Five aspiring actors showed up for Waihi Drama Society's The Pink Hammer auditions... and they were cast, which worked out really well as the actors were all great, says society president Simon Elson.

But the fact is the drama society is struggling to find more people to put on productions. People aren't putting their hand up for their time in the limelight or helping out behind the scenes.

The group is woefully short of members for people in the 20s to 40s age group.

''We really struggle to find people of that age, especially men. Maybe people have too much on with work and families."

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But there's flexibility in rehearsal times, Simon says. The more people they have to fill roles, the better chance they have of selecting top quality plays to put on.

''For example, we'd love to put on a play about two couples but it might be hard to fill those roles.''

They'd like to be able to put on more productions every year and for shows to run longer.

''Typically shows tend to start slow and then they take off. The plan is to schedule for two weeks running but three weeks is an option.''

Many still don't know there's a theatre society in Waihi, Simon says.

So the long-standing drama society is putting the call out for people to come and see what they do. They are repeating the rehearsed readings and having an open day later this month.

The theatre group also runs a cinema club and has a youth division.

Simon has been society president since last year. He started his career in stage management in the United Kingdom.

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With Simon Bennett, the two saved and rejuvenated Bats Theatre in the late 1980s — a venue regarded for its development of new theatre practitioners and plays. Simon has been heavily involved in the industry, putting on plays himself and writing. He was involved in graphics on a number of television productions including Issues (and More Issues with McPhail and Gadsby, Pete and Pio and Power Rangers.

He's now the owner of Waihi Stationary.

Contact the society via Facebook or email waihidramasociety@gmail.com (or wds@gmail.com or info@waihidrama.co.nz) Simon can be contacted on 021 678 588.


Rehearsed reading — Top Girls by Caryn Churchill
Waihi Drama Society is putting on the second of a series of ''unplugged plays'' where new actors can try their hand at a play reading and present it to friends and family.

People new to acting or experienced actors who may not have the time to rehearse for a full production may be interested in the unplugged plays.

Each play has a director. Participants are selected. They may rehearse for two to four weeks before the main performance.
The first reading was the play The Old Lady Shows her Medals in December.
Top Girls has seven roles and centres around career-driven Marlene. The fun play examines the roles of women in modern society.

The public reading takes place at Boyd Rd Theatre on March 14 at 4pm. People can just show up or call 021 631 266.

Open Day
Waihi Drama Society is also holding an open day on March 22.

The open day is an opportunity to discover what Boyd Road Theatre is all about.

There will be opportunities with three sets to dress up and have your picture taken, to play about with costumes and makeup (or watch an expert), have a go at creating a soundscape, lighting, displays and acting.

The society says opportunities are not just for actors — people interested in helping backstage should come along as well.
■ Waihi Drama Society Open Day at Boyd Rd Theatre on March 22 from 2pm-4pm.