Kwinana Theatre Workshop – four decades of successful performances

The Kwinana Theatre Workshop (KTW) was formed in June 1969 after a couple of meetings in the homes of interested people. Most members had little knowledge of theatre but all were willing to learn from those that did. An informal committee meeting was held before the annual general meeting to elect committee members. Sketches and one-act plays were performed for members and friends before the group tackled its first full length production, The Killing of Sister George, presented in the Medina Hall in October 1969; it was a huge success and KTW went from strength to strength. For the next five years, performances were held in the Medina Hall and rehearsals at members’ homes. The group then rented a building from the Kwinana Town Council for a peppercorn rent at the corner of Atkinson Road and Munday Way in Medina. The result – a wonderful theatre in the round, loved by members and loyal patrons for the next 16 years. KTW hosted two drama festivals – one in 1983  and the other in 1985. In 1990 the Council built the Koorliny Arts Centre;  it was then that KTW moved into the new centre with a 10 year lease. The group worked tirelessly to turn their space into a lovely theatre. Dedicated members begged for wood from businesses around the metro area, to build the stage and platforms for seating. All the lighting, sound equipment, curtains and dress room facilities were purchased by KTW’s dedicated and passionate members. The first production in the new theatre was a successful musical, Sweet Charity and other musicals that followed were equally popular with audiences. A number of KTW actors started working professionally, a great testament to the quality of the club’s  high standards. But, sadly, over the last few years the end was nearing for KTW and in 2013, the club closed its doors for good. It was the end of a wonderful era for actors, directors, lighting technicians, back stage crew and last but not least the public who had remained faithful for 46 years.

Sadly, Margaret Hart, one of the founders of  KTW, passed away in August 2015. Press here for a tribute to Margaret from one of her fellow thespians.



1971   State Drama Festival –  Sorry Wrong Number –  Best production and Best Actress Barbara Shephard.

1975   State Drama Festival –  The Spiders –  Best Actor, Trevor Hart

1975   Robert Finlay Award  –  Night Must Fall –  Best production

1982   State Drama Festival – Conversations with a Golliwog – Best Actress

1984   Mandurah Drama Festival – Equal Terms – Best Production.

1984   Bunbury Festival – Sorry Wrong Number – Best Actress, Anne Osbourne

1984   State Drama Festival – Audition for a Writer – Best Actor and Actress, Trevor Hart and Sharon Simkin

1986   Robert Finlay Award – Absurd Person Singular – Best Drama

1987  Robert Finlay Awards – Consistent High Standard of Production

3 thoughts on “Kwinana Theatre Workshop – four decades of successful performances

  1. My mother and father were part of the original members of this theatre group. My mother Eileen Preston was still acting with the Kwinana theatre work shop until her 70s.
    My siblings and I spent many afternoon painting props and making scenery.

    1. I was a long time publicity officer for many KTW productions, and Eileen Preston was one of my favourite people there. It was a sad day when KTW wound up, with not a dry eye in the meeting that decided it. Thank you for reminding us of this great lady and organisation.
      Mike W

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