The Artful Dodger — December 2023

From the Chair

Christmas Greetings everyone! It’s been a huge year for Warrandyte Arts with much to celebrate. This edition shares the latest highlights.

Activity continues even over the summer break with the much-needed structural work on the hall roof beams finally underway. A big thank you to our tireless Secretary, Grant, who has played a pivotal role in securing the funding and finalising arrangements with Ben, who is starting his second major project for us, (the first being the ‘bio-box’ replacement earlier in the year).

We look forward to current members renewing your memberships for 2024, adding more family members, or even giving a gift membership for Christmas! See Membership Coordinator, Noelene’s, article at the end of this edition for more details, or go straight to the link:

Hope everyone has a safe and Merry Christmas and relaxed start to 2024.

Bruce Turner

End of Year Finska Celebration

This year’s Finska Celebration was held on December 3. We thought the weather would be against the barbecue plan at the river, so we decided to remain at the hall. Food was, as always, delicious. Many thanks to Harry for stepping up to do the barbecue and to everyone who contributed to the meal. The weather then brightened, so we had the Finska tournament at the river. Adrian Rice was the victor (for the second time), taking the trophy from Erin Brass.

Warrandyte Theatre Company

It has been a very busy, successful, and creative year. 2024 is developing into an equally busy one with all the seasons confirmed.

Please note that dates may be subject to changes


The Last Quiz Night on Earth

A comedy/drama by Alison Carr
Directed by Bob Bramble

It’s the final countdown. Landlady Kathy invites you to the last quiz night on earth with Quizmaster Rav. He’s the host with the most. But with time ticking, some unexpected guests turn up out of the blue.

April 5 to 20, 2024


One Act Play Festival

Winners of the OAP Writers Competition are performed on stage

June 28 to July 7, 2024


Things I Know to be True

A drama by Andrew Bovell
Directed by Kellie Tweeddale

Things I Know To Be True is about love in many of its forms. At times comforting and supportive. At others suffocating and destructive. But always love.

August 30 to September 14, 2024


Hotel Sorrento

A Drama by Hannie Rayson
Directed by Grant Purdy

When the three sisters are reunited after 10 years apart, they again feel the constraints of family life. A semi autobiographical book written by the middle sister and expat Meg, triggers the familial tensions and dramas that eventuate.

November 22 to December 7, 2024

2023 Ends on a High!

A Hit and Miss Christmas by Emma Wood was a brilliant success with sell out shows. Check out the wonderful centre page spread review in the Warrandyte Diary.

The ‘incorrigibles’ — David Tynan and Noelene Cooper

One Act Play Competition

The winners of this play writing competition will be performed in Season 2. Closing date for submissions is December 31, after which the panel will select those plays to be performed. There is still time to submit.

If you are interested in directing a one act play, please contact me for a discussion. We are planning to send out a regular ebulletin, called ‘The Curtain Call’ to our theatre mailing list. Lots of news, audition dates, shout outs for helpers, and much, much more. Let me know if you would like to be added to the mail list.

Lou Phelan


Lyrebird Nominations 2023

The Lyrebird Awards celebrate excellence and encourage participation within non-professional performing arts associations in the Eastern suburbs of Melbourne.

“Follies Goes off the Rails” and “The Glass Menagerie” have been nominated for 11 Lyrebird Awards! We wish to congratulate everyone involved. It’s a wonderful accomplishment.

Best Large Group Number in a Variety
Panther, The Follies Goes Off the Rails, Warrandyte Theatre

Best Musical Director in a Variety
Matt Wallace, The Follies Goes Off the Rails, Warrandyte Theatre

Best Choreographer in a Variety
Lawrence Phelan, The Follies Goes Off the Rails, Warrandyte Theatre

Best Director — Variety
Lawrence Phelan & Matt Wallace, The Follies Goes Off the Rails, Warrandyte Theatre

Best Production — Variety
The Follies Goes Off the Rails, Warrandyte Theatre

Best Lighting in a Drama
Grant Purdy, The Glass Menagerie, Warrandyte Theatre

Best Set in a Drama
Grant Purdy, The Glass Menagerie, Warrandyte Theatre

Highly Commended Performance in a Drama
Mason Frost, The Glass Menagerie, Warrandyte Theatre

Best Performer in a Supporting Female Role — Drama
Francesca Carl, The Glass Menagerie, Warrandyte Theatre

Best Performer in a Lead Female Role — Drama
Audrey—Maeve Barker, The Glass Menagerie, Warrandyte Theatre

Best Director — Drama
Grant Purdy, The Glass Menagerie, Warrandyte Theatre

Repair Café News

Our final Repair Café was held on Sunday, December 3, and was well attended as usual. We now regularly fix about 30 items per month, and to many others we provide helpful advice, and occasionally a blessing.

A hearty thanks to all our fixers for their contributions in 2023. We start up again on the first Sunday in February.

Final Workshop

In our final workshop for the year, Bernadette and Margaret expertly guided eight locals to use their sewing machines for hems and zips. They were both tired by the end of the two hours, but participants were very thankful for the new skills they learnt. This is truly an aim of the original Repair Cafés — to share our skills with others so that they can fix things themselves.

Christmas Break-up Party

Following the December Repair Café, we all brought something to share and celebrate another great year of the WRC. Speeches were thankfully short, but we enjoyed sharing this time to reflect on what we have made, what we have fixed, and the love that we feel from the Warrandyte community for making the Repair Café work so well.

Life Drawing

We are continuing to roll along. Some new models have been discovered, along with some new starters. The group continues to be cohesive and provides a calm atmosphere for all to explore their talent. We shall return in February with gusto.

Some of us indulged in the scene painting for A Hit and Miss Christmas, with thanks to the Warrandyte Historical Society for providing photos to authenticate the pub scene.

We also revamped the ‘Pink Ladies’, greeting you at the front entrance.

Over the break may all continue to be creative.
Cheers, Marion

‘Keeping the Roof Up’ — work begins

Adam, Marion and Grant stripped out all the lights etc. last week — suspended from the ceiling bars — and the hall is now ready to be handed over to Ben for the tricky operation of removing the old tie bars and replacing them with new beams.

Getting up close to the bars, it was clear they are definitely in need of retirement!

Here is a photo of the hall now, without lights — something few will have seen before.

Here is an image, courtesy of Jock, showing what the ceiling will hopefully look like after the construction work. Then we will install a new, highly flexible lighting rigging system, suspended from the new beams.

Because of the engineering work, the hall will be closed from Friday, December 15, until the end of January. We hope that normal activities and hires can commence from January 29, 2024.

Life Membership Nominations

At this time of the year we accept nominations for Life Membership of the WMIAA.

Life Membership is an honour bestowed on an individual member who has made a longstanding and exceptional contribution to the WMIAA.

Any financial member of the WMIAA can nominate a member for Life Membership by submitting the nominee’s name and reasoning for the nomination to the Chair of the WMIAA Committee, Bruce Turner.

Nominations need to be received before January 31, 2024, to enable Committee endorsement, prior to the AGM.


Renew your Membership NOW!

To renew for 2024, click this link and BOOK NOW:

Hello All!

There are a few changes regarding Membership.

The WMIAA membership page on Trybooking has been altered to ensure we comply with the regulation governing WMIAA as an Incorporated Association. These changes were approved at an Extraordinary General Meeting of members in September.

Now, each member of a Family Membership must be registered separately (at a cost of $10) giving their name, address, phone number and email address.

‘Added Family Member’ booking process

  1. Click the link and then click BOOK NOW (top right-hand corner)
  2. If you haven’t already renewed the primary, full membership, select a Full Membership
  3. Scroll to ‘Added Family Member’. Insert the number of added family members
  4. Fill in the individual added family member details.
  5. Scroll to next if more than one added family member. You will also be asked for the name of the full membership to which these family members are being added.
  6. Click ‘Next’ when all boxes are completed to go to payment page.

The Groups

Theatre, Choir, Pottery, Visual Arts, Tai Chi, Karate, Repair Cafe, are for people actively engaged in those groups. You are able to select more than one group.

For ‘Added Family Members’ who don’t belong to a group, or those people who which to support the WMIAA and upkeep and enhancement of its facilities — the Hall and the Community Pottery — the Group for you is Friend of the WMIAA.

The Fees

$35 for the primary/full member
$35 Friend of the WMIAA
$35 Gift Membership
$10 for each added family member
$25 Student
$25 Pensioner

Still looking for Christmas Presents?!

It is now possible to give a year’s membership as a gift. How good is that?! Just click the membership renewal link above.

Benefits of being a member

As well as being able to join one of the active groups (for which members are covered for accident insurance), members have access to discounted hall hire, are able to vote at AGMs and have a say about future development. And, of course, you also receive the Dodger, with reports on upcoming events and productions etc., as well as invitations to member-exclusive special events, freebies and the like.

AND…there’s the warm inner glow that comes from knowing you are supporting the efforts and maintenance of a community-owned, volunteer-run community association and its assets!

Our historic Mechanics Institute Hall is undergoing much needed structural renovation as this goes to publication. Also, the Community Pottery Studio has significant termite damage which is the current focus of our fundraising.

To keep our Association and its facilities functioning into the future, we are always looking to grow our membership. We are grateful for members who are willing to simply offer support through an annual membership and donations, and not necessarily become more involved. We also need members who can help with very ordinary tasks, and we need members with expertise (e.g. publicity, fundraising, trades). No matter what your background, you may have just what we need!

Please do get in touch if you think you might be able to help. And don’t hesitate to contact me with any other membership queries.

I would like to thank David Tynan for his generous help in keeping me in touch enough to cope with the minor techy things I do regarding Membership.

Best wishes to you all for a Bright and Sparkly Festive Season
and a Happy and Healthy 2024!

Noelene Cooper
Membership Coordinator

Mob: 0400 861 133

With many thanks to our generous sponsors this year…