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Kids take centre stage at Playhouse Theatre

Talented young West Aucklanders get to enjoy the limelight at Glen Eden’s Playhouse Theatre Incorporated (PTI).

PTI is a local community theatre organisation based at the Glen Eden Playhouse Theatre. The award-winning company produces three shows a year, including a dedicated children’s show. This year it was Peter Pan Jr, which played to packed audiences in July. The show received rave reviews on PTI’s Facebook page, with one audience member commenting, ‘Great costumes, singing, dancing, acting, and humour! It’s really wonderful we have so much local talent!’

The children’s shows offer a platform for young locals aged 8-18 to perform on stage or help behind the scenes. Peter Pan Jr had 35 junior cast members plus 70 volunteers helping with the staging, including lighting, sound, costumes and set building. The show was also directed and choreographed by two young talented locals. ‘It’s a chance for local talent to get on stage,’ says PTI committee member Tracey Lane. ‘And it’s also an opportunity for young people to learn about the technical side of theatre,’ she adds.

PTI was set up in 1992. And since those early days, it has produced more than 100 shows and is recognised as the leading theatre company out West. Most participants are there just for fun and enjoyment. However, several have gone on to successful careers in the theatre, musical and production industries. ‘We’re especially proud of the training opportunities we provide in the technical side of theatre,’ says Tracey.

Unlike many other youth theatre companies, Tracey says that PTI does not charge anything for young people to be involved. ‘We believe that theatre should be accessible and available to all young people,’ she explains.

Funding is often tight, and resources are in short supply. However, a successful application to the Your West Support Fund provided a much-needed boost. Tracey explains that PTI used the $5,000 funding to hire microphones and audio equipment for the Peter Pan Jr show. ‘As a musical production, it was vital the sound was top rate for the cast and the audience,’ says Tracey. The extra audio equipment made possible by the Your West Support Fund ensured the production brought the house down.

Peter Pan Jr will be a tough act to follow. However, PTI is about to stage a production of The Addams Family. So, why not check out what promises to be another fantastic show right here in West Auckland.