MARGS HALL - WEST OTAGO THEATRICAL SOCIETY
I have been an active member of West Otago Theatrical Society (WOTS) since 2014. I have had major and minor roles in seven plays and musicals over this time. I’ve been on the WOTS committee for the past 3 years and have been in charge of publicity for our past two productions. I have received an OSTA nomination for best leading female in a play or musical twice - for my role as ‘Sylvia’ in ‘Stepping Out’ and ‘Kim’ in ‘A Relatively Uneventful Evening’.
I love theatre and all that it encompasses. It’s a fabulous outlet for making new friends, growing in confidence and showcasing creativity and talent. Southland and Otago has incredible talent and I am amazed at the breadth and width from Directors to Wardrobe to Props crew. Not to mention the depth of talent through actors and actresses across musicals and plays, comedy and drama.
I have seen a multitude of shows over the years from various Society’s locally and further afield, as well as amateur and professional shows within New Zealand and overseas. Over this time I have developed a keen eye and ear for what makes great theatre across all areas of a musical or play. I have a sharp ear for musical pitch and an eye for detail in costuming, props, set, lighting, hair and makeup. I know what it takes to bring your best on stage as an actor and can see when someone has played their given part with exception.
I am passionate about theatre and would love to bring my skills and years of experience to the judging panel on behalf of WOTS.
Away from theatre, I work as a breeding consultant for a dairy genetics company and manage my 100 acre farm where I breed Hereford cattle and run dry stock. In addition, I have a skill for public speaking and announce at A&P Shows throughout Southland and Otago. I’ve also MC’d numerous weddings and social functions over the years for friends and family.
COLIN CLEARWATER - MUSICAL THEATRE OAMARU
Colin first joined Oamaru Operatic Society, now Musical Theatre Oamaru, in 1994 as part of the cast for Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat. Since then he has been involved in 10 other major musicals and theatre restaurants, with notable roles being the Scarecrow in the Wizard of Oz, the Foreman in Les Miserables as well as the understudy for Val Jean, and Skimbilshanks in Cats. Colin feels playing the role of Skimbilshanks was a defining moment because it has been his biggest stage role.
In 2008, while also being a cast member, Colin made a 3/4 size working Wagon for our production of "OKLAHOMA". In 2015 Colin was head Carpenter / Designer for our production of The Addams Family, earning him an OSTAS nomination and realising a natural calling towards Set design. For our production of Mamma Mia! in 2018 Colin was part of the backing vocals group.
While teaching Technology at Waitaki Boys High School Colin was always involved with the School's productions and House Drama competitions; overseeing the writing, directing, and making of props for his assigned House. He was also Stage Manager for the School's main productions of Oliver and South Pacific in 2008 and 2010.
In recent years Colin has been a valuable helper with our kids productions from prop and set making to backstage crew and supervision.
In 2019 Colin was awarded a Musical Theatre Oamaru Special Award for continued services to Musical Theatre.
Colin is excited to be submitting a nomination for the consideration to be an OSTAS judge as he believes it's a great opportunity to give back to the theatre community that he so dearly loves.
BRENT BISHOP - MUSICAL THEATRE DUNEDIN
I started my theatrical career at the age of 12 years as Lewis Leonowens in ‘The King and I’ with Milton Dramatic society. I wrote material and performed in many skits for Dunedin Hospital revues during my early working life.
My first performance with ‘Musical Theatre Dunedin’ was in 1991 as a company member in ‘Evita’. I have since performed in several majors and Theatre Restaurants with this organisation. I have also performed in productions by ‘Opera Otago’, ‘The really Authentic Gilbert and Sullivan Performance Trust’ and various benefit concerts.
Latterly I can be found working as a back stage crew member where my great claims to fame are as the revolve grinder in both early productions of ‘Les Miserables’ and turning the bus in ‘Priscilla’. I have stage managed shows and several theatre restaurants, which also involves set construction and painting.
I am currently a life member of Musical Theatre Dunedin after being involved as an executive member over many years including 3 years as President. I am very passionate about the asset built by past members of Musical Theatre Dunedin and proudly hold the honorary ‘custodian’ title which enables me to help preserve this for future generations.
I have an obvious passion for theatre both musical and dramatic productions and have attended many shows both in New Zealand and overseas as an audience member.
JOY RAMSAY - ALEXANDRA MUSICAL SOCIETY
I have been involved in the many and varied aspects of theatre for over twenty years, as an active member of both the Alexandra Musical Society and Clyde Theatre Group.
For those of us bitten by the theatre bug, it is more than an interest, it is a fundamental way we express ourselves and our unique personalities. I have given a lot to theatre as a committee member, actor, director, front of house helper, makeup applier, ticket seller, poster putter-upper and hall cleaner. But I have also gained so much from theatre- confidence, companionship, skills, purpose and laugher. We are a team, a family, and it is by working together that we succeed.
I feel my experience within the theatre environment should equip me well to support others through the OSTA experience. I am also a teacher by training and am used to creatively assessing others. As a wedding and funeral celebrant, my work as a validator in the Celebrants Association of NZ qualification programme, VCANZ, has also given me another opportunity to observe and assess the work of fellow celebrants.
Over the years I have tried to attend as many fellow theatre societies, groups and companies’ productions as possible. This is for three main reasons- supporting the work of others, learning from each experience and enjoyment.
I look forward to putting my skills and enthusiasm to use within the OSTA family.
MARNE HENDRIKS - GORE MUSICAL THEATRE
I arrived in New Zealand in 2002 and joined the South Otago Theatrical Society in 2011 after watching a range of shows in Balclutha and Gore.
In my first roll I was casted as the Wicked Witch of the West – This totally got me hooked on theatre and I have had a range of minor roles over the years such as “Are you being served”, “Death and Taxes”, “The Addams Family” and “Ladies for hire” as well as off stage. I was Musical Director for “Nunsense” and “a Little bit of what you Fancy” as well as Production Manager for “Annie”. When my family located to Gore I joined GMT and have been involved both on and off stage. I was part of the cast for a few Theatre Restaurants. I was Production Manager for “Chicago” and “Seussical Jnr” and most recently MD for their latest Theatre Restaurant “Last Boarding Call”. I have been involved off stage helping with sound, lighting, make up and set building as well as being stage manager. As being part of the GMT committee I feel privilege to have been given the opportunity to learn and develop a deeper understanding of what goes on behind the scenes as well as on stage.
In my other life away from theatre I have been involved in school productions as I am an teacher. Over the years I have been part of various school productions where I have been in charge of the set design and building, choreography and directing - I’ve been teaching since 2008 and I started at Blue Mountain College in Tapanui in 2023 where amongst other subjects I’ll be teaching The Arts.
I have developed a passion for theatre and all it brings and would love to bring my skills and years of experience to the judging panel. I’m also looking forward to be amazed by the awesome talent we have in our region. I am always blown away when I go watch the shows on offer and to see how people bring magic to life. Theatre gives you the opportunity to be part of a family where we all have one thing in common – Our love for performing.
DENISE DENT - SOUTH OTAGO THEATRICAL SOCIETY
I have been involved with theatre since coming to New Zealand from England in 2009 and have served on the committee of the South Otago Theatrical Society in Balclutha.
I still help whenever I can, including fundraising and managing the website.
As well as acting in and directing several plays and musicals, I have also written plays, musical comedies and school musical plays, one of which was runner up in Playmarket's “ Plays for the Young” competition, 2019.
I love the magic of theatre and would be thrilled to be able to support our theatrical societies in Otago through serving as a judge.