2018 was a busy year with the highlight being the opening of the Junction Theatre in Katikati Arts Junction which is now home for Katikati Theatre.

While the cast of the Dinner Theatre production, “Family Spirit”, were into rehearsals a small enthusiastic group from Katikati Theatre entered a contest participating in a 24hour Play Challenge held at Riverlea Theatre in Hamilton on 25th and 26th of May. Julie Thomas, Di Logan, Barry Magowan and Tracey Carter wrote a 10 minute script which was based on 10 lines of given text and three props, which they performed in front of an audience competing against several other drama groups. They all enjoyed the challenge of improvisation and would be keen to repeat the experience. Those who were at our social evening in January enjoyed this group’s reenactment of their play “Quietus”.

“Family Spirit” by Pat Wollaston, our Dinner Theatre production at Forta Leza in June/July was a great success with an enthusiastic cast under the capable direction of Eryl Raymond, presenting “a gem of a play” to appreciative audiences. It was unfortunate that due to a combination of circumstances audience numbers were fewer than previous years. With comments that this was perhaps the best dinner theatre show that Katikati Theatre has put on, it is not surprising that the suggestion to move the play to Waihi Drama’s theatre for two nights was enthusiastically accepted by both cast and crew where they played to full houses. Waihi Drama members assisted backstage and took care of publicity, programmes and ticket sales – it was a great joint effort.

In September, Katikati Art Group opened their “Woodlands” themed exhibition with a preview evening during which a small group from Katikati Theatre presented a read performance of Shakespeare’s playlet “Pyramus and Thisbe” from “A Midsummer Night’s Dream”.

Since 2010 Katikati Theatre members have been pushing for a shared art facility in the community where displays, tuition, and a theatre complex would target all arts groups within Katikati and be a base for everyone. In 2018 this became a reality when the old library building was transformed into the Arts Junction, housing the Information Centre, Arts Centre, and a boutique theatre, all managed by Katch Katikati. Katikati Theatre was the major contributor in equipping the theatre space, providing platforms, lighting and controls, curtains, and some theatre seating. The committee decided that  Katikati Theatre use some of our building fund money to thus furnish the space, in addition to a generous grant received from the Lion Foundation and a donation from Katikati Twilight Concerts for stackable chairs.

And so it was fitting that the first show in Junction Theatre, after the official opening in October, was Katikati Theatre’s production of “A Walk in the Woods” by Debbie Metzler. This lighthearted romp through classic fairy stories was cleverly directed by Eryl Raymond, who managed a large cast creating zany characters who delighted audiences of all ages.

We now look ahead to creating more magic in Katikati Theatre’s home in the Arts Junction, with the first production of 2019 scheduled for July. “Albert Nobbs” by Gordon Steel has been auditioned and cast by director Tracey Carter. We look forward to it!

I would like to thank the committee for their contribution to Katikati Theatre over the past year, and especially to Barrie More, who is stepping down from the committee, for his expertise and work over the past several years. Thank you all.

Cherie Baunton