Enter the Exit Theatre
Healesville has its own daytime drama happening as a Chum Creek couple’s dream of owning their own theatre company takes the spotlight. Liz Brown reports.
A POLISH couple, Kristof and Beata Kaczmarek, are determined to bring theatre to life in Healesville through their company, the Exit Theatre.Already their productions have included Aboriginal Tales, a candlelight evening of poetry, a double bill of Out at Sea and Fox Hunt, and this month, The Fly Guardian. Mr Kaczmarek said about 20 people were involved in the theatre group as well as the seven or eight children he was training in drama.“I’ve got a few very talented kids in the group I teach,” he said.“We hope that as we go on and build up the theatre that we will have people coming from Melbourne and bringing visitors to our productions in Healesville.”
Mr Kaczmarek graduated from the Polish Acting Academy in Lodz with a Master of Arts (Acting) in 1977. He said he arrived in Australia in 1982 and was drawn to Melbourne because in the 1980s it was seen as a mecca for theatre. “So many small groups, fringe theatres, were stirring up a challenge for the mainstream companies and creating much better work, ” Mr Kaczmarek said.“Then Kennett came to power and a lot of the funding was lost, so things went down the drain.”These days many actors worked unpaid and fringe theatres like Exit struggled to raise funds for productions.
But he said Exit was well supported by its community. “Drama is hard work and a discipline but we involve the parents and other community members who are enthusiastic about what we do, “ Mr Kaczmarek said.“We want to involve more people- those will help with costumes, lighting and stage management.“Healesville has a lot of creative people living here.”
Pictures: STEVE TANNER