Celebrations will continue in 2017 as Brighton Theatre Company marks 41 years. Brighton Theatre Company began its days as “The St Andrew’s Players” performing at St. Andrew’s Church Hall in Brighton. The company then moved on to St Peter’s Parish Hall, Were Street and were known as “Brighton Repertory Company”, later changing their name to “Brighton Theatre Company”. An invitation was received from Brighton Council to use the main auditorium of the Town Hall, and in 1984 we began operations on that site. With the redevelopment of the Town Hall as an Arts & Cultural Centre, the company moved to the former library and constructed our own “little theatre” – seating 84 patrons. In 2009, the Bayside Council made a number of alterations to the interior of the building including a new entrance and modern foyer for the theatre. We have installed new seating and now seat 93 patrons.
BTC stages four productions each year. Plays are selected by the Play Reading Committee from scripts submitted by its chosen Directors, as well as those suggested by members. The company aims to produce a range of theatrical experiences from comedy to drama, by a wide variety of Australian and international authors. Our directors are chosen from around Victoria, each one bringing new ideas and a wealth of experience to the company. Feedback from patrons is strongly encouraged as we like to produce the kind of theatre that audiences enjoy, as well as giving our casts and crew members the opportunity to extend their creativity and further their technical skills. BTC productions are always an entertaining night out, with highly enjoyable extras such as pre-show sherries, followed by supper after the final curtain and a chance to meet the cast and crew.
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Deborah has been involved in theatre since childhood. She has playing many roles over the years with a number of companies and also performed at many One Act Play festivals in the 1990s. In recent years she moved to the other side of the footlights and has directed for Brighton, Malvern, Peridot and Sherbrooke Theatre Companies. She has adjudicated for ‘in-house’ awards at Malvern, Beaumaris and Mordialloc theatre companies. She first came to BTC in 1989 and became part of the committee in April 2000 as Treasurer, a position she still holds. From 2005 she also held the position of Acting President until the change in the Management Structure of the company in 2007. Away from BTC, though still connected to theatre, she works as a volunteer for The Victorian Drama League.
Secretary and Box Office Manager
Suzie has enjoyed seeing BTC productions over the past 10 years and with the retirement of Edda Dawson in 2013 took over the role of Box Office Manager. She is continuing in this role and also decided to join the Management Team this year to assist with the many tasks of the Committee. Suzie currently works at Drama Victoria, an association that provides workshops, conferences and resources to drama teachers and their students. Combining work, BTC and having twin teenage girls, Suzie feels that her life, at present, is full of dramatic moments!
As BTC’s current Artistic Director Annie gets considerable satisfaction (tempered with occasional frustration!) from dealing with the challenges involved with making every effort to provide our audiences with interesting and innovative theatre whilst at the same time ensuring that the productions we choose are accessible to everyone. During a three decade sojourn in Adelaide Annie was involved in community theatre as a Director, Actor, Stage Manager, Designer, Company President and Artistic Director. Since coming to Brighton she has added technical design and operation to the list. Nearly always involved in some capacity with BTC productions, when it comes to her Artistic Director’s portfolio responsibilities Annie values the support and advice given by the important play selection panel and the entire BTC Management Team. No production proceeds at BTC without broad consultation and consideration of whether all aspects will achieve a good fit with our company mission statement.
Lesley’s involvement in community theatre has been spread over many years and with a number of Melbourne based companies. During this period she has directed, stage managed, designed and helped construct sets, adjudicated, worked front of house, served on a variety of committees and has made an appearance on stage on one or two occasions. Lesley has been a member of BTC since 2003. She previously held the position of Social Secretary.
Although new to community theatre in 2013, by the end of 2016 Martin had worked on more than twenty productions with seven companies. He enjoys the challenges that different directors and venues present. Creating interesting and entertaining lighting and sound designs, to compliment and support the cast and production is very satisfying; as is working behind the scenes with management and crew of the respective companies. Having worked on three BTC productions in 2016, Martin has become closely involved with the many technical aspects and demands made by our venue. The lovely Brighton Theatre is like a vintage car, requiring regular maintenance undertaken with tender loving care. So, being invited to become Brighton’s Technical Director late in 2016 was quite an honour. Martin has taken up the reins, handed to him by Alan Crispin.
Greg, the newest member of the Management Team, has been involved with community theatre for just over 15 years. Mainly on stage, he has been very fortunate to work with many wonderful people as well as many wonderful theatre companies. Greg feels it is now time to give back to the theatres that have supported him… none more than Brighton… a theatre that is always welcoming and supportive of all that come through her doors.
Ewen has been involved in theatre for eons. He has performed in, directed, built sets, designed & operated lights & sound, found props, painted scenes & worked front of house for more productions than he cares to remember and at more theatre companies than he can count. He was on the board of the Moomba Festival of Theatre for ten years, then the biggest theatre festival in the southern hemisphere. More recently he has been one of the adjudicators for The Victorian Drama League. He has been a member of BTC since 1989 and has served as President, Staging Director, Workshop Co-ordinator and is pleased to return to the role Front of House Manager which he previously held between 2008-2014.
Gaynor joined Brighton Repertory Company in 1981 when the group were resident at St Peters Church in Moffat Street. They later moved on to the Town Hall at the Council’s request, during which time, Gaynor acted as Secretary. Gaynor directed three of BTC’s melodramas and has appeared on stage many times and assisted backstage. Musicals are her first love. She remembers BTC as a “family company” with the children working alongside parents all having a jolly time. Members took on many roles – if you weren’t selected in the next production you would do lights, wardrobe, backstage etc. She retired from acting about 15 years ago but recently appeared in a production at Peridot Theatre last year. She rejoined the BTC committee in 2005 as Secretary.
Youth Theatre Coordinator
Pedro has been working with community theatres since early 2013 when he first performed in Brisbane. Since then he has remained constantly active whether on the stage or behind the scenes. He has a particular passion for engaging and inspiring the upcoming generations into action, be that in the performing arts or in his natural environment of science.
Aimee has been involved in various Community Theatres around Melbourne, and the One Act Play festivals, for the past 10 years. Also involved in film production and digital media, Aimee has joined the Management Team to help with various online duties, and wherever else needed!
Sally Ann Tilley
Sally-Ann has spent her life in the Bayside area and brought up her children here. A former teacher, she has been involved in many community activities. Through her own business, she has a background in advertising and media and brings these skills and her enthusiasm to the BTC Management Team.