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Curtains go up on the plush revamp

The New Plymouth Repertory Society is an amateur theatre group that's been bringing live theatre to local audiences for 65 years. The group puts on several shows a year and often offers local groups the chance to book specific show nights to sell seats as fundraisers.  

"It's local, it's voluntary and it's amateur, but there's nothing amateur about the work we do," said Anna Zsigovits-Mace, President. 

"As well as bringing live shows to audiences in our area, our mission involves introducing young people to the joys of live theatre. We're in such a technological world with movies and special effects that we can't do on stage, but there's nothing quite like the intimacy of a small theatre."

Built in 1959, the Broadmore St theatre hadn't been touched since a small addition in the 1990s and needed a complete renovation inside and out. A $20k grant from the Toi Foundation helped the society to install much-needed new seating.   

"The old seats had been there for a long time and were too low, so that many of our patrons were having difficulty getting up," said Anna. 

Together with the new carpet and paint, the modern red seats make the theatre an inviting and comfortable place for audience members to enjoy the show, and the renovated dressing rooms backstage make a big difference to the actors, too.

"We're one of five amateur groups in and around New Plymouth, and we all support each other. Over the years, we have worked together well to ensure that we all survive. Our theatre has had a lot of people on stage and through the door over the years. The community benefits in so many ways, and we want that to continue, so we're future proofing now." 

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