About Us

History

Mana Little Theatre is a small but vibrant boutique community theatre in Plimmerton, Porirua, New Zealand, a stone’s throw away from the Tasman Sea. We usually put on four shows per year, each having a two-week run, and hold occasional musical events.

 

Plimmerton was once a weekend holiday retreat for families living and working in Wellington city, but over the past 30 years has increasingly become a dormitory suburb of the capital, with residents who seek space, a better climate and the feeling of a village but an easy commute to the city. The theatre group’s first public production was at the end of July 1959, with a season of one act plays. Planning had started some months earlier when two local mothers decided the seaside village needed some cultural activities, called a public meeting, and the group was formed. For many years Mana Little Theatre performed in the Plimmerton Pavilion, with clubrooms in what was fondly known as ‘the hut’, an old classroom opposite Plimmerton’s fish and chip shop, and now the site of a community park. In the late 1970s, the old RSA rooms at the rear of the Pavilion were made available to the theatre to use as clubrooms – and it wasn’t long before ‘The Studio’ became home to Mana Little Theatre with nearly every production since being performed there.

Committee

2023 – 2024

Role / Committee Member

President / Sue Mortimer


Vice President / Lauren Ford-Jones


Secretary / Paulette McIndoe


Treasurer / Colin Clemens


Costumes / Sue Miller


Publicity / Blair McLean


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Theatre constitution

The current constitution of Mana Little Theatre can be viewed below:

In Memoriam

In loving memory of those who have graced our stage and enriched our community with their talent and passion for the arts, we honor their legacy and the indelible mark they have left on our hearts. Their performances illuminated our stages, their dedication inspired us, and their presence will forever be cherished. May their spirits continue to shine brightly in the memories we hold dear, guiding us as we carry their love for the stage forward.

John Wilce

March 2017

John Wilce, our much loved and stalwart member, passed away after a short illness. He was a much loved and respected member of our Committee, totally reliable, quietly getting on with the job and – despite what he thought – very definitely NOT just a set builder!

He was a real gentleman and is very much missed by us all.

In 2013, John received the Queen’s Service Medal for services to golf and the community. Below is a photo of John receiving this honour from Sir Jerry Mataparae, then Governor-General.

Benjamin Forrest

September 1991 – September 2021

We are devastated to hear of the death of our dear friend and MLT Committee member, Ben (BJ) Forrest.

BJ first became involved in theatre in 2013 when he was dragged in at the last minute to do sound for Porirua Little Theatre’s production of “Calendar Girls.’ The poor guy was faced with a stage full of women ‘of a certain age’ totally naked; His eyes never left his script! The cast included Sue Mortimer and Paulette McIndoe from Mana Little Theatre and they persuaded him to join MLT. He arrived with his mother, Fran Forrest and joined MLT that year. BJ took one look at our sound equipment and visibly paled – it didn’t take him long to drag us into the 21st century and we are indebted to his foresight and skill.

Most of our patrons probably never saw BJ but they will certainly have heard the results of his efforts. He was totally reliable (except for that one time when he fell asleep and forgot the gunshot right at the end of Murdered to Death on the night the adjudicator was there! We didn’t let him forget that and had a few laughs about it) Very little fazed him, except when we told him we had to have continuous surround sound from the minute the audience took their seat for ‘Once On Chunuk Bair’ That was the other occasion he went pale. In his usual methodical fashion, he worked it all out and together with lighting, won the award for effects. When our lighting guru left the area, BJ took it upon himself to learn how to set lights and recently was in the process of upgrading our whole system to LED.

In recent years we managed to persuade BJ to tread the boards. He first appeared on stage in a non-speaking role as the wolf in ‘Red Riding Hood’ – he was supposed to be the baddy but the audience fell in love with him – he stole every scene! Last year he appeared in his first speaking role in ‘Blackadder the Third’ as a French fop. This year he was due to appear in ‘Mabel.’

BJ was our friend, son, brother – quite simply, he was family. Jobs can be replaced but we can’t replace him and there will always be a BJ shaped gap in the lives of those who knew and loved him. Our hearts go out to his mum Fran, and sister Domonique and all the rest of his family and friends.

Rest In peace dear friend.

Marion Rosner

March 2024

We are truly sorry to learn of the passing of the wonderful Marion Rosner, a previous committee member director, actor and friend.
Marion appeared many times on the MLT stage throughout the years. She was an absolutely hilarious comic performer and always shined whether acting or directing.
Our hearts go out to her husband Adam and the rest of her family.