The Hall Commitee
Approached by Wagga Civic Theatre director Carissa Campbell to collaborate, Callinan drew on an idea that he’d be wanting to develop since exploring the world of small hall Australia in his blog ‘Brenda’s Got The Hall Key.’ By the time their first meeting was over, ‘The Hall Committee’ was on the path to creation.
Drawing in funding from wagga city Council Arts On Tour Nsw and Create NSW the project went through different stages of development:
2016 – Riverina hall committee interviews
2017 – Nationwide hall committee surveys
2017 – Wagga Media and Civic Theatre audience call to arms
2018 – First draft scripting
2018 – Wagga auditions
2018 – Cast workshop week
2019 – Second draft scripting
2019 – Rehearsal period
2019 – World Premiere season in Riverina halls
The Rummage South Memorial Hall has seen better days. With white ants in the walls, possums in the roof & pigeons in the projection booth, the local wildlife are getting more use out of the hall than the locals. Due to the stringent restrictions enforced by Brenda, the intractable hall committee president, many residents have given up even trying to book the place. However, when tree change Rebecca manages to inveigle her way onto the committee, the community gets a shake-up. When she reveals that a hall grant is within their reach, the fractured committee ultimately join forces to get the hall back to its former glory. Unbeknownst to the committee, the hall is also inhabited by the spirits of the hall’s past who weave their subtle magic to help the hall & the community heal.
The cast play multiple roles in bringing to life the folk of Rummage South past & present. Devised to be performed in the small country hall environment, audiences have their own hall transformed in front of them as the cast usurp their residing committee to bring this interactive, immersive, hilarious play to life.
‘The Hall Committee’ is a nostalgic celebration of the role halls have played in the fabric of small town Australia but challenges us to look forward to the next phase of community life in the ever changing landscape of rural Australia.
World Premiere Wagga Wagga Crew
Writer & Director – Damian Callinan
Producer – Carissa Campbell
Production Manager – Claire Harris
Production Assistant – Roxeanne Smith
Sound Designer – John Jones
Lighting Designer – Sophie Kurylowicz
Costume & Set Designer – Claudia Spackman
Stage Manager – Sam Toll
Assistant Stage Manager – Emma Humphries
Technical Operator – Connor Crawford
World Premiere Wagga Wagga Cast
Damian Callinan – Angus, Ewan
Whitney Richards – Bronwyn, Rebecca & Dusty
Stephen Holt – Len, Ross
Isabel Mulrooney – Brenda, Daisy
Sean Prior – Dubbo, Charlie
The World Premiere season in the halls of the Riverina sold out well in advance and plans are afoot for more hall tours from 2021.
2019 Riverina Small Halls Tour – Wagga Civic Theatre Season
- Nth Wagga Hall [3 shows]
- Uranquinty Hall
- Ganmain Hall
- Downside Hall
- Ladysmith Memorial Hall
- Cootamundra Arts Centre
- Oura Hall
2021 – VICTORIA & NSW TOUR IN PLANNING
SUE THOMAS [OURA]
Loved the show it was funny and entertaining and very interactive especially due to the size restrictions at the Oura Hall. So glad our community had the opportunity to see such a wonderful production up close (very close)
MEGAN MULROONEY [LADYSMITH]
This show was an absolute delight – something for all generations. Such a brilliant, fun and lively performance that brings a community together and brings life to our regional halls. We would love to see it again and again.
ANDREA SIMMONS [URANQUINTY]
Really enjoyed the show at Uranquinty! Fabulous performance from the cast, although I did feel a tiny bit sorry for the person who brought Tim Tams!! 😂😂
BRONWYN HATTY [GANMAIN]
Loved the performance in Ganmain! The funny & clever interactions with the crowd were a highlight. The acting was superb and it resonated across the generations. We have had enquiries about more performances, so the demand is definitely there – good luck!! 🌟
DEBBIE DOYLE [URANQUINTY]
We were present for the Uranquinty meetings.
Loved it! A very novel, funny and poignant performance
BERNIE BODEl [GANMAIN]
Damian Callinan, it was a delight, an absolute cracker of a play. You captured the eccentricities of small-town committees beautifully.
We truly need more experiences like those in rural Australia, it is so good to laugh like we did.
TANYA LYONS [NTH WAGGA]
The show was a wonderful lively night out full of laughter, crowd banter and full of historic connection that is known to bring communities together.
SALLY DOUGLAS [OURA]
Really enjoyed the most amusing play and supper judging in the intimate setting of the Oura Hall. We felt very much a part of the Committee and really enjoyed the show.
PETER CASEY [NTH WAGGA]
Wagga folk (and surrounds), I got to see the final dress of The Hall Committee last night, and it’s just gorgeous! It’s also sold-out for the run, but if you hear of someone giving up a ticket for whatever reason, GRAB IT. Heartfelt, very funny, superbly detailed and structured like a dream. Congratulations, Damian Callinan and all the cast and crew. And bravo for supporting original local work, Wagga Wagga Civic Theatre, City of Wagga Wagga and Arts on Tour NSW.