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Mr Speaker, I rise tonight to celebrate much that is great about Northern Tasmania, particularly Launceston and the local theatre community.
In the last couple of weeks, I have had the pleasure to attend a number of performances in Launceston’s beautiful Princess Theatre, both of young people, people experienced and emerging in the local theatre scene.
I acknowledge Stage Right Youth Theatre and their recent presentation of SpongeBob SquarePants. You might think a performance with such a title might only interest and give pleasure to younger members of our community. However, I can attest that myself and many other family members and adults of the Launceston community, including my father at 80, who is a very direct feedback provider of local theatre, loved it.
Danny Gibson, the leader of Stage Right Youth Theatre Company, with the young people aged between eight and 18, put on an incredible performance of quite remarkable talent.
It is extraordinary that the young people of our community have such developed professionalism on the stage, strong vocals, strong dancing but also all of the back-of-house elements that are often provided by young people from our community, whether it be stage management, lighting or helping with costumes. There was no doubt that SpongeBob SquarePants was a delight for Launceston.
Following up a couple of days ago, I attended the Scotch Oakburn College performance of Shrek, again an incredible performance that demonstrated great talent from that school community and put together a large number of students from across the full spectrum of the school. This evening, celebrating the contribution arts make to community, there is no doubt that a young person who takes the courage to endeavor into a creative performance learns a lot and can contribute to their academic outcomes, their social outcomes and their ability to contribute to our community.
I stand to celebrate those contributions and also to acknowledge that Encore Theatre Company who, unfortunately in 2020, only days prior to going live in the theatre with Mamma Mia, had to stand down the company because of the impacts of COVID-19. What I love is that they relaunched this event. Tickets are live. Actually, tickets are fast running out, as always with Encore Theatre Company performances. That performance starts in October in Launceston and I know will be well loved and has been much anticipated by the Launceston community. That is local theatre, local arts in Launceston.
Also, tonight, I want to do a shout-out to Junction Arts Festival, tomorrow night launching in the beautiful Prince's Square in Launceston and it will extend right across our community. This is the 10th anniversary in and around Launceston. It says a lot about an arts organisation that continues to grow, continues to expand and create and offer such a diverse program over a long period of time. It is not easy and it is particularly not easy right now to deliver arts events and performances, to deliver great festival experiences in the current environment.
To the team at Junction Arts Festival, sorry, myself and others who would normally be there to celebrate with you cannot be with you tomorrow night. We wish you well, looking forward to the experiences over the weekend.
I just wanted to stand this evening and celebrate all that is great about Northern Tasmania, particularly centred in Launceston, about our wonderful arts community.
August 31, 2021 - 7:04pm
Video - YouTube