Going behind the scenes at The 1812 Theatre

1812 Theatre is located in Ferntree Gully.

By Peter Kemp

The production of a play ,for instance, at The 1812 Theatre involves far more people than just the actors on the stage. If you enter a theatre to see a production at The 1812 Theatre the first is a greeting and the giving of a program and then onto the bar for a drink or a chocolate. These people are all volunteers, and they help to make the evening a pleasurable visit.

Do you perhaps wonder about the sets, the lighting, the changing of sets, the movement on and off stage by the cast? Yes, there are people backstage who organise the sets, the lighting and the movement on and off.

Why do they do it?

It is an extremely rewarding experience, it builds lifelong friendships, it enables them to utilise existing skills as well as developing new skills. And they enjoy being part of the production.

Set Building:

No production is complete without the set suiting the play. The building of said set involves design, painting, carpentry, furniture restoration, and electrical work.

Experienced chippies, electricians, designers are always welcome along with people who are eager to lend a hand and don’t mind getting a little grubby.

While the sets are being built, costumes have to be made. Working with the director this means machine and hand sewing and fitting of outfits on the actors.


This involves the changes made to the sets on stage during the performance. This could range from providing an empty cup to a critical time before they go onstage to changes of scene between acts while the lights are down.

If you can tiptoe in the darkness and enjoy the adrenaline rush of being involved in a live performance without being an actor then this is for you.

Front of House:

This is the face of The 1812 Theatre, you could be the lovely lady or gent who greets you at the door with a program and welcomes you to the theatre. Then off to the bar for a drink prior to the show and then into the theatre guided by ushers showing you to your seat.

Techcrew/bio box:

The designers choreograph the lighting and sound as part of the preparation of the play. The technical crew and biobox operate the sound and lighting during the performance and you could be working with special effects.

As you see much more goes on behind the scenes that most people don’t realise.

The 1812 Theatre is always looking for volunteers, so this is a good way to make new friends, learn new skills and perhaps if you are a newcomer to Ferntree Gully it is another way to get to know your community.

The 1812 Theatre will always make you welcome and their phone number is 9758 394.