Fallen off the edge and a reunion

It’s been ages, I know! One of those dry patches when writing hasn’t done it for me. Excuses, of course, but it’s been a busy time with not much inclination for reflection, the whole reason for blogging. I’ve been inspired to write again by a wonderful 30th reunion last Saturday night and Sunday morning of past members of the DDYT (Darling Downs Youth Theatre), which came to life under the auspices of the Queensland Theatre Company for two only wonderful years in 1977-78. Lots of hard work and determination by a couple of the original members brought many of them back from far and wide for a weekend of memories in the new Empire Theatre. It was then a wreck which the 15-17 year olds and their mentors cleaned up–they scrubbed it clearn; out went the dirt and the pigeon poop, and in came the energy and colour of two great productions: Genesis and Bottom’s Electric Summertime Dream (ah the whiff of 70s hippiedom). The director back then flew in from Indonesia for the reunion. I was greatly moved by director Robert Kingham’s lovely salute to the parents back then; the faith in the worth of the project, and the trust they showed for the team leaders.

I was not involved directly back then; I was a chauffeur for my husband, one of the organisers, but I well recall the vibrancy of the rehearsals and the joy in learning for those kids … and the great productions they brought to the then-wreck of a theatre, and then on tour around the Downs and to Brisbane. Seeing and hearing 45-something year olds talk so emotionally and openly about how those two productions had changed their lives for the better was terrific. I guess they wouldn’t have made the trek back after so long if it hadn’t meant anything to them. It reminded me of our responsibility to young people, and determination not to get jaded or to take what we (as artists) do for granted. This is something we mustn’t forget as we go about our busy lives.


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