Community GroupsReview

Wanted! Feisty older women for theatre group

The Older Women’s Network (OWN) Theatre Group is a community theatre based in Newtown. This year it is celebrating its 30th anniversary with a bold plan to perform at the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2018.

The Theatre Group is taking its own brand of wit, wisdom and wackiness to the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival Photo: Supplied
The Theatre Group is taking its own brand of wit, wisdom and wackiness to the 2018 Edinburgh Fringe Festival Photo: Supplied

“We have the script and the songs. We have a pianist and a venue in Edinburgh,” says cast member, Rita Tratt, “now we just need more fabulous feisty women to join our friendly group.”

“You don’t need to have singing or acting experience. And there’s no audition whether you want to go to Edinburgh or prefer to be involved closer to home. All you need is enthusiasm, commitment and a sense of humour. And we welcome non-performers too,” says Rita.

The OWN Theatre Group performed its first gig at the 1988 NSW Premiers Forum.

After a group of older women had protested on the lawn of old Parliament House against the “invisibility” of older women in government policy, they were asked to facilitate workshops at the forum. A member suggested a performance instead and the OWN Theatre Group began.

The Theatre Group writes its own scripts and lyrics set to borrowed songs. Its motto, “dignity, rights and wellness”, forms the basis of 30-minute shows that include “Razzle Dazzle Dames”, “Don’t Knock Your Granny” and “Ma, It’s Time to Move”. All are performed with humour and fun.

Hats off to Itojo Hardy as she puts the dazzle in “Razzle Dazzle Dames” Photo: Supplied

Hats off to Itojo Hardy as she puts the dazzle in “Razzle Dazzle Dames” Photo: Supplied

The Theatre Group comprises about 12 women, including a pianist, who entertain audiences at conferences and events organised by local government, universities and community organisations mainly in Sydney and regional NSW. These include International Women’s Day, Seniors Week, Volunteers Week and the National Folk Festival in Canberra. The NSW Health Department also funded a training video and teaching notes for “Don’t Knock Your Granny” for use among its staff and volunteers.

Now is the time if you are interested in joining or finding out more. As Rita says, “You never know where the Theatre Group might take you. I certainly never dreamed of performing at Government House, or the National Folk Festival in Canberra. And now we are going to the Edinburgh Fringe Festival next year!”

Rehearsal Information

When: Every Tuesday, 10am to 2.30pm approx. (except mid-December to January).

Where: OWN (NSW) office, 8-10 Victoria Street, Newtown.

Transport: Trains to Newtown (level walk) or Macdonaldtown (uphill walk).

Car: Limited parking. Please check first.

Contact: Ruth Thompson on 0478 847 276. Please phone Ruth beforehand you’d like to come as sometimes we might be performing. She can also answer any questions.

http://www.ownnsw.org.au/group/nsw-theatre-group

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