Welcome to Powderkeg Players

Powderkeg Players acknowledges the Traditional Owners of the land on which we meet. We pay our respects to their Elders, past, present and emerging.

SEASON 2021!

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We’re bringing Ben Elton’s brilliant work ‘Popcorn’ to our stage in 2021, directed by Ash Weidner.

Ben Elton’s wrote the novel and play  was sparked by the controversy of Oliver Stone’s Tarantino-scripted film Natural Born Killers over whether watching a violent film can make people commit violent acts.

Elton sets his story in the Hollywood mansion of film director Bruce Delamitri just before and after he wins an Oscar for his film about a young couple who go on a killing spree.  He has firmly rejected any responsibility for the actions of the Mall Murderers, a young couple who are killing people in a similar fashion to the characters in his movie.

However the real-life murderers break into Delamitri’s house on Oscar night and reveal that they are huge fans of his movies and they want the world to know about it.

First time director Ashley Weidner makes his way to Powderkeg for the first time to bring Elton’s funny, gripping and genuinely thought provoking piece to the Sunshine stage.

Tickets on sale soon!

Covid-19 and Season 2020

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The team at Powderekeg have made the tough decision to cancel the remaining  shows shows for 2020 due to the Covid-19 outbreak.

We’ve considered a number of factors is making this decision:

  • Brimbank City Council who own the facility in Phoenix Street North Sunshine, have closed the building and have not advised Powderkeg Players a timeline on which access will be available.
  • Current restrictions see the gathering of people indoors to soon be less than 20 and which has to take into account on-stage and back-stage volunteers, technicians and front of house staff.  Once this is increased to less than 50, reconsideration can be made in regards to social distancing indoors.
  • The timeline to organise a show, promote auditions/rehearsals and confirm performance dates is unknown and variable in the current climate and it is reasonable to consider this would apply for up to the next six months.
  • The cancellation of the VDL Awards and One-Act Play seasons throughout Victoria means projects that were specified for those purposes would be re-scheduled in 2021.

We know that artists and creatives are not able to do what they do as much at the moment. We all have to contribute to the restrictions on our society so we can beat this thing.

Their time will come again. And when it does, let’s be the first to support them, to buy tickets, to share pieces of work, to encourage, to discuss, to praise, to critique.

We’ll be back!  We’re not going anywhere.  Oh and 2021 has a little surprise for you all.

-Stephen Andrews. (President)

23rd Victorian Drama League Awards held on Sunday 24th November 2019

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Highlights from Powderkeg Players The Beast by Eddie Perfect direct by Tess Maurici

🎖Adjudicators Award to Donna and David Prince for creation of the cow
🥈Silver Award to Tess Maurici and Carol Own for best properties
🏆 Winner Ben Mitchell best actor in a minor role
🎈Nomination Caitlyn Yolland best actress in a minor role
🎈Nomination Kylie Ryan best actress in a leading role
🎈Nomination James Antonas best actor in a leading role
🏅Nomination Tess Maurici Best director in a Comedy
🐄 Nomination Powderkeg Players best production of a comedy
🙌Congratulations to all who won awards and nominations!

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President: Stephen Andrews

Secretary: Gemma Francis

Contact: powderkegplayers@gmail.com

Born in Melbourne’s west, the Powderkeg Players date back to the 70s and 80s where they staged several plays a year to a packed audience. We began life as the Dear Park Drama Group after a group of parents and teachers put on a Christmas production at Deer Park Primary school in 1971.  The play was so well received that the group negotiated a lease with the Commonwealth Department of Supply on the Albion Explosive Factory on Station Road. With a small grant from the Sunshine City Council, the group turned the empty hall into the Powderkeg Playhouse and their home.

Opening in 1973, the Powderkeg Playhouse was a named in tribute to it’s former life as an explosive factory and shortly after the Deer Park Drama Group changed their name to Powderkeg Players. For the next two and half decades the playhouse saw 85 productions and became the spiritual home of amateur theatre in Melbourne’s west. The group produced up to five shows a year with each dragging in an audience of almost one thousand people a season. It was at this time that the Powderkeg Players recognised the wider western suburbs community and decided to change their name Sunshine Community Theatre (SCT).

In 1998 the Powderkeg Playhouse was condemned and demolished, sending Sunshine Community Theatre searching for a new home. By the early 2000s a new multi-purpose venue was found in the heart of North Sunshine, at Dempster Park Hall. The group shared the venue with other community groups, which now meant they had to pack away the set and stage, each night after a performance and re-set it again the following day. ‘Bumping in’ and ‘bumping out’ on a daily basis in the same venue and other challenges contributed to lesser productions for the company.

A new wave began to develop towards the end of the 2000s as a young generation of talented locals joined the company which revived the enthusiasm in long standing members.  SCT started to grow again, winning the 2015 VDL Gold Award for Best Drama Production, for Ruben Guthrie, written by Brendan Cowell and directed by Racheal Holt.

Members have often reminisced about the glory days at the Powderkeg Playhouse, so in 2018 Sunshine Community Theatre decided to honour its past and change its name back to the Powderkeg Players, coming full circle.  2018 produced the award winning one act play ‘Slut’ by Patricia Cornelius and directed by Natasha Boyd.  Slut won one act play festivals at Macedon, Dandenong, South Gippsland and Seymour among a slew of other awards making it the most successful production ever staged by SCT/Powderkeg Players.

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