Did you know Gold Coast Little Theatre began in 1950? We are the longest-running community theatre on the Gold Coast!
We present six productions each year, including a mix of plays, musicals and a One Act Play season. There’s so much talent on the Gold Coast. We love to showcase local performers on our stage and offer a space for creatives behind the scenes. Basically, we are a mixture of people from all walks of life, united by a common love of the theatre.
Gold Coast Little Theatre began in March 1950 after the wife of the editor of the Gold Coast Bulletin called a public meeting, which was attended by, amongst others, Gerda Pinter. The aim of the meeting was to discuss cultural activities on the Gold Coast and by the time the meeting was over they had decided to form a community theatre group known as the South Coast Little Theatre. Ken Price of the old law firm Price and Roobottom was the first president of the group and Barbara Andrews (from the well-known Andrews family) was the secretary: they performed in the Diggers Hall at the Southport RSL in Scarborough Street and rehearsed in a kindergarten which was situated where the fig tree courtyard is now at Australia Fair.
The first production was performed in May of that year; a selection of three One-Act Plays all directed by the late Joan Ross. The three plays were THE LION TAMER (a comedy) by H. Drake-Brockmann, WOMEN AT WAR (a drama) by Edward Percy and THE AGE OF LEISURE (a satire) by Neil Grant.
In 1964, the theatre group was incorporated by Letters Patent and became known as Gold Coast Little Theatre. The original members approached the citizens of Southport and, raising over £1400 from debentures, they purchased a block of land in Scarborough Street – later, a second adjacent block was donated to the group by Dr Mackie, and these blocks were eventually amalgamated in the 1980s. The members then acquired two World War II Army huts which were placed on the land in Scarborough Street and these became meeting rooms. Eventually the huts were moved to where they are now behind the main theatre and placed one on top of the other. Maurice Glassman was the member who led the campaign to raise money to purchase seats from an old movie house in Brisbane that were installed upstairs in the Army huts, and the first production in this dedicated intimate theatre space was presented in 1969, THE BALD PRIMA DONNA.
In the 1970s, the late Molly Leggett would hold Saturday morning classes for young Gold Coasters who were too young to join in the regular membership; Molly also directed a number of plays for adult actors during her time at GCLT. Now used for rehearsals and costumes, in the 1990s the original building became known as “Molly’s”, as a memorial to Molly’s dedication.
In 1980, Julanne Shearer wrote a submission on behalf of Gold Coast Little Theatre to the Queensland Government for a capital grant, and in July 1983 the current theatre building was officially opened. It had been built at a cost of $322,000; half of that money was raised by Gold Coast Little Theatre members, and the other half came from the capital grant from the Queensland Government. At the time it was the largest cultural capital grant ever made by the Queensland Government. The first play staged in the new theatre was THE CRUCIBLE, directed by Julanne Shearer.
From humble beginnings in 1950 in borrowed premises, the Gold Coast Little Theatre has now enjoyed over 35 years presenting quality entertainment in its own dedicated, purpose-built theatre in Southport. The company has presented over 200 productions in its almost seven-decade history, and looks forward to continuing to provide quality entertainment on the Gold Coast for many more years to come.
Gold Coast Little Theatre operates with a system of two committees. The Management Committee (MANCOM) ensures the smooth running of the theatre, with the help of Members who attend meetings once a month and submit reports. We also have a Production Committee (PRODCOM) which oversees the plays selected for each GCLT season. Committee members are elected at the AGM, held around the middle of each year.
2019-2020 Management Committee (MANCOM)
President: Roger McKenzie
Vice President: Maria Buckler
Past President: Laney McLean
Treasurer: Peter Lloyd
Assistant Treasurer: Sue Lenton
Honorary Secretary: Ralph Lenton
Assistant Secretary: Judy Neumann
Booking Officer: Vacant
Wardrobe Director: Shirley Whitehouse
Front of House: Bob Watson
Publicity Director: Stuart Morgan
Librarian: Lynette Smith
Technical Director: Lawrie Esmond
Building Director: Vacant
Social Convener: Elaine Hargrave
Production Chair: Amy-Louise Anderson
2019-2020 Production Committee (PRODCOM)
Chair: Amy-Louise Anderson
Gold Coast Little Theatre’s constitution is periodically updated with approval of the Management Committee. Read the constitution here
Gold Coast Little Theatre owes its existence and longevity to many people, especially our Life Members who have been instrumental in establishing and continuing its legacy.
John Rees Osborn
Congratulations to GCLT’s 2018 Gold Palm Theatre Awards winners!
Best Set Design
Gold Coast Little Theatre
Best Actor in a Supporting Role in a Community Theatre Play
Gold Coast Little Theatre
Run For Your Wife
Best Actress in a Leading Role in a Community Theatre Play
Gold Coast Little Theatre
Gold Coast Theatre Alliance
Gold Palm Theatre Awards