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Friday, January 18, 2013

Reps News

Reps Reporter – January 2013
Happy New Year to members and friends of Reps! Here’s hoping you had a wonderful festive season and have started 2013 well … and we all hope this will be a good year for each and every one of us! Reps will be busy, with Sue Bolt and her Production Committee finalising schedules for both theatres, and with Tim Garrard and his social events team planning many great events in the bar and on Tada Terrace. A reminder to everyone: if every Reps member signs up just one new member this year, the membership will increase dramatically, with consequent benefit all round, especially if the new members become active on stage or backstage, in the bar and just through supporting the theatre. Thank you to our corporate sponsors for the coming year for their continued support: Old Mutual and ZB Bank!
Membership news
2012 ended on a high with the very successful Peter Pan on Main Stage. It was good to see the house full signs in the foyer on several occasions! Even more exciting was to see a diverse group of Reps folk involved in the show. We tend to take some of the "regulars" for granted, and seeing them in new roles was very satisfying. For example, no one could say that Linda Hyde is not a very active member of Reps. But she is not normally known as an actor. Likewise Mike Blake and Nakita Blake, Roy Freestone and Ron Miller who do not get to work backstage as often as perhaps they should. But what would Peter Pan have been if there was no Nana or if Peter, Wendy and Tink did not actually fly? And isn't this what being Reps is all about? All of us doing our bit in expected and unexpected ways to "Keep Theatre Live".
December also marked the end of an era with the death of Babs Naim a few weeks short of her 99th birthday. Babs was the only person living to have been present for the launch of The Repertory Players in 1931, the opening of the Reps Theatre in 1960 and both the 50th anniversary of the theatre in 2010 and the 80th anniversary of the society in 2011. A Theatre Foundation Member, she was the embodiment of service to others, not only through her connections with Reps and WVS, but through her many other community-minded activities over many decades. As a member of Reps she had a major impact on the society and its activities. That – and her presence in recent years sitting quietly just in front of the stage left usher seats in her wheelchair, listening (for she had lost her sight) to performances – will be hugely missed but will always be remembered and valued. We shall not see her like again.

And so to 2013 - a year begun in style with Don't Dress for Dinner. Members' renewal subs have been coming in January and the first new members for the year have signed up. It's looking like a good year; with many more members doing many new things to give much joy to the city, country and to us all. More new members are wanted and needed so keep this in the forefront of your minds, please!
Reprobates go active
Reprobates appears to be gathering momentum and after the interval over the holiday season, we welcome back existing and new members. We'd like to take this opportunity to encourage existing members, and people who want to learn all about the theatre to join us on Thursdays at 6:30pm. This year will see us making a concerted effort to get productions mounted on the stages and in the National One Act Festival to be held later in the year.
After the Christmas break Repteens resumed on January 11; this year it’s ‘same place same times’ - 5.30pm to 8.30pm, Fridays. As it's first term and there are absolutely no exams, we should see numbers rise again and are looking forward to any new and interested people joining. Remember that, if you are only turning 13 in the first six months of the year, you are eligible to join Repteens. The first session was mainly a social event with some theatre games thrown in. After that we will cover theatre basics for the benefit of refreshing memories and informing the "newbies"; before we move on to work on our 2013 Main Stage production, which we are lucky enough to have the pleasure of Sue Bolt in the role as director (two years in a row – thanks, Sue!). The production has yet to be decided on but all may rest assured that it will be as fun-filled as always! We are looking forward to a jam-packed and exciting year, and we have many plans in mind to include all the Repteens in making it the most successful Repteens year yet.
Preps’ News
Preps start on Saturday January 19, from 10am to 11:30am. Once again, this promises to be fun-filled and busy year for Preps. New games, new plays and plenty of new faces … and David and Faith hope to see as many children there as they gear up to a year full of fun and surprises. As usual, they will be working towards a short but highly entertaining presentation for the children's parents and all interested supporters as well. Here are the important dates to note this term: Preps start: January 19; half term: February 16 (no Preps); Preps ends: March 23.

January sees the essential maintenance week from January 13, to which everyone is welcome (and encouraged) to come down to help and maybe find out a bit more about the theatre. (Note: don’t get dressed up all smart, but have sensible non-leather-soled shoes and, of course, no high heels please!). Let’s get the theatre ready for a very busy 2013.To find out more contact PJ Smyth through the Reps office.

Social events in January
Sunday Jan 20 sees Tony Palmer in charge of the fun pub quiz, giving it a musical theme! Starts 11.15am sharp and everyone’s welcome. Food afterwards. Faith Ganyau sings live in the bar Fri Jan 25 (from 8pm). Then on Sunday Jan 27 it’s the latest Weakest Link (starts 6pm, with food served). Come along and have some fun either as a contestant or as a spectator.  Diarise for Feb: An Evening of Words on Feb 3 … Mande Snyman live Feb 8 … Josh Ansley live either Feb 15 or 16 … Alphonse Chui live on Feb 22.
Shows in January and February
Coming up for your entertainment: Harare’s Got Talent 5, with 21 acts including singers, dancers and comedians. Starts 7pm on Sat Jan 26 only and advance booking is already open (and selling well) at The Spotlight. Then we hope to host Siyaya Arts the following week with a follow-up show to Zambezi Express from two years ago. Watch out for late breaking news on this. After that we welcome Teatro lead singer Jeremiah James from the USA for three performances (Feb 7-9) in aid of the Children’s Heart Foundation. This is being staged by Roz Whaley who has assembled an eight-piece big band to accompany Jeremiah. Dudu Manhenga and Nigel Hopkins will sing in this show, too, as guests artistes. Running from Feb 15 to Mar 2 will be the musical revue A Little Bit Country, featuring 24 singers, 12 dancers and two dozen country songs … including country and western, country rock, country pop, country classic and country rave … as well as country reggae. A  great musical show for the family … book at The Spotlight. Coming to Theatre Upstairs, Mark West and Kevin Hanssen are working on a show called Dickens, starring Kevin. As always, watch our for specific news on dates and times.
Did you know …
… the 2013 AGM of the Repertory Players has been set for Sunday April 14? Diarise and please attend … be part of the process.
Until next time, keep well
Reps Exco

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