Coffs Harbor local community theater celebrates successful year despite pandemic restrictions – News Of The Area

A scene from CHATS Productions ‘The Importance of Being Serious’. Photo: Tom Caldwell.

MEMBERS of the Coffs Harbor Amateur Theatrical Society (CHATS) and the Coffs Harbor Musical Comedy Company (CHMCC) gathered for a Christmas celebration in the pergola space of the Jetty Memorial Theater on Sunday, December 19.

This latest activity ended a successful year for both companies despite challenges posed by pandemic restrictions on face-to-face gatherings, downsizing of audiences, changes to group density rules and other issues. , in particular the rules of masks.

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In March, CHATS presented “Steel Magnolias” directed by Donna Fairall, replacing the original director due to pandemic-induced moves, and a small audience was treated to a superb production that made them laugh and cry in equal measure. measure.

CHMCC started the year with Stephen Sondheim’s musical “Into the Woods”, directed by newcomer Tim Gibbs (who is also replacing the original director), which had been suspended after rehearsals began the year before. , and while the audience was on the decline, the production was hailed as a great success in presenting this demanding spectacle.

CATS returned to the stage in July with a new Australian comedy from Melbourne playwright Rob Selzer, directed by your correspondent, once again a smaller audience than usual was treated to a new comedy that gave all four actors l opportunity to shine and deliver a really funny film. Pin up.

In October, CATS presented Oscar Wilde’s timeless comedy “The Importance of Being Steadfast” directed by Rex Madigan, with a well-chosen cast, this show had a lot of laughs and showcased the talents of several cast members who had mainly performed in musicals before.

The final show of the year, CHMCC’s “Mamma Mia” directed by Dee Tune turned out to be a record breaking season-long sale of twenty shows and breaking box office revenue records for the company, the show was a high-energy presentation of pure joy, uplifting audiences throughout the race.

CHMCC President Peter Hodges told News Of The Area: “This show was the most enjoyable production I have had the chance to participate in, and the fact that audiences loved it is a testament to the quality of the production from start to finish. to end.”

CHATS and CHMCC are self-funded, non-profit incorporated organizations that receive no government funding and will be back next year with a diverse and inclusive production season at the Jetty Memorial Theater.

By David TUNE

The stars of CHMCC’s blockbuster production of ‘Mamma Mia’ Karlie Hackfath (L) and Jacinta Bentley. Photo: provided.