From last year’s minutes, the following people were present at our last AGM, held on 29 November 2020 at the Elmwood Tavern: Garry Thomas, Scott Morrow, Sally Wilson, Franc Bol, Sylvia Barnes, Marcella Herrera, Braydon Priest, Ian Lester, Matt McKenna and Doug Clarke.
Apologies were received from Pat Hannah.
As with 2020, this year proved to be another challenging one, with the unpredictable impact of Covid-19. We were fortunate that we were able to stage three productions, but of course the downside was the loss of our season of one acts and the deferral of Bugsy Malone.
Our elected committee for 2020-21 was a largeish team of 11. Garry Thomas was re-elected President, Sally Wilson re-elected as Secretary and Matt McKenna re-elected as Treasurer (until April of this year). Committee members were Braydon Priest, Ian Lester, Scott Morrow, Marcella Herrera, Franc Bol, Sylvia Barnes, Pat Hannah and John Armstrong. Hilary Muir continued as our Patron.
During the year, Matt McKenna, John Armstrong, Ian Lester, Marcella Herrera and most recently Sally Wilson all stepped down for various reasons. Pat Hannah stepped into the Treasurer role and Matt Holland was welcomed on board the committee.
Our first presentation for 2021 was in January with our continued Kidz Theatre productions, this year with The New Adventures Of Snow White And Rose Red, written and directed by Steve Millar and I. This was a well-attended production, and as with the previous year, with no performance rights it was relatively cost effective to stage.
Our first adult production for this year was Daughters of Heaven, directed by Gretchen Nijsse. This production had been held over from the Covid disrupted previous year. The production was extremely popular with large houses. However, behind the scenes was problematic and stretched and challenged those involved in staging it. Our second production for 2021 was Hudson & Halls: Live!. This proved difficult to cast, and we were fortunate in being able to reschedule it from its June pack-away set slot to July, during the school break, which assisted with casting and the actual staging. Original director Ian Lester was unable to continue, and we were fortunate in gaining the experienced Tom Vavasour to pick this up. Next up was Array ‘21, set for opening on Wednesday 18 August. At 11:59 on Tuesday 17 August, we went into Level 4 lockdown. Attempts to reschedule Array ‘21 proved unsuccessful, and it was subsequently cancelled. It is hoped that the three one act plays involved will be staged next year, as part of Array ’22. Our next scheduled production was Bugsy Malone for October of this year – however, once again Covid-19 had the final say, and this production has been rescheduled for this coming January. The impact of Covid-19 highlights the challenges faced by many of us in the planning and staging of events.
2021 was another challenging year for Elmwood Players, with perhaps the cancelling of Array ’21 being the most disappointing. I don’t think I’ve experienced anything much worse than packing out a show several weeks after packing in, without a performance taking place. My acknowledgement here to all those involved. I’d also like to acknowledge the tenacity of Franc Bol, who’s directing of Bugsy Malone has been put to the test, with that production being rescheduled to January, and with the Covid-19 cloud still present. Our revenue for auditorium hires also took a hit, with the likes of Repertory and others not staging productions during the course of this year. On the plus side, we do have all our productions finalised for Elmwood Players for 2022, and if everything lines up, it’s going to be a great year!
So with that, I’d like to thank the current committee for their continued support, and obviously, my thanks go to all who supported Elmwood Players over the past 12 months, both on and off stage. I’d also like to acknowledge the contributions of both Sally Wilson and Braydon Priest, who will not be returning to the Elmwood Players committee for 2022.