Leanne | Bayview
“That I used to live in Paeroa, and I was part of a theatre there. It was the highlight of my life down there.
I created a play for smaller children, and got six volunteers and myself, and we put on a play for 500 children over a course of three weeks, and it was really good. I wrote it. I directed it. I did the lighting. I did the costumes. My husband did the sets. It was just a magical time. Well, being in Paeroa, it’s a very small town. There are only 4,000 people down there. So this is the first time that I could bring theatre, like pantomime theatre to a lot of children, which they would never have seen before.
My husband’s an artist, so he was able to paint the sets on canvas, and we were able to put them on like curtain rings. So when you pulled it, it changed the scene, and it was just magical. It just looks absolutely magical. It looked like one of those old-fashioned pantomimes that you get. So for that, to be able to offer that to children, and I’m hoping that even today there’ll be kids that say, oh I remember that play that we went to see with the frog, and it was fantastic. You know? It’s just giving those people those memories as children, really. It was called The Pirate the Jumped. Yeah, you’ll never ever hear of it, but it was very good.
It was a community project. I funded for it, and everything. It was great. I’ve always liked the theatre, since I was 14 years old I’ve been in theatre here. After that when I was overseas I wasn’t in theatre, and then when I came back, and I was able to have the opportunity to go to Paeroa, and live in Paeroa, and I didn’t have to work. I could raise my kids, I think that’s what it was, raising the kids in that small town, and we had such wonderful community down there. There were so many nice people. These were all volunteers that I got too, and it wasn’t just the six cast members. It was all the front of house, and all the baking and everything. It all came from the community.
Living in Paeroa, you’ve got such a small town there; you walk down the street you’re always going to meet someone you know. So I think that’s where it came from. I wanted to do something that was memorable for these kids that would never see it again, and I just love theatre. So it was an opportunity for me to, to step up, really.
Well, I grew up right here in Glenfield so I know this place very well. I actually was a founding member of this library. I gave them a little card that I had one time, and they were like, oh I’ve never seen one of these before. I’m like; yeah I was there when it opened.
I’ve travelled a bit. I lived in America for 10 years, so I have been away and then I came back, and I wanted to be over the North Shore, but not so close again, but I’m very close actually. I’m like the next suburb over.”