Since 1932, Port Elizabeth’s longest running drama society has been bringing some of the best and most loved community theatre offerings to Bay theatre lovers.
Now, the Port Elizabeth Gilbert Sullivan Society coincides its 85th birthday celebration with its 150th production, Broadway Beyond.
Society president Rose Cowpar said there was much for the public to look forward to in Broadway Beyond, a theatrical celebration of songs from the last 85 years of the society’s productions.
She said the production, which she would direct with Angela Freer as the vocal director and choreographer Sian-Beth Hitchener, would be a merger of old and new jams.
Familiar tunes featured in the first act of the production are from previous musicals staged, including Oklahoma, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat, and Cabaret, while the second act introduces the likes of Dear Evan Hansen, School of Rock, Hamilton and more.
In its 85 years of existence, the PE Gilbert Sullivan Society has achieved its mission to promote musical theatre and bring in acclaimed talent from outside Port Elizabeth that local theatre actors could learn from.
“Originally, the goal of the society was to promote musical theatre in the arts and create different types of shows, which was not done for a very long time, but I think particularly in the last 10 years, we have certainly broadened our offering to the people,” Cowpar said.
While the society has, over the years, entertained Port Elizabethans with celebrated theatrical productions, and developed talent young and old, some of whom have now become recognised beyond just Port Elizabeth, there is still more to be achieved on the agenda.