I think a lot about why I love going to theatre and am really thankful that, whatever the reason, I have the joy of doing so. It certainly wasn’t through the influence of my family and definitely not my teachers. (I am so envious of the lucky students who are encouraged to become involved in theatre these days. I hated Shakespeare when we were “studying” it and The Merchant of Venus, Macbeth and Julius Caesar were just words we read in class.)
That was until I had the experience of going to the then Elizabethan Theatre in Newtown to see Julius Caesar with a cast of four top actors of the time, 1959, and from then my love of theatre was born and my life changed. Over my many years (I am now well into my eighth decade) I have been involved as an actor (terrible), stage manager, set builder (also terrible), writer and director.
My first love is Australian theatre and I had the privilege of directing a large number of Aussie plays and musicals before I became an Officer with the union. I love plays, musicals opera and dance. Experimental theatre, while sometimes challenging and sometimes simply dreadful, is inspiring and necessary, and amateur theatre is what helped me develop my skills and kept me sane in my early years of teaching and gave me a sense of belonging to the places in which I spent my early years of teaching.
For me to go to shows, now that I live in Paradise, means a big commitment as I have to travel over four hours each way and choose to stay in an el cheapo motel (I was not in the old super scheme) but I love it and so my birthday present to myself this year was a trip to see The Mark Morris Dance Group.