From neighbourhood meetings to locally-driven dramatic productions, the Blackheath Theatre Company has come a long way in just two years.
And next month it is presenting No Easy Answers, four plays which each raise issues or problems to be resolved.
Written and performed by locals, the plays are: Small Steps by Gavin Austin (directed by Dot Ward), where a widowed woman comes to the city to start a new adventure; The Deep Well of Loyalty by Hugh O’Brien (directed by Ivica Buc), in which family loyalties clash over a crusading member and coal seam gas issues; Asylum Island by Bee Beeby and Sabine Erika (directed by Sabine Erika) is about two refugees who reveal their stories and struggle with the helplessness of their situation; and The Traveller’s Table by Hugh O’Brien (directed by Arwyn Kamarudin), where mayhem erupts when an erotic masseuse, a priest impersonator and a cat-loving feral cat counter collide.
The Blackheath Theatre Company was formed in 2016 to develop community theatre.
It aims to encourage people through workshops and productions to develop skills in playwriting, acting, production, direction and general stagecraft.
There is a small committee to handle the variety of tasks associated with productions and workshops.
Already, workshops have been run for writing and directing. Earlier this year the company ran speech an movement workshops and aim to run many more.
With a plethora of talent in the community, the theatre company wants to encourage as wide a participation as possible.
Establishing a community theatre is a challenge and the group has have benefited from the experience of Sabine Erika and Myra Hutton, who ran Oroya Players for 10 years.
Oroya Players was a group for people with disabilities and put on two performances a year, written and performed by locals in church halls, churches and halls. Two of the Oroya actors now participate in the Blackheath Theatre Company performances.
While the company plans to emphasise intimate theatre, it will from time to time produce a ‘blockbuster’ to raise funds and keep going.
A local friend, Peta Hammon, has become the company’s patron. Her generosity and support has been much appreciated, as is valued support from local businesses.
The company welcomes new members who can joined online at www.blackheaththatrecompany.com. Or call Arwyn Kamarudin on 0422 747 394 or Sabine Erika on 0414 185 332.
The plays are on at Bates Intimate Theatre, Bates Hall, Great Western Highway Blackheath, (opposite the railway station). On Friday and Saturday, June 1 and 2 at 7.30pm and on Sunday, June 3 at 3pm.
Tickets $25 from Richardson & Wrench, Govetts Leap Rd, Blackheath.