March 31, 2023


The History of Musical Theatre Gisborne

Musical Theatre Gisborne was established in 2008 as a result of two Musical Societies combining,  Gisborne Musical Theatre (Formerly Gisborne Operatic Society) and Gisborne Theatre Arts.

Gisborne Operatic Society began in 1892.  The first production was ‘Iolanthe’ in the Theatre Royal.

There were no shows during the Boer War and then once again during  WW1.  Shows continued in the 1920s, at this time in the Opera House.  The depression years of the 1930s put a halt again to productions.  At the end of the 1930s two shows were performed before WW2 started, again halting productions.  Another 10 years went by before GOS came back with ‘Belle of New York’ in 1949.  GOS staged productions at the Opera House through till 1966.  Productions, then in the Memorial Hall, of which then became the War Memorial Theatre in 1975.  Celebrations in 1992 marked the 100 years anniversary.    On  through  the 1980s and 1990s.  GOS changed their name to Gisborne Musical Theatre in 2005. Producing the last show then in 2006,  ‘The Sound of Music’, before amalgamation.

Gisborne Theatre Arts was established in 1977 as Musical Theatre Restaurant, having its first production ‘The Boyfriend’ at the Museum Concourse. Classic and Modern Musicals were staged at Lawson Field Theatre.  GTA built  Clubrooms, in Innes Street in the mid 1980s.  Celebrating 30 years in 2007.  Producing the last show that same year, ‘HMS Pinafore’ before amalgamation.

The two Societies came to an agreement to combine resources and become a new entity, holding onto the history of both societies, with both moving  into the Innes Street property where MTG currently resides.

In 2008 Musical Theatre Gisborne   was established as the new Society.  The first production ‘Chicago’ was showcased by the newly formed society.

MTG has produced many fantastic shows since 2008 and with the War Memorial Theatre, Lawson Feild Theatre and the MTG clubrooms all  having undergone extensive renovations we look forward to continuing to bring you Musical Theatre Shows using the amazing talent Tairawhiti has to offer.

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