Annual Report

Pilgrim  Productions Inc 2014/2015

 I am very happy to present this 38th annual report for our society.

Summer BBQ

We all enjoyed our annual summer BBQ at Mary Boyd’s home in Northcote in January 2015.  It was good for newer committee members to meet Stan Goudge, the first Chairman of Pilgrim, who was responsible for gathering together the original Pilgrim committee and setting up our constitution.  Stan attended with his wife Marie who is now a committee member.

 Touring Play

We started off our performing in 2014 with a touring play in August.  The Outcasts was the second touring play for the churches written by committee member David HinesWe appreciate David’s modern approach to Biblical stories and the quirky humour that enhances the storytelling.  Thanks David!  And sincere thanks to Marie Goudge for her many hours of work directing this play.  Thanks also to the enthusiastic cast who brought the story to life over a five week season in various church settings.  Not an easy task!  The cast was

Jacob              Brian O’Connor

Rueben           Albert Tupouvea

Adam              Jason Phillips

Scarlet             Sophie Bell

Witch               Kerry Thornton

Pastor              David Hines

Very warm feedback was received about the play and several churches provided generous donations to cover our expenses.

 

Main Production (1)

For our main production in September, we had applied again for the performing rights for Harvey, the comedy by Mary Chase, and this time were successful.  Richard Purro agreed to direct it and we proceeded with auditions in May.  A strong cast was assembled although not without an intense search for a suitable ‘Elwood’.  We were delighted when we found Justin Gohdes, a recent arrival from the US, who became the star of the show ably supported by a fantastic cast of new and old friends of Pilgrim.   

 We were particularly delighted to see our Secretary, Glenda Matchett on stage as well as Charlie Barker who often operates our lighting desk.

 The cast was:              Elwood P Dowd                      Justin Gohdes

                                        Veta Louise Simmons     Lynn Webster

                                        Myrtle Mae Simmons             Charlie Barker            

Mrs Chauvanet                       Glenda Matchett        

Nurse Kelly                             Penny Low                 

Duane Wilson                          Toutai Palu                 

Dr Sanderson                          Rob Turvey                

Dr Chumley                            Kerr Inkson                

Mrs Chumley                          Marlene Judd             

Judge Gaffney                        Rex McIntosh            

E J Loffgren, cab driver          Shannon Esquilat       

Richard directed the play with his usual energy and fun, keeping the dialogue at a good pace.  After the season he confided that Pilgrim had provided him with his biggest challenge to date given the acting coaching required to bring some of the cast to the required level.  He did well!  Each character ably played their role and the plot was successfully conveyed.

Rebecca Watson rose to the challenge of a new role as Assistant Stage Manager this year.  We are blessed by Rebecca’s close attention to detail and her strong commitment to our committee and annual productions.  We are pleased to be able to train Rebecca in new aspects of theatre.  This fits well with one of our stated aims for Pilgrim, to encourage young talent.

Mary Boyd was Stage Manager and, together with Rebecca Watson ensured the invisible Harvey was ‘visible’ to the audience! Glenda Matchett was the Production Assistant and managed the properties.  Neil Lobb and Trevor Taylor did an outstanding job with the set design and construction, creating two scenes with assistance from Shannon Esquilat.  Marion Hines ensured that the cast were clothed correctly and stylishly for the 1940s. She also enjoyed painting two portraits for the set that were key to the storyline.  Special mention must be made of Rob Turvey who did an outstanding job on our graphics again; John Bembo, David Hines and Kerry Thornton managed publicity; David Hines designed and put together a great programme and Marion Hines managed the bookings and front of house; David Hines also took publicity photographs;   We are grateful to our additional and reliable helpers in Ryan Stevens, Dave Powell, Kathy Lobb and Marie Goudge. 

 We were pleased to see audiences enjoying the show.  Audiences were less than we would have liked but we ended up with an average 52% house over the season.  We continue to use Eventfinda as a convenient and economical on-line booking method.  Expenses were quite high for royalties and set décor and with the modest houses we only managed a modest profit. 

 Artistically we were successful in that we were again recognised by NAPTA and ACTT Judges.  The following nominations were received:

NAPTAs (Northern Area Performance Theatre Awards)

·   Best actress in a play - Lynn Webster

·   Best actor in a play - Justin Gohdes

·   Best direction of a play - Richard Purro

·   Best Play

ACTT (Auckland Community Theatre Trust Awards)

·   Best Set Design - Neil Lobb

·   Best Costume Design - Marion Hines

·   Best Properties Design - Glenda Matchett

·   Best Lighting Design - David Powell                                                                             Winner

·   Best Sound design - Neil Lobb & Ryan Stevens

·   Best Stage Management - Mary Boyd

·   Best Male Actor in a Minor role - Shannon Esquilat - Taxi Driver

·   Best Female Actor in a Minor role - Marlene Judd - Betty Chumley

·   Best Female Actor in a Supporting role - Penny Low - Nurse Ruth Kelly

·   Best Male Actor in a Leading Role - Justin Gohdes - Elwood P. Dowd                       Winner

·   Best Female Actor in a Leading Role - Lynn Webster - Veta Louise Simmons

·   Best Cast Ensemble - The Cast of Harvey                                                                  

·   Best Director - Richard Purro                                                                                        Winner

·   Bay Audiology award for best comedy 2014                                                                Winner

 

Main Production (2)

Capping off our 2014/2015 year we decided to do Amahl and the Night Visitors, our first ever Christmas production. 

This resulted from the involvement of Marie Goudge in a production at Holy Trinity Church in Devonport in 2013.  With the prospect of some repeat performances by some of the singers, the use of costumes and props, the same orchestra and the same director we thought a two performance season of this popular work by Menotti would be a breeze!  How wrong we were!  We belatedly realised that just as much work goes into a two night season as a ten night season.  However, we were certainly helped by the resources provided by Holy Trinity Church.  The Mt Albert and Pitt Street Methodist Choirs provided the chorus and a talented line-up of principals completed the cast.   The principals were

            Amahl              Maddie Hay

            Mother             Sue Braatvedt

            Melchior          Mark Rosser

            Kasper             Justin Gohdes

            Balthazar         Duncan Zhang

            Page                Rex McIntosh

Good audience numbers on both nights brought in very acceptable ticket sales and we are pleased to report on a $2486.66 profit on the production.  We credit the performers in large part for the good houses.  We had 30 in the chorus, 26 in the orchestra, 20 in the production team and 6 principals.  That meant we had 82 people selling tickets in addition to our members!

Huge thanks to Marie Goudge for directing this spectacle in the Pitt Street Methodist Church and to Neil Lobb and helpers for creating a set in the church suitable for the play.

 

MTNZ Merit Award

At the beginning of 2015 we nominated Mary Boyd for a Musical Theatre New Zealand Merit Award for services to musical theatre.  This nomination was kept as a surprise for Mary and we appreciated help given by Mairangi Players in creating a CV for the nomination.  We were thrilled when she was recognised for this award and we celebrated Mary’s success with a special supper when she received a certificate and medal from MTNZ.  Congratulations Mary for this well-deserved tribute.

 

2015 Productions

Looking ahead, we currently have two productions in rehearsal.  A touring play entitled Us and Them being directed by Marie Goudge for the month of July.  Our main production will be Scrubbers, a play with music being directed by Gwyneth Glover for August.

 

Thanks

To our extremely hard-working committee who all pitch in with set painting and anything else as the need arises, I say thank you all for your efforts with our three 2014 productions.  The generous gift of your time and talents to Pilgrim is warmly appreciated.  Special thanks to Kerry Thornton for attending a theatre Health & Safety Workshop on our behalf to keep us up-to-date with new legislation, and to John Bembo for attending Zone I MTNZ meetings on our behalf.

David Hines resigned from our committee early in 2015.  David has offered to continue to help with annual productions but no longer wants the monthly commitment of being on the committee.  Thanks for all your help David.   

 Finally thank you to all our Pilgrim friends who pitch in with help in a variety of ways when we are in main production time.  We could not do it without your generous help. 

 Marion Hines, Chair

15 June 2015

2014/2015 Committee

Marion Hines, Chair, Mary Boyd, Deputy Chair, Neil Lobb, Treasurer, Glenda Matchett, Secretary,

David Hines, John Bembo, Kathy Lobb, Kerry Thornton, Marie Goudge and Rebecca Watson.