Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Celebrating Passion in; on the Playhouse Years of Life on the Doug Gillett Reports

Newspaper article News Mail Bundaberg Qld.

Celebrating Passion in; on the Playhouse Years of Life on the Doug Gillett Reports

Article excerpt

IT WAS with more than a little pride with which artistic director Shirley Halpin watched her grandchild, Taylah, take to the stage of the Playhouse Theatre for her part in the Richard Rodgers and Oscar Hammerstein classic Carousel.

When the lights illuminated the freshly painted set of the iconic theatre last night, it marked 60 years since the Bundaberg Players were first conceived.

The popular drama organisation dates back to 1950, when a group of theatre lovers grouped together to address a lack of locally produced drama and musicals.

With the help of government initiative, the Queensland State Opera Scheme, Bundaberg Players performed its first production Miss Hook of Holland in December of 1951, at the old Wintergarden Theatre.

For Mrs Halpin, when young Taylah, 8, walked on to the stage for the gala opening of Carousel and the light hit her face, spilling down a red-striped pinafore dress, it was an embodiment of what is special and unique about an organisation she has dedicated the past 40 years of her life to.

C[pounds sterling]We're a family here,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]It's always been like that and I don't think there's any other way to explain it.

C[pounds sterling]It is something that often spans generations in families, and it brings people from all different types of backgrounds together, and they work together all united by a shared passion.C[yen]

Mrs Halpin first became a member of the Bundaberg Players at the age of 26, when she moved to the region to further her teaching career. The first role she landed was a part in the Raymond Dyer murder mystery, Wanted One Body.

The role was minor, involving little more than a shriek and a dropped breakfast tray, but Mrs Halpin became immediately entranced by the organisation and its members.

C[pounds sterling]It's always been a passion of mine,C[yen] she said.

C[pounds sterling]The atmosphere of this place and the people who get involved are pretty remarkable.C[yen]

The Bundaberg Players' famous headquarters, the Playhouse Theatre, has grown in pace with the organisation. The theatre's current green room was once the main stage, before the 250-seat auditorium and lobby had been built. …

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