Launceston amateur theatre scene in the spotlight

Asian Studies Professor Emeritus Barbara Hatley may not seem like the first choice for a lecture on Launceston’s amateur theatre scene.

But it was her research into Indonesian performance, which triggered her interest into the rich history of Launceston theatre.

“I did a lot on work on community theatre in Indonesia and on how theatre plays such a role in social life and reflects the things going on in society,” Hatley said.

“So I was amazed when I came to Launceston to see this kind of connection in the community between the local people and people performing on stage that people already knew, as a local doctor or someone on the radio.”

Her lecture takes the theatre scene back to the 1950s, showcasing the different performance groups through the decades and their connections with the community.

As the for the secret to Launceston’s amateur theatre success, Hatley didn’t want to give away too much of her lecture.

But she said Launceston’s size played a large role in producing an array talented performers while small enough to give them the feeling of performing for a large representation of their city.

  • Barbara Hatley will present Launceston on Stage: A History of Amateur Theatre in Launceston at the Launceston Historical’s Society’s meeting on October 15 at 2pm. Admission is free to the meeting room at QVMAG Inveresk and afternoon tea will follow the talk.