Trio earn theatre service awards
Gussie Johnson first put on her dancing shoes when she was five years old, ready to to dance at the Civic Theatre stage.
Now, Mrs Johnson along with fellow theatre enthusiasts Jonathan Tucker and Owen Gerrard have been recognised for what is between them, a combined service of nearly 200 years to Southland theatre.
The trio were each awarded a Meritorious Service Award from Theatre New Zealand yesterday for their long service to the Southland theatre community.
Mrs Johnson said she was overwhelmed to receive the award.
Since stepping foot on the stage at the age of five, she has directed "a lot" of productions, and among many theatre commitments is now teaching senior drama at Southland Boys' High school.
"I like directing, I like to see the words come to life in the play.
"To see the cast stand up and the crowd claps is a great buzz," she said.
Mr Tucker, who had directed more than 40 major productions in Southland, said he had never felt anything less than joy at productions.
"Im delighted with the standard of acting down here and the background of stage sets," he said.
Similarly Mr Gerrard, who started performing for the Winton Drama Club, said it was an honour to receive the award. Highlights throughout his theatre career included doing productions on Stewart Island and teaching at Verdon College.
Theatre New Zealand president Bryan Aitken, who suggested the three were nominated, said the awards recognised their long service to the Southland theatre community.
They had each contributed a large volume of work and were dedicated to teaching theatre, he said.
Invercargill Repertory Society president Nola Calvert said the three had given a combined service of about 180 years to the Southland theatre community.
"It's wonderful, absolutely wonderful. They have contributed hugely to Southland theatre," she said.
The awards are a national recognition from Theatre New Zealand after nomination by Invercargill Repertory Society. firstname.lastname@example.org
- © Fairfax NZ News
Check out what's on in your community or post an upcoming event.
Subscribe to a digital replica of The Southland Times.
Southland Times subscriber news and information.
Click here for information about advertising with The Southland Times.