© 2018 Eastwood Uniting Church Musical Society Inc.
If I had to pick a theme for EUCMS in 2017, it would be the blending of old and new – quite appropriate for a currently vibrant society with such a rich history! Our first production for the year, Annie Get Your Gun, neatly mixed the two, being a new version of an older musical that EUCMS has previously staged – and with a futuristic twist. With new director Emma Sedlak, new musical director Stephen Lee, and with Bec Kimpton as production manager, this production reached for the stars and delighted audiences, new and old alike. In the second half of the year, we tackled a classic story in a musical that was new to EUCMS – The Secret Garden. With an experienced team including Kath Sharpham as director, Rebecca Hansen as musical director, and Megan Willis and me as production managers, new life was breathed into the well-
In September we held another charity fundraising concert with items again nominated by performers. Titled All the World’s a Stage, the organising team consisted of Bess Yager, Andrew Yager, Adam Wilson and myself, with a lovely novel set and lighting design by Wayne Chee. Many other EUCMS members contributed their time and talents to organising the event and, of course, performing a wide variety of items from shows both old and new.
Our annual church service in July was organised by Wendy and Janette Cosier, Linda Billingham, who led the choir, and with Scott Warner as the speaker. In December, we gathered again to share in an Advent service, organised by Allyson Turner, Wendy Cosier and Bec Forbes, with a choir led by Andrew Yager. Dramas written by Wendy and Bec especially helped bring to life the Christmas “news of great joy”, as we considered how this story from history impacts on our present and our future.
In June, we took inspiration from Annie Get Your Gun for a steampunk-
In April we also enjoyed a trivia night organised by Kath Sharpham and, at a stagecraft workshop given by Bess Yager, learned ways to create character and develop scenes. In the early months of this year we have already benefited from another stagecraft workshop given by Simon Ward, tailored specifically to the interpretation and performance of Gilbert and Sullivan. In 2017, we also had a strong presence again at the Granny Smith Festival and hosted two charity suppers at rehearsals.
Your executive committee members, in addition to the many behind-
We’ve implemented some new benefits of membership including access to preferential booking night and lower prices for some EUCMS events. In response to increasing overall costs we’ve planned some ongoing changes to ticket prices, as you have already heard, but we’ve also come up with some new strategies to combat the old problem of slow sales on the first weekend followed by a rush on tickets for the second and third weekends.
I would especially like to thank Elaine Gow, who is not re-
Thanks also goes to those members not on the executive committee – too numerous to list – who have taken on various roles for the society outside any one production or event, such as managing our costumes, our makeup, our lights, our records, our health and safety, and representing EUCMS in various ways.
As we look back on the year past, we remember those who are no longer with us. We mourned with several of our members as they lost parents and grandparents, and we were saddened to learn of the passing of recent former member Cliff Watson. But we also rejoiced with members who celebrated especially happy times – a daughter born to Jess and Steve Lee, and a daughter to Linda and Jonathan Billingham, enriching the lives of the Cosier family. Our members celebrated the births of great-
In the next year, we look forward to two contrasting styles of show in Yeomen of the Guard and Little Shop of Horrors – one show from our past and one new to EUCMS, to carry on the theme! – which nevertheless have in common clever writing, great characters and great music. Like last year, we have already welcomed new members into our ranks EUCMS is very dependent on the enthusiasm and generosity of all of you, and while it is still sometimes very difficult to fill certain roles or find people with the time to take on those persistent non-
With the EUCMS mix of experience, tradition and new ideas, we will continue to provide good quality entertainment and to be a great community of friends working together for years to come.