Writing for pleasure to showcase the best Australia has on offer.
BTG, bringing you forty-one years of formidable shows
I was delighted to be given the opportunity to attend the Beenleigh Theatre Group for the play "The Crucible". I am not a regular theatre-goer, however, this event gave me a cultured experience and heightened my awareness to the amazingly talented artists right on our doorstep.
The Crucible, Photo courtesy of Beenleigh Theatre Group (BTG)
The Beenleigh Theatre Group was born in May 1978, when Dan and Margaret Gregory, members of the Beenleigh Performing Arts, wanted to gauge the interest in starting a Theatre Group in the town. There was an overwhelming response and support, which cleared the way forward for the BTG, as it is favourably known, to commence rehearsals for their first stage production Oklahoma in November of the same year. The night was a huge success and encouraged the group to adopt a constitution and eventually an Incorporated body in 1986.
As most groups struggle in the early beginnings, the BTG was no exception. Coming up to their second production and strapped for cash, members came up with the idea to hold a Revue – That's Entertainment, which included a variety of acts, skits, dances and so forth.
As this event raised good funds, the Revues became a regular occurrence with the inclusion of yheatre restaurant-style event.
After expressing ideas to build their own theatre and the tragic events of a fire to council buildings in the town, the Albert Shire Council decided to replace their destroyed facility and build a new a building that would include a community hall, The Events Centre, and a 152-seat Theatre – The Crete Street Theatre, which became the BTG in December 1993. It was a wonderful feeling to finally have a home where lighting, curtains, backdrops, dressing rooms, sets, bio box, green room etc. could be set up permanently.
It has always been the goal of BTG to train people in the forms of theatre and following on from this aim, the theatre now holds a Theatre School or Junior Entertainment Theatre School (JETS) for young people where they can grow and develop, perhaps finding a career in the entertainment industry.
JETS, Photo courtesy of Beenleigh Theatre Group (BTG)
I had not seen the movie nor read the book, so my view on storyline was as if watching through new eyes. My friend knew the story so was I excited that the play was of a subject that I was particularly interested in – The Salem Witch Trials.
Salem is well-known for the notorious witch trials that occurred in colonial Massachusetts in 1692-1693. More than two hundred people were accused of witchcraft or the Devil's Magic as it was known and twenty were executed. It was a terrible time where no one was safe. Eventually, the colony admitted the trials were a mistake and families were compensated for their losses. It is interesting to note that witchcraft or Paganism was only legalised in Queensland in 2001.
The Cast, Photo courtesy of Beenleigh Theatre Group (BTG)
The play was excellent with every scene giving the audience a good understanding of where the story was going. Each character showed knowledge and passion for his or her role as well as what was expected for the interaction of the other actor's involvement in the story. The role of John Proctor was played by William Boyd. With a string of acting performances in numerous productions, William shone throughout the play with an outstanding performance. His voice demanded attention as his role from lover, husband and accused held the audiences in each scene.
The Crucible Characters - John & Elizabeth Proctor, Photo courtesy of Beenleigh Theatre Group (BTG)
The Beenleigh Theatre Group is located on the corner of Kent and Crete Streets, Beenleigh. On your entry, a foyer with lounge chairs and tables and a bar invites you to enjoy a drink before the theatre begins. If you book your tickets online or through BTG, they can be collected on arrival at the box office.