Artistic Vision

The Drill Hall Theatre Company (DHTC) is a Not-For-Profit Theatrical Producer and Theatre Manager.

The Drill Hall is a place to nurture the aspirations of emerging and experienced artists, including those who have worked and are working professionally.

Our Aims:

  • Pursue excellence, encourage talent and generate a sustainable and exciting local theatre culture.
  •  Connect with our audience by providing an enriching theatre experience.
  •  Challenge the status quo by examining the issues of our time.
  •  Examine what it is to be an Australian now, in the past and in the future.
  • Produce works from the classical and international repertoire while acknowledging a bias towards contemporary Australian writing.
  • Foster local writers, producers, directors, actors, performers, designers and theatre workers.

Business Plan

Fees from hiring the Drill Hall to individuals, groups and other arts and training organisations, goes towards the maintenance and management of the building – including cleaning, rates, electricity, upkeep and insurance. Any surplus from productions is re-invested into upgrades and capital works (eg. the partnership with Byron Shire Council for the tiered seating and the air-conditioning upgrade in 2016).

Capital improvements provide audiences and theatre workers with improved services and comfort, bringing the venue into the twenty-first century, while retaining its Mullumbimby character.

DHTC Committee

DHTC blue

Committee Members of the Drill Hall Theatre Company

PATRON- Tony Barry

PRESIDENT ~ Michael Borenstein.

VICE PRESIDENT ~ Greg Aitken.

TREASURER ~ Alex Benham.

SECRETARY ~ Alan Raabe

CREATIVE DEVELOPMENT DIRECTOR ~ Mike Russo.

THEATRE MANAGER ~ Jill Benham.

COMMITTEE ~ Sunita Bailey, Shelagh Pepper, Peter Gough, Sonia Borenstein, Sue Rado, Julianne Sandison, Cathy McDouall.

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Membership

DRILL HALL THEATRE COMPANY MEMBERSHIP

The Drill Hall Theatre Company is a not-for-profit association run by its members to support and promote the performing arts in Byron Shire.

The Drill Hall Theatre Company is a constituent group of the Mullumbimby District Cultural Centre (MDCC) which also includes the Mullumbimby Adult Learning and Potters Association. The MDCC manages the Drill Hall site and as a member of the DHTC you are also a member of MDCC.

The Theatre Company has been entertaining local audiences since the 1950’s and prides itself on being a Community Theatre where theatre is made by, with, and for the community it serves.

The uniquely defining aspect of our Community Theatre is that we all participate purely for the love of theatre and no one gets paid. It’s our passion for live theatre and our love of community engagement that drives our work.  Members of the community are warmly welcomed to get involved, whether it be as an actor, back stage crew, sound and lighting or front of house by becoming an Associate Member of the Drill Hall Theatre Company.

Membership entitles you to:

  • Free tickets to the dress rehearsal of DHTC productions
  • Discount tickets (at the concession rate) to all other DHTC productions
  • Access to workshops conducted by DHTC
  • Receive audition notices and information on DHTC productions and events

And at the discretion of the Management Committee the ability to:

  • Direct and produce DHTC productions
  • Perform in DHTC productions
  • The opportunity to train in producing and directing show
  • The opportunity to train in technical and stage production roles.

Please return the signed and completed form (below) to The Drill Hall Theatre Company along with payment of $15 so we can process your application. Membership is for the calendar year. A pro rata membership fee will be available for those joining in the later part of the year

Membership Form (Associate) DHTC 2014

The History of the Drill Hall

The Mullumbimby Drill Hall was built in 1916 and during the first half of the 20th century served as a basic military training centre for the immediate area. But from the 1950s onward, the hall became irrelevant, and stood virtually unused for many years. During these same years, the Far North Coast was forgotten and ignored by State and federal governments. Primary industries, principally sugar, bananas, fishing, beef and timber were the mainstay of local economies. By 1970, Mullumbimby was a typical, sleepy little town with more than a few shopfronts boarded up.

But then the first wave of New Age immigrants discovered the area, and things changed overnight. Mullumbimby was originally chosen to be the site of the landmark 1973 Aquarius Festival that eventually went ahead in Nimbin. Many visitors who attended the festival were so enchanted by the attractions of the area they stayed and made it their home. Mullumbimby Magic quickly established a place for itself in the Australian vocabulary. Surfers started arriving in big numbers.

With people came publicity, prosperity, more people and a need for community amenities. In 1977 a group called Mullumbimby District Cultural Centre (MDCC) obtained Council approval to occupy the Drill Hall, where it conducted a range of activities. It formed a working relationship with Pacific Players, an amateur dramatic group with a history going back to the 1950s. Early Pacific Players performances were performed at the Drill Hall until it was deemed that the hall did not meet public hall safety requirements.  While rehearsals were still conducted at the Drill Hall, performances took place at the Civic Hall.  After a lot of work to get the hall up to standard, a public hall license was obtained in 1988, and performances took place once again at the Drill Hall, with the audience sharing space with a large pottery kiln. The kiln was subsequently moved to a purpose-built studio adjoining the hall, and the Pacific Players became the Drill Hall Theatre Company.

The hall is now the home of the Drill Hall Theatre Company, but is in constant use by the wider community for everything from drama and cinema to life drawing, dance and exercise classes.

For a more detailed history read:  The Drill Hall History – The First 100 years

 

The Mullumbimby District Cultural Centre

The Drill Hall site is the home of the Mullumbimby District Cultural centre (MDCC).   The MDCC consists of two constituent groups, Mullumbimby Adult Learning and Potters Association (MALAP), which occupies the Pottery Studio and the Audrey Hoving Studio, and the Drill Hall Theatre Company, which occupies the Drill hall.

MDCC has been supporting the visual and preforming arts in Byron Shire since 1977

The Mullumbimby District Cultural Centre has signed a 5 year licence agreement with Byron Shire Council as of September 2016. This gives the MDDC and the DHTC a secure tenure until 2021. Pictured are MDDC committee members Greg Aitken and Michael Borenstein signing the license.

signing-the-licence

Noise Management at the Drill Hall

The Licensee of the Drill Hall, The Mullumbimby District Cultural Centre and its constituent group, the Drill Hall Theatre Company, recognises that this community facility is in a residential area and that neighbours must be considered when hiring the hall.  For this reason the hall is no longer hired out to bands that have loud amplified music or loud drumming, nor is the hall hired out for events such as birthday parties or weddings.  Our website states:  “Please note that the Drill Hall is in a residential area and is not a suitable venue for loud music.”

The hall is used by the Drill Hall Theatre Company for its productions and although the NSW EPA noise restrictions are from 10pm to 8am Sunday to Thursday and 12am to 8am on Friday and Saturday, the restrictions we place on the hall far exceed that.  We expect that the majority of our Friday and Saturday productions will cease by 10pm and the hall vacated quietly by 11pm .  We also ask our actors and our audience to respect our neighbours as far as noise is concerned.  Our Sunday productions are all matinees, usually at 2pm.  On those rare occasions where a production goes slightly past the 10pm we still have the expectation that the hall be vacated quietly by 11pm.  We are happy to inform neighbours of any shows that will exceed the 10pm time if so desired.

The hall is also hired out to visiting and community groups.  When signing the contract these groups agree to the following condition:  “The theatre is in a residential area and noise restrictions apply.  At all times noise should be kept to a reasonable level and all noise should cease by 10pm and the theatre vacated by 11pm.  At all times neighbours should be respected and post show noise kept to a minimum.”  There are also signs in the hall requesting that the neighbours be respected.

The hall is also used during the Mullumbimby Music Festival.  The festival management has agreed not to put ‘loud’ events on at the Drill Hall and to adhere to the 10pm finishing time.

Where neighbours feel that the above guidelines are not being met they are invited to contact the Drill Hall Theatre Company with their concerns.  This can be done via email to drillhalltheatre@gmail.com or by phone call/message to Theatre Manager, Jill Benham on 02 6684 1439.  These concerns will be taken to the Drill Hall Committee to be addressed through a Complaints Management process.  Drill Hall users will be expected to address any issues concerned or will be place on a “do not return” list.

Code of Conduct

THE DRILL HALL THEATRE COMPANY

Code of Conduct

This Code of Conduct is designed to clarify the Drill Hall Theatre Company’s expectations on how members, performers, production staff and all volunteers should conduct themselves whilst involved in the activities of the Company.  By following this Code of Conduct, your reputation, and the reputation of the Drill Hall Theatre Company will be upheld and protected.

All involved in Drill Hall Theatre Company activities are expected to:

  • Treat everyone with respect;
  • Be fair, discrete, considerate and honest in all dealings with others;
  • Refrain from any behaviour which will bring the Drill Hall Theatre Company into disrepute;
  • Display control, respect and professionalism in all activities;
  • Be courteous in dealings with others;
  • Control their temper
  • Refrain from any violent behaviour.

The Drill Hall Theatre Company will not tolerate discrimination, bullying, verbal or physical abuse, or sexual harassment against any member of our company, as a zero violence policy is in place.

The Role of the Director

A theatre director has responsibility for the overall practical and creative interpretation of the performance.  The director has the right to select actors and crew and also has the right of dismissal where this Code of Conduct is disregarded.  The director is involved at all stages of the process, from the design and pre-production stages and rehearsal, right through to the final performance.

The Director has ultimate responsibility for the performance.  They may be assisted in their role by Assistant Directors, a Producer or Production Team, a Production Manager and/or a Stage Manager.

Directors work closely with their creative and production teams, the performers and the producer to create a performance which connects with the audience. They therefore need to be able to coordinate effectively across a wide range of disciplines and with artistic vision.

The Director should:

  • Treat members of their cast with respect
  • Be reasonable in their demands on time, energy and enthusiasm of performers and crew.
  • Teach their cast the principles of theatre etiquette and stage craft and encourage gratification through achievement.

 

The Role of the Actor and Crew

All performers (and where appropriate Crew) should:

  • Commit themselves to the production and all rehearsals.
  • Learn lines as quickly as possible.
  • Co-operate with the production team.  Accept the Director’s advice in the spirit it is given for he/she is ultimately responsible for the performance and sees the production as a whole.
  • Be aware that the Director, Stage Manager and Production Manager are the only persons who should direct actors.  Actors should not direct other actors in the production.
  • Be respectful of the theatre. Please help keep the theatre’s appearance clean and professional. Pick up and clean up after yourself.
  • Be responsible and take care of all props and set items (remember that some are borrowed and are not replaceable.)
  • Not move anyone’s prop without their knowledge and consent.
  • Take responsibility for storing personal items, including costumes and props in appropriate places.
  • Be on time for all rehearsals and performances.  In production, all performers, technical and Front of House staff should be at the theatre at least one hour before the show. Doors open for the audience 30 minutes before the start of the show.

This Code is designed to provide for a safe and enjoyable environment for all.  To this end the following also applies:

Youth Actors

  • Actors under the age of 18 will have a designated member of the production team responsible for their duty of care who will advocate on their behalf, where necessary, if problems arise.  In some cases this will be the youth’s parent, where the parent is involved in the production.
  • The director will liaise with the assigned advocate on any problems involving the youth actor.

Behaviour

In addition to the behaviour already outlined all participants must be aware that:

  • The Theatre is in a residential area and noise restrictions apply.  All noise should cease by 10:00pm and the theatre vacated by 11pm.  At all times neighbours should be respected and post show noise kept to a minimum.
  • Honesty is expected from all theatre personnel.  Care should be taken of all property whether it belongs to the Drill Hall Theatre Company or to others.
  • Discretion is expected from all theatre personnel in relation to theatre productions.
  • Stealing will not be tolerated.  This includes the theft of alcohol from the bar fridge.
  • The equipment of other organisations using the Drill Hall must be respected and not interfered with.

Health and Safety

  • Everyone has the right to participate in an environment that is physically and emotionally safe.
  • Members, performers, production staff and volunteers must take responsibility for their own Health and safety, ensuring that their actions do not risk the health and safety of themselves or others.
  • All hazards, accidents or injuries should be reported to the Director or Production Manager.

Alcohol and Drug consumption

  • All activities on the Drill Hall site must be lawful.  This particularly applies to the consumption of prohibited and illegal drugs.
  • Alcohol can only be consumed by people of legal drinking age and should not be consumed by performers and crew until after the show.  Alcohol may only be consumed to the extent that it does not affect the comfort, safety or performance of any member, performer, production staff or volunteer, nor harm the reputation of the Drill Hall Theatre Company.
  • Staff drinks are offered at a reduced price to performers and crew and complimentary drinks are offered on the last night.  Free drinks may be offered to sponsors and VIP’s by committee members where appropriate.

Theatre capacity and Front of House

  • Theatre bookings will be kept to 100, allowing for 3 complementary tickets per night for media or sponsors. If comps are not required the tickets can be sold at the door.
  • Trybookings or Bookshop purchases should not be onsold on the night if the purchaser is running late or indeed does not turn up for the show.

Grievances

  • If anyone has a grievance or feels that they have been unfairly treated they are encouraged to raise this issue with any member of the Production Team in the first instance and then the President of the Theatre Company.

Breach of the Code of Conduct

Blatant disregard of any of this Code of Conduct may jeopardize your ability to work with the Drill Hall Theatre Company.

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I have read and agree to abide by the Code of Conduct of the Drill Hall Theatre Company.

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