Here's the latest from the committee
There has been some scuttlebutt around that the Players are on the skids and in danger of losing our theatre. Not true! There are some challenges ahead, but we are financially sound and in a good position to meet whatever headwinds present themselves.
The lease on our land is the other pressing issue of note here. As I think most of you are aware, whilst our theatre is owned by the Players, we lease the land that it stands on from the NSW Department of Industry (the old Crown Lands Department) on a thirty- year lease. The current lease expires at the end of 2022. In the past rolling over of this lease has been fairly straight forward, however changes to the Crown lands department and the possibility of rival bids for the lease suggest to us that we need to get a head start on the process.
Prior to Covid, it had been the Player’s intention to seek early renewal of the lease at the end of 2020, and the Committee had begun a program of community engagement to support that application. An early renewal of the lease being possible if the application is backed by a weight of community support.
Covid has varied those plans (it clearly wasn’t the time to be garnering support for 2022 in the midst of a pandemic), but the committee is currently re-working the program with an eye to now applying for an early re-lease at the end of 2021 (Incidentally, should you wish to become part of the process we will shortly be calling for expressions of interest to join the Community Engagement Team who will put together and run that part of the “re- lease” program).
In an encouraging recent development on this front, our Mayor, in a recent emailed response to one of our long-standing members, has reported that the council has assured her that they have no current plans in place to take over our site. We are in the process of following this up and will keep everybody up to date.
Other issues with the council are ongoing. There has however been some recent progress, with the council installing bollards around our land to assist with the “parking on our grass” problem (a shout out to Guenter and Jan who worked hard with council on this one). Aside from the de-mountable question (which we’ve put on hold till after the lease is resolved), we’re hoping that this new found spirit of co-operation may extend to other urgent issues.
Anyway, bottom line is, we’re still very much alive and we’ll do whatever is needed (man the barricades if necessary) to ensure the Player’s future is assured.
Around the Building
The new committee has hit the ground running with a new strategic plan in place (courtesy of a program of very successful strategic planning sessions), a revamp to our website (big shout out to Dan P for all the heavy lifting on this one), the 2021 season pencilled in and Christmas Showtime up and running in record time. In addition, there’s been considerable work achieved in the backstage area (construction of the new office, repair work to the stage wings and set construction areas), costume hire area (the beginning of the culling and overhaul process of the costume hire department) and, perhaps more noticeably, the repair and re-sealing of the stage.