At the confluence of the Taylor and Ōpaoa rivers lies the Boathouse Theatre, home to the Marlborough Repertory Society since 1971. Created out of a storage shed for rowing skiffs and wholly owned by the society this wonderfully intimate theatre was designed by Raymond Boyce of Wellington. It has been the location for upwards of 100 productions encompassing full length and one act plays, musical theatre, theatre festivals, touring productions, book festivals and members' club nights.
Rooted in the community the theatre has been one of the powerhouses of the amateur theatre scene in Marlborough driven by the commitment and passion of its members and the generous support of the theatre going public.
However it didn't start there. On August 10 1948 the decision was made to form a local amateur dramatic group and the Marlborough Repertory Society was born. The minutes of the foundation meeting recorded numbers attending at 72 with 24 apologies which was certainly a promising start. Without a permanent home (until 1950) early productions were staged in the Springlands Hall, Blenheim Town Hall and His Majesty's Theatre.
Amateur theatre is not really about the bricks and mortar, nor is it about the drive and enthusiasm of the dedicated souls who perform, direct, run light and sound, build, paint, provide refreshments and usher patrons to their seats. Rather it's about you, the theatre going public – you are the harshest critics and the lifeblood of the local theatre scene so this website is really your curtain call and the applause is yours...thank you.
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