The Artful Dodger — February 2023

From the Chair of the WTC

Welcome to 2023 at WTC and greetings from your new Chair. After many years of leading this enthusiastic bunch of thespians, Adrian has decided to step away from the Chair. His contribution to the theatre and the Association has been invaluable and it is with a slight rattling of nerves that I step into his shoes.

For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Lisa and I have been around doing a bit of everything at WTC for nearly ten years now. I’m looking forward to seeing many of you at the Hall this year and you can reach me at any time by email at

Things are buzzing again at the Hall as the WTC fires up for four seasons this year.

### Season 1 – _Under the Table_ by Sean Guy

Louise and her cast are well into rehearsal of this witty and quirky whodunit, opening on March 17, to coincide with the Warrandyte Festival. 

This is a play by a new Australian author from Darwin (who grew up in Doncaster.) It is a sharp and silly romp through an Agatha Christie-like murder mystery.

Dates: March 17 / 18 / 24 / 25 / 26 (matinee at 2:30pm) / 30 / 31 & April 1 (evenings at 8pm)

Book now at:

Season 2 – The Glass Menagerie by Tennessee Williams

Directed by Grant Purdy, this classic and timeless American story about family, will grace our stage from June 16 to July 1. Auditions will be held Sunday, March 19 at 4pm and Tuesday, March 21 at 8pm. 

Contact Grant on 0412 121 631 for more information.

Season 3 – Love, Loss and What I Wore by Nora and Delia Ephron.

This play reminisces on the indelible moments of girlhood and womanhood, defined by our wardrobes. 

Directed by Lisa MacGibbon, this all female cast will take the stage September 8 to 23.

Season 4 – A Hit or Miss Christmas, written and directed by Emma Wood

This warm-hearted festive comedy tells the tale of a little theatre company, and the battle between tried and true versus daring and new, in their annual Christmas production. On stage from November 16 to December 2.

Lisa McGibbon
Chair, WTC

Life Membership

Each year financial members of the WMIAA, except for the committee, can nominate a member for Life Membership.

Life Membership is an honour bestowed on an individual member, who has contributed outstanding service of any kind to the WMI&AA, extending over a minimum of 10 years.

Nominators need to submit the name of the nominee and reasons for the nomination to the Secretary, Grant Purdy — — by the end of March, for committee approval prior to the AGM when the award will be announced.

Repair Cafe

The cafe started up again after the summer break, and was much busier than expected. I guess some may have done some rummaging in their cupboards and sheds and found much-loved but broken items. There seemed to be a lot of appliances at the February cafe.

Advance notice that we will be running an extra Repair Cafe on Sunday March 19 as part of the Warrandyte Festival, at the same time (10:30 am to 12:30 pm) and at the usual venue. It will be advertised as a 'Festival event' — we hope that it goes well and is well attended.

Pottery News

The potters have returned to the Marjorie Beecham Pottery Studio with lots of ideas about new creations. The kiln has been serviced and will be maintained with a new aluminium cover ready for the first firing of 2023.

A revamped garden space for outdoor potting and community sessions has been planned and construction will begin soon. We are excited about using a dedicated pottery area outdoors and have been mindful in our planning that the construction of the new garden area is in keeping with the Warrandyte environment. All suppliers and trade assistants are local and the chosen plants shall be indigenous, sourced locally and beneficial for wildlife. We are hoping that our project beautifies a little patch of Warrandyte and provides an inspiring pottery space for us and visiting groups.

The Warrandyte Arts Pottery Group wishes to acknowledge the Manningham Council and its funding towards promoting arts in Warrandyte, through the grant which has supported our outdoor working space project.

We also wish to thank Grant Purdy for his time towards refining and submitting our submission to Manningham Council.


Warrandyte Mechanics Hall 1945

Heather Arnold, a keen historian on the committee of Mechanics’ Institutes Victoria, sent this cutting that she found at the State Library of Victoria.

The painting of Warrandyte was competed in 1945 by George Gilmour, who died in 1948, aged 86. It is clearly painted from high up on the north side of the river. I am not sure what artistic licence he may have taken and would welcome any response. 

Warrandyte looks to be such a small place compared with now, and there are buildings precariously close to the river.The Mechanics Institute Hall also looks different, but then the bio box and foyer were not added until 1956. The paint colour is also different, giving us another heritage option, should we ever choose to change its appearance.

Pat Anderson

Hall Maintenance Group

Because of a generous grant from the Warrandyte Community Bank (Bendigo Bank) and kind donations from Rotary, the Lions Club, Warrandyte Riverside Market, Ruby Tuesday and others — and from our own efforts — we have been able to start the renovation work on the hall by rebuilding and extending the Bio Box (control cabin) at the rear of the hall.

Those of you who have entered the bio box or have actually worked there will know how cramped the space is – especially when it holds the two or more people required to operate sound, projections and lights during a show.

Life Member, Jock Macneish, has developed plans to extend the Bio Box in two directions, providing substantially more room and improving the safety and comfort of the working environment.

We have now commissioned Ben Sawers (who leads our Zen Do Kai class) to undertake the work, and at the time of publication, the work is well advanced.

Just before Christmas Adam Goudge, assisted by Grant Purdy, stripped out all the existing sound, lighting systems and wiring. A task only slightly less daunting than the one to put it all back together, and ensure everything works again.

Currently Ben’s work is well advanced, and he assures us that by mid-February, the new floor, walls and doors will be in place so that we can move back in.

We are sorry to hall users for the disruption caused over the last few weeks. However, it will be finished shortly.

This is one, important project of the set needed to renovate the hall to comply with modern day safety requirements and to ensure this vital asset continues to be available to the Warrandyte community.

Audition Call

For The Glass Menagerie 

Audition Call, Sunday, March 19 at 5pm and Tuesday, March 21 at 8pm.

In June and July Warrandyte Theatre Company will stage this classic American play portraying a timeless story about family.

WMIAA members and others are invited to audition for the four parts.

Tom Wingfield: Tom is the storyteller, and his memories are those that are portrayed in the play. Tom works at a shoe warehouse to support his family but is frustrated by his job and aspires to be a poet. He struggles to write, all the while being sleep-deprived and irritable.

Laura Wingfield: A shy, fragile young lady with an inferiority complex, that isolates her from the outside world. She has created a world of her own, symbolized by her collection of glass figurines.

Amanda Wingfield: A faded Southern belle abandoned by her husband, while trying to raise her two children under harsh financial conditions. Amanda is a vigorous, energetic woman who has kept her family together through the dint of her energies.

Jim O’Connor: Jim was a popular athlete and actor during his days at High School, but subsequent years have been less kind to him.

Please contact Grant Purdy on 0412 121 631, or, if you wish to audition, advising him which date and time is best for you. Grant will supply the audition pieces.

Out and About

Where are our WTC members performing?

We have two of our members stepping out at Lilydale Athenaeum in the coming months...

Lisa Upson is currently on stage in the impressive Family Values by David Williamson with one week to go. 

Tony Clayton will also be on stage at Lilydale in their next production, Barefoot in the Park opening April 20.

WMIAA Membership for 2023 

2023 Subscriptions Are Now Due!

The Warrandyte Mechanics’ Hall is owned solely by the local community.

The Warrandyte Mechanics’ Hall and Arts Association, or Warrandyte Arts for short, is a not- for-profit, registered charity. Our only role is to maintain and operate the hall and its facilities for the benefit of the local community.

Groups of people who use the hall on a regular basis are required to be members of the Association and to pay an annual subscription. These subscriptions are used to pay for the maintenance and upkeep of the hall, and to make sure it is kept clean, heated, cooled and lit as needed.

Members of WMIAA groups are not charged any other fee for using the hall and its facilities.

Paid-up members are also insured to protect them if:

They cause damage or injury to themselves or other. 

They damage the hall or its equipment and fixtures in any way

Subscriptions are only payable on an annual basis and are due on January 1, for continuing members, or from when a person joins a group. Someone who joins after July 1, in any year, can pay a reduced subscription for the remaining part of the year.

Our subscriptions levels have remained the same for several years, as they will for 2023.

  • $35 for a single member
  • $50 for a family
  • $25 for someone in receipt of an Australian pension or a student $20 for half year membership (if joining as a new member after 1 July)

Subscriptions are paid by clicking this link:

Just click on ‘Book Now’.

By law and under our association rules we must retain a register of members – so members can be insured. This means that when you pay your subscription on the Trybooking system you must also enter your own name, postal and addresses and phone number.

If you have any membership queries, please contact Noelene on 0400 861 133 or