For Stan Gottschalk, theatre can be symbolised in the idea that you can make something more than the sum of its parts and make it beautiful.
Recently, Mr Gottschalk was awarded the Lifetime Achievement Award at the 2021 Tasmanian Theatre Awards in recognition of his longstanding contribution to the theatre scene, where he has made many beautiful productions.
This was the culmination of an amateur theatre career which began halfway around the world in the United States of America.
Perhaps, it could even be considered fate given Mr Gottschalk former college, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, insisted that students take up some interest in humanities during their college studies.
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For Mr Gottschalk, theatre was more than a mere passing interest to get through college, it was a love affair.
After immigrating to Australia from the United States, Mr Gottschalk's passion for the arts continued through his involvement in the Three Rivers Theatre, were he acted and directed several plays.
"The Examiner used to have an on the spot section and in that Carrie Finch was pleading for another male a couple of male actors to round out his cast," he said.
"So I joined that production and it took off from there."
Directing, rather than acting, is where Mr Gottschalk draws his true enjoyment of the theatre craft.
"I actually enjoyed directing more than acting over the years, it's the process of putting a play together, you get a whole lot of disparate people come together," he said.
"If you get a play that has something to say today, watching people start from zero, and bring all their creativity and that's not just the actors, it's the lighting people and everybody.
"Somehow if you get it right the whole is greater than the sum of the parts you know what I mean it is, and it becomes a very satisfying endeavour."
The Lifetime Achievement Award was created in 2015 to recognise some of Tasmania's hardest working and longest serving theatre stalwarts.
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The names of Mr Gottschalk's peers to have won the award, like Michael Edgar and John Unicomb are well known through the industry for their works and now Gottschalk stands as their equal.
"It is quite humbling to be in company and people who genuinely are legends of the theater, and I am amateur, I'm not trained," he said.
"By allowing in a sense, an amateur like me to be acknowledged like this shows how seriously they're taking the importance of the whole mix of people [in theatre].
"It was actually quite overwhelming because I had no idea, I was completely blindsided."
Even after all these years in show business, Gottschalk remains busy and will direct Of Mice Of Men for Three Rivers Theatre in November this year.
"The reason I am doing it again, well one I am older so I hope I would do a better job," he said.
"And there are things that I wanted to try with it in the way of staging, that we couldn't do."
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After living part of his life on stage for the best part of three decades, Mr Gottschalk is thankful for the friends he has met in his travels.
"There's a whole range of people I've met that have become lifelong friends right from the beginning," he said.
"It's been terrific in that way, I'd look back on it and say it was just a bonus if you will ... I loved it.
"My thanks to all those people, theatre doesn't happen in a vacuum, all those people who were part of the journey."
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