The formal launch of the Ryman Healthcare 2023 season at The Court Theatre on Monday night was ablaze with colour, theatrical lines and good intentions.
The Court Theatre team promise that the season will be ambitious and filled with incredible plays. The theatre space was packed with eager supporters including some from Ryman Healthcare.
Ryman is a top sponsor of The Court Theatre, and Margaret Stoddart village was well represented with residents Janet Emeleus and Audrey Burton. Ryman board director Anthony Leighs was there with his wife Jane.
Court Theatre Chief Executive Barbara George helped introduce the evening, saying the partnership with Ryman reflected a shared goal of helping people to experience lives that go beyond the ordinary.
“All will entertain you. Some may amuse you; others might give you pause to think or, perhaps, even to re-evaluate. Some may even shock you a little.”
Barbara introduced Janet Emeleus, who talked about Margaret Stoddart village’s commitment to the world of theatre.
“Don’t think ‘village dwellers’ means quaint oldies. Quite the opposite. We residents have different skills and interests, and we do things,” Janet said.
“I also happen to be the coordinator of a group, grandly known as the Stoddart Players, we enjoyed devising pantomimes for several years before COVID stopped us in our tracks.”
Janet said personally she was very keen about theatre in its diverse forms, humble or grand, spontaneous or contrived. “Theatre is a voice, and an essential part of cultural health.”
Dr Alison Walls, the theatre’s artistic director, presented a short overview of the 2023 season afternoon, including productions of Frozen JR, Sense and Sensibility, Rēwena, Be Like Billy, Cinderella and Next to Norma.
“The Ryman Healthcare 2023 season captures the energy, complexity and diversity of our life. These plays and musicals will give our audiences some of what they already know and love but also surprise and challenge them with something new, including a few New Zealand premieres.”