Needless to say, I have been supported and guided by strong women in theatre. I am thankful to be backed by such amazing and talented women in theatre. Without you, I'd be a one man fading light. Thank you.
The Original Champagne Lady
The fragile thin line our destinies hang on is extraordinary, and never has a truer phrase related to my destiny as a playwright, be so true, when it comes to this brilliantly talented lady. Actor. Director. Theatre Maker. Production Manager. Entrepreneur. Mother.
In 1996 I was setting up the day for auditions in a primary school hall for my first production, The Meeting Place, with no clue what I was doing, solely depending on my past 15 years of personal experiences in amateur theatre; except, this time, I was in charge. Help!
The first person to arrive early, prior to the Director turning up was, Elizabeth. Somehow she knew I needed assistance in this mad venture. Little did we know, this was the beginning of a beautiful lifetime friendship. Elizabeth auditioned for the role of Sheryl Anderson in The Meeting Place. Successful in gaining the role, pleasing all those on the audition panel (there was a panel, to stop me from making poor hiring choices - remember, this was my first production).
Apart from extraordinary performances each night in The Meeting Place, bringing audiences to laughter and tears at all the right times, Elizabeth assisted in building the set (with her, then, 2 year old son, Tomas), distributing advertising materials, spreading the word of The Meeting Place and always being there when help was needed. These incredible and dedicated traits never wavered over the coming years.
Elizabeth teamed up with me to Direct my next production, Three Shorts. This was serious Mum, I had to dig in and pay attention - I had a lot to learn as a playwright, and now, I am to be called, producer. The consumate teacher, Elizabeth, enjoyed teaching me new skills and loved Directing the show.
Many, many and more shows later, Elizabeth Penny played Actor, Director and production manager for many Cosmic Players productions, producing Darren Brealey plays in festivals and stand alone events. Thank you Elizabeth Penny, without you, I believe The Meeting Place would have been one of those amazing and incredible theatrical experiences that would've been a one off event.
Victorian Drama League One Act Play Festivals Tour. . . . .
Amateur theatre has its role to play in our community, clearly we all come together with similiar interests and the same passion for all things theatre. Cat is one particular intelligent, talented and passionate woman who knows how to organise, inspire and generate excitement with everything she brings to the table.
In 2009 I met Cat whilst living in Kyneton, country Victoria (Australia) working with a local amateur theatre company. Cat walked in, embraced the company and the teams of volunteers and in return they embraced her with great warmth and passion. Straight away I could see Cat held a great passion for theatre and knew how to manage a stage with great professionalism.
Cat brought her passion and knowledge of theatre to the Cosmic Players tours in the Victorian Drama League One Act Play Festivals. Organising tours to different towns around country Victoria is no simple feat; accommodation, travel, cast, crew and checking in and checking out of each theatre, props, costumes, set and administration of the tour is an exhausting programme.
Working with Cat continues to be an amazing experience and her support is a God send. My thoughts of how good Cat is at her job where realised when members from other theatre companies, during the Tours, asked me for her twin; they wanted a Production Manager the same as Cat.
Now in London, Cat continues to provide support for Cosmic Players productions. Without Cat's amazing support, no way would I have been able to produce the shows in the Tours.