Parkes Musical & Dramatic Society

Little Theatre - Big Entertainment

About Us

This page is all about the society including membership, meetings, history, etc.

Membership

Membership runs from January to December each year. The cost to join our Society is $10 student $20 Single and $40 Family. Members can participate in all Society productions and will receive a copy of the newsletter. All members over 18 years of age must submit a Working with Children Check to the Membership Registrar for verification.

If you wish to become a member, download, print out and hand in the MEMBERSHIP APPLICATION FORM,  or post together with the appropriate membership fee to PO Box 376 Parkes NSW 2870. Please contact the Membership Registrar for any information on becoming a member.

Meetings

Meetings are held on the 2nd Thursday of every month (unless otherwise noted) and commence at 7.30pm. They are held at the Parkes Little Theatre and are a great opportunity to catch up with friends and provide the chance for you to provide some input into the running of the Society.

History Part 4 - Birth of the Little Theatre

Pt4 Photo3 George PittendrighPt4 Photo2 Toby RudolfOut of any congenial discussion is the possibility of concrete proposals and so it seems the case with the M & D Little Theatre.

George Pittendrigh and Toby Rudolf, teachers at the High School and enthusiastic members of the Society were yarning over a few beers after rehearsals and decided the M & D needed their own place to rehearse, even though the bank balance showed a 16 Pounds deficit.  It wasn’t long before Council was approached to build a clubhouse for the Society, little did Council know  the clubhouse was to be a fully blown theatre, or so the story goes !!!

Read more: History Part 4 - Birth of the Little Theatre

History Part 5 - The Little Theatre Emerges

Pt5 Photo1 Theatre Construction FoundationsAfter weeks of cleaning bricks, mixing concrete for the foundations, the back grinding effort started to pay off with the walls of the theatre moving skyward, to the delight of members. With the help of tradesman, such as bricklayers, carpenters and plumbers from the Apex Club, the building was completed to the wall plate stage by early 1956, under the supervision of Jack Davis and Bill Robinson, the honorary architect. Unfortunately despite the efforts of members, the money ran out so Council was approached for a grant to roof the theatre and externally finish the building. Council agreed to provide 1,000 pounds, providing two Councillors, Ken Payne and Eric Nash were appointed to the management committee.

Read more: History Part 5 - The Little Theatre Emerges

History Part 6 - Life in the new Theatre

Pt5 Photo2 Theatre Construction EntranceAt the end of 1957 the Little Theatre was really very basic and unfinished as the Bogan Street side of the Theatre was a temporary fibro wall set back some distance to allow for future extension. The entrance was a set of wooden steps rising to a porch in front of two wide doors which led into the theatre, a not very efficient sound barrier to outside traffic, especially if a truckie parked a load of pigs outside while he had a quickie at the local pub. Another problem was the winter chill, as the doors really let the cold draughts in and at this stage with no heating, overcoats, scarves and warm socks were a necessity. One of our members, Lorraine Bond, an art teacher, painted a colourful pattern of squares on the temporary wall which lasted till the theatre was upgraded in 2000. Lorraine incidently married Bill Soeder, another member of the Society. Also included in the main structure was a small vestibule entrance on the car park side with a basic kitchen adjoining, allowing supper to be provided there or through a servery to the main theatre. Attached to the back of the kitchen were the toilets, used by both the cast and patrons which created a bit of a culture shock for the visitors to be confronted by cast members in full costume having a nervous before going on stage.

Read more: History Part 6 - Life in the new Theatre

History Part 7 - Early 1960's

Pt7 Liz Matthewsby 1960 the Society was debt free and looking to improve and extend the theatre. Up to this time the theatre consisted of the auditorium, a flat floor with individual chairs facing the raised proscenium stage at the western end and if you sat towards the back it required a considerable agility to see the show. The public and members of the various organizations were asked to donate a chair, to help in providing the seating. The stage area was equipped with full width front curtain and backdrop, the only access from the stage was through to the props room which also doubled as the dressing room for the cast both male and female all in together. In the corner of this room perched high on a platform was the lighting operator, freezing in winter and roasting in summer. Jim Carr ably did this job during the early years and was later succeeded by Don McAlpine, who showed quite a talent for the job. Liz Matthews, alias Darlene Dawson, is in the props room preparing to appear in The Quest, note the unique locking system with one of the original chairs.

Read more: History Part 7 - Early 1960's

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