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Wednesday May 23, 2018


Local woman immersed in theatre world For ten of Stagecraft Theatre’s now 60 years, Joy Hellyer has donated countless volunteer hours to the drama society and was recognised as a life member in 2017. Joy’s first roles included stage managing and prompting. But she soon joined the committee, taking on much day-to-day running of the Gryphon as well as other myriad activities. Joy also co-directs along with Paul Kay and their productions have included The Three Musketeers, Pride and Prejudice, both co-written by Joy, and

Enron, A Midsummer Night’s Dream and Much Ado About Nothing. They are currently producing King Lear. Members of Stagecraft will be making a bit of a scene at the Gryphon on Queen’s Birthday Weekend, celebrating their diamond anniversary. Stagecraft was founded in 1958 by Keith M. Bennett, who was also heavily involved in the fledgling New Zealand Ballet and Opera companies in the 1950s. Its goal was to provide training in all aspects of theatre and some Stagecraft’s venue manager and director Joy Hellyer. This photo, taken in 2010, sees her notable members have become well surrounded by her four Musketeers, from left, Mark Da Vanzo, Allan Henry, Benjamin known in professional theatre and film. Haddock and Andrew Goddard . PHOTO SUPPLIED.

Every club needs a Sam

The life of a volunteer: Sam Perry stuffing envelopes for the invitations to Stagecraft’s diamond jubilee at Queen’s Birthday Weekend, along with committee members Amy Whiterod at left, and Joy Hellyer.

There is a strong northern suburbs representation in the ranks of the Stagecraft Theatre group, whose home is the Gryphon Theatre. President Sam Perry from Kelburn is one and he has been with the society for 22 years. On joining, Sam, a lawyer, quickly became Honorary Solicitor. Then, after their Tonks Avenue premises were ruled unsafe, Sam cemented the role of his life as the group’s super-hero when he found a patron to buy a building and lease it back to them. For free. He then checked out about 40 properties, eventually finding The Gryphon. Sam took on the legal work, negotiated parking, and the council consents. The vice president of Stagecraft, Shannon

Tubman, says Sam has a network, almost a village, of amazing people around him. “This is one of the ways he manages to source miracles for the theatre group, like finding a patron when we needed one, a new venue when Tonks Avenue had to be vacated and ongoing support from local businesses” “Sam mucks in and gives everything a go. His set building and furniture making skills are sublime. “It was only after four years of knowing him that I realised he was a lawyer, not a builder” “Every society, club and charity needs a Sam. “We would share ours, but he already volunteers with at least two other organisations that I know of.”

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Independent Herald 23-05-18  

Independent Herald 23-05-18

Independent Herald 23-05-18  

Independent Herald 23-05-18