18-20 March 2016 - held in Rotorua
This was the largest conference on record with 329 attendees, including four from MAD (Ewan Grant-Mackie, Diane Connors, Tina Haakma and Graeme Humphrey). There were lots of good seminar and discussion groups as usual. Some key ones were Stage Management, Cost Effective Marketing, Social Media and Health and Safety. Conference is also an opportunity to experience back stage tours of local theatres, where we note good practices and systems (while trying to control the green eyed moster). We were pleased to be invited to explore the Civic theatre in the Sir Howard Morrison Conference Centre and Casablanca. Attendees have returned with a long list of ideas and possibities. Despite the fact that Ewan is our president (and current minute taker) the committee managed some subterfuge with our nomination of him for the MTNZ Merit awards. During the presentations on Friday night he suddenly heard his own name. After a couple of seconds to register (and a quick flick of his head towards the rest of us beaming and say "we got you") he humbly accepted the award. Ewan has worked so hard for theatre and has kept up a wonderful friendly spirit throughout. He proudly wore both his Thames MAD Life Member badge and MTNZ Merit Award for the rest of conference. As Mr Richard O'Brien officially opened the Rotovegas themed conference, it seemed fitting to end Saturday night with dancing and singing "Lets Do The Time Warp Again". Check out the images below for a glimpse of the weekend.
20-22 March 2015 - hosted by ShowBiz Christchurch
A total of nine MAD members attended conference this year (Ewan Grant-Mackie, Judy Thomas, Diane Connors, Amanda Challis, Tina Haakma, Norm Hammond, Will Smith, Auriol Farquhar and Lois Wright). It was an amazing experience to able to spend time in the various venues - including the newly reopened Issac Theatre Royal, NASDA and Showbiz Christchurch's theatre. We all went off to various seminars and workshops build up our skills and knowledege in the area of stage makeup, marketing, use of social media, choreography for all, effective use of a chorus, health & safety, how to look after our vocal chords and strategic planning. The AGM formalities were dealt with and the new long term plan for MTNZ adopted. Thames Musical And Drama life member, Noeline Loader, received a MTNZ Merit award, Ian Reid (immediate past president of MTNZ) and Dianne & Graeme Philip (from John Herber Ltd.) were made life members of MTNZ, but the highlight was winning our category of the programmes competition for 'Mayhem in Melodium'. Oh ... and it was Will's birthday on the Saturday so we had 260 delegates sing him Happy Birthday during the AGM. I think we all got some real value from the conference and have come back fired up and rearing to go. I hope you enjoy a little insight into the weekend from the photos below.