One Act Play Festival: Kalamunda girls still acting up

One Act Play Festival: Kalamunda girls still acting up

A TWO-handed one-act play will take two stalwarts of community theatre in the Perth Hills to Norfolk Island to practise their craft.

The theatrical duo has left a rich legacy of acting in Kalamunda for many generations.

Both Terry Hackett and Dee Howells have had the play written for them by local playwright Yvette Wall and both women helped to start KADS (Kalamunda Amateur Dramatic Society) in Kalamunda in the early ’70s.

The play will be performed at a festival on Norfolk Island from October 4 to 8.

The actors are currently rehearsing their lines and learning their characters for the event which will also be performed in Kalamunda for the One Act Play Festival, held in August each year.

The actors play Trin and Sal, who are travelling much like the Kalamunda women will be to Norfolk Island.

“The play is warm and funny. It was written specially for us and we are still learning our lines,” Hackett said.

Howells said the writer wanted to challenge stereotypes about ageing.

“We play two widows who are travelling to Switzerland and are living together. The characters are very strong and it’s a warm look at friendship,” Howells, a former director at KADS, said.

The first performance of the play Looking at the Alps will be on August 20, with invitations to family and friends only.

But for those who would like to see the play before it travels, tickets will be available at KADS during the One Act Festival in late August through to early September.

The women said it was a very strong story and should travel well with audiences. The performance is 45 minutes long.

Former KADS director Joy Northover said Howells and Hackett “were two of the most senior members of KADS and have certainly been stalwarts and active contributors ever since she became involved, in 1980”.

She said Hackett was a Perth community theatre legend.

“Not only was she president of KADS for several years, she has directed a long list of plays – many of them award-winning,” Northover said.

Northover said some of Hackett’s directing highlights included Same Time Next Year, Bumpy Angels and Quartet.

“She also delivered training in acting and directing and it was one of her |directing courses that first inspired |me to take the plunge from acting to |directing,” Northover said.

“Hackett has the knack of finding great layers of depth in any script and coaching her actors towards discovering those nuances. Her late husband, George Hackett, was a very talented set designer and builder and together they made a highly successful team whose productions always attracted large audience numbers.

“Howells was the founding member of KADS and, with her late husband Keith, has been consistently active in acting, stage management work and front of house duties since the ’70s.”

In 1983 she directed Daphne du Maurier’s Rebecca and showed her talented, resourceful and generous side.

She has been an active committee member for many years and is passionate about KADS and community theatre. Both women are showing no signs of slowing down in the acting stakes.

“A lot of old dames are very popular in acting at the moment – Helen Mirren, Maggie Smith and Judi Dench,” Hackett said.

“It’s very important to have a form of the arts and practise it, even if it does get harder to remember the lines.”

The duo are the first ever entrants in the festival from WA.

Tickets for the Kalamunda show can be bought on 9293 4746 or 9257 3386.