Mates celebrates 30 years

Mates: Mates founder Joe Ross will offer his own stories when Mates celebrates 30 years on December 12.

Mates: Mates founder Joe Ross will offer his own stories when Mates celebrates 30 years on December 12.

COVID-19 won't stop the commemoration of Mates Theatre Genesis Inc.'s 30th anniversary.

The longest surviving community theatre group in the Redlands, Mates will celebrate at 7pm on December 12 at its home base, the Birkdale School of Arts Hall. The event includes memorabilia displays, a trivia quiz, video presentation and an opportunity for guests to share a reminiscence over a light supper.

The event will also include the launch of its 2021 season.

Thornlands resident former Councillor, Joe Ross founded the group in 1990, as the Musical and Theatrical Entertainment Society. Born in Adelong in country NSW, Mr Ross, 78 was the seventh of 10 children in a family which lived on rabbits and potatoes through the second world war. In the absence of television the family enjoyed sing-a-longs and recitals, resulting in Mr Ross's love of performance, specifically in theatre, music and poetry.

"I recall attending a community meeting in 1989 for local performers in a small room at the Redlands Library (now the Redland Art Gallery). I suggested forming a theatrical group where members could share their skills, and gain experience in all aspects of theatrical production. After a number of impromptu backyard performance sessions, MATES embarked on its first official production, Dimboolah at the Donald Simpson Centre in November 1990," he said.

Eighty productions on, MATES nurtures an inclusive performing arts community, producing three to four shows annually and hosting workshops, free monthly script reading sessions (StageworX), and Theatre Jam events. Members are able to participate in a range of activities from acting, directing, stage crew, set design, costumes, sound and lighting, to front of house activities.

Tickets are $15 members and $20 non members. Book on matestg.org.au or 0492 875 853.