays we sent down to the 2009 National One-Act Play Festival, which this year took place in Masvingo. Sue Bolt took her team from We Need A Man and Michele Mesley took her team from Joining The Club – and the result was a triumph for Reprobates in particular and Reps generally. Here are the awards from the festival, including our own:
Best Technical – Campbell Theatre Club, Kadoma – Immobiles
Best Costumes – Pamushana Drama Club – The Capulet Feast (localised excerpt from Romeo and Juliet)
Best Newcomer Female – Michelle Mesley – Director of Joining the Club (Reps)
Best Newcomer Male – not awarded
Achievement Award – Kyle College – The Dear Departed (the cast of six had four newcomers to the stage in it)
Best Cameo – Talent Kaso, Masvingo Drama Circle – The Edge
Best Supporting Actor – Gavin Gordon, Campbell Theatre Club – The Rehearsal
Best Supporting Actress – Philippa Johnston, Reprobates – We Need a Man
Best Actor – Jessat Mlilo, Masvingo Drama Circle – The Edge
Best Actress – Sue Evans, Reprobates – We Need a Man
Best Production – Reps’ Joining the Club
We are also delighted that Sue Bolt was able to invite the organisers of the festival to stage next year’s in Harare, so that Reps can host it during the planned celebratory period for the theatre and the Repertory Players (see below). Thanks must go to all those who travelled and also to Gordon Addams and his Inns of Zimbabwe group, which gave complimentary accommodation to some of the travelling team. They thoroughly enjoyed themselves at Inn On Great Zimbabwe! These plays run in Theatre Upstairs from Thursday October 15 to Saturday October 17 (7pm each evening) so try and see them – they are splendid.

Thanks again to Old Mutual
Once again we thank Old Mutual in general and Luke Ngwerume, its CEO, in particular, for providing much-needed assistance to Reps. This time it is for our upgrade to security, with their financial support allowing us to purchase various items of equipment and instal new systems to protect the whole property. Old Mutual has always been a great friend of ours and their generosity has over the years helped us achieve a great many improvements to the property. The security upgrade is now taking place and we send a great big THANK YOU to Luke and his team at Old Mutual for making this possible.

Funny Money a critical hit
Feedback on this excellent farce has been very positive and it was a technical and performance success, so well done to all involved. It was a disappointment in only one respect – that of numbers coming to see it. It appears the public at large is not coming to dramas and comedies in the same numbers that they are for musicals and concerts. While this may accurately reflect trends, please could all members do their best to persuade friends and colleagues to come to these productions – they will enjoy themselves when they do! All Reps members should play a part in promoting and publicising shows at our theatres and other activities with which we become involved, so please spread the word about everything! If you can help distribute fliers, posters and advertising boards, please contact Stan Higgins at to let him know.

Cabaret fills the seats
Zane E Lucas staged the musical Cabaret and filled many of our seats as people came to see and enjoy this wonderful show – for which, many congratulations to him and his excellent cast. We at Reps were delighted that he chose to present this production on our stage. We look forward to working even more closely with Zane in coming months and years. Of note was the support given this production by Nestle Zimbabwe – we hope this will be the start of a great relationship between the theatre and this important commercial organisation. One of the Nestle activities was to run a Ricoffy bar serving coffee and biscuits, something we plan to do again, perhaps during the cold evenings of next winter.

Broadway Hits and Musical Bits 2
Debbie Fleming’s shows are always delightful and always popular so we look forward to a successful run for this musical that features songs from stage and screen told in song and dance by a cast of over 30. It runs for only a week – from Friday October 16 to Saturday October 24 – so please get your bookings in soon and tell all your colleagues, friends and family to book early and ensure themselves seats during the short run. This is a successor to BH and MB, which ran in 2005 and earned Debbie a Best Director Reps Afdis Award. Booking is now open at The Spotlight, of course.

Farewell to another old friend
Stan Stuttard, well-known in Reps circles and in the financial sector in Zimbabwe for a great many years, passed away recently in South Africa. His daughter, Tracy, wrote to tell us the sad news and to say how much he had enjoyed talking about his Reps days and his group of friends who formed the ‘culture corner’ in the members’ bar. Condolences to his family and farewell to Stan himself. Also to note: Ken Buchanan, a long-time member of the Campbell Theatre Club and stalwart of theatre and many other things in Kadoma, also passed away recently.

Simply The Best will be a great show
Our friends at the National Ballet of Zimbabwe/Dance Trust of Zimbabwe have decided to stage a fundraiser for Reps during the run of Stars of Tomorrow. So on the Sunday in the middle of this run – November 15 – there will be an early evening show (starts 6pm) at which dancers will dance, singers will sing and other performers will contribute in other ways to a variety show that promises to be fun – and valuable. National Ballet dancers are lining up to be part of it and boy band 5Star have agreed to sing. Booking will open soon at The Spotlight. Bring the whole family.

Launching 50/80
And now the big news! As many of you know, January 13 2010 will be the 50th anniversary of the opening of Reps Theatre and February 17 2011, just 13 months later, will be the 80th anniversary of The Repertory Players. We have decided to combine these two noteworthy dates into one celebratory period, which we are calling the 50/80 Celebration. Events will start on January 13 2010 with the gala night of 50 Golden Years, a revue directed by Sue Bolt, and will end on February 18 2011 with a gala dinner to celebrate eight decades of ‘the reps’ in our community. Sue Bolt, as chairman of the Production Committee, has master-minded a full year or so of productions, including dramas, comedies, musicals and other entertainments – and it all promises to be enjoyable and entertaining. We would like all members to be part of the celebrations and we shall be producing memorabilia, publishing the second volume of our history and doing all manner of things to mark the two anniversary occasions in style. We now have an official logo for this, thanks to a competition run, which was won by the very talented Sue McLaren, with a snatch of an idea also coming from Shaun Leaman. Thanks to all those people who entered with their range of great ideas. Here’s to a remarkable celebration and to all kinds of things that strengthen and enhance Reps and its family of people and its wealth of activities. We can be very proud of ourselves and this celebration will remind us – and the community at large – of the role played by this society and this theatre in the world of arts, culture and entertainment in Zimbabwe and Southern Africa since 1931.

Did you know …
… that we have the very kind support of Ralph and Rose Stead with a generator for Reps productions, so that when ZESA power goes we have a back-up. They do not charge us a hire fee for the generator (which is placed on a truck at theatre rear) and only charge for actual running costs should we use it. Thanks you them for this generous support and for the help they give in ensuring that the show goes on! We would also like to thank ZESA for their very kind co-operation and helping to ensure that only when really necessary – or when there is a fault – do we get ‘cut off’ at all.

Until next time, stay cool and connected

Yours dramatically
Teri Grimmel

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