Margaret and Trevor Hart arrived in Australia with three children in 1967 and settled in Kwinana early 1968.
After enrolling the children in school and considering work opportunities, Trevor accepted a position with Alcoa, an association that lasted until retirement in 1997.
After two years settling into Calista, Margaret, wishing to further her interests in artistic expression persuaded Trevor to attend an inaugural meeting for the formation of a local theatre group. From that meeting in 1969, the Kwinana Theatre Workshop (KTW) came into existence and the enthusiasm of those present was so infectious that the Hart’s theatrical life began.
Although not too keen on putting himself in the public eye, Trevor thought of helping backstage. Margaret was more enthusiastic, and after a short time helping with wardrobe and make-up, she soon found herself in the spotlight, performing in a variety of roles between 1970 and 1988. The effort required to staging a presentation simply became a step to all other aspects of working the in the life of community theatre. As well as stage work and directing, Trevor held the positions of Secretary, Chairman and general dogsbody. Margaret served as Workshop President for six years running. Both Margaret and Trevor were key players in the construction of the Kwinana Community Arts Centre, now Koorliny.
During thirty years of being a member of Kwinana Theatre, Trevor acted in 54 performances, and Directed 32 full-length public presentations, along with numerous one act plays. He also won two Best Actor awards at State Drama Festivals and appeared in three professional Perth Playhouse productions. He also served on Kwinana Council from 1986 to 1992.
After KTW’s inauguration, Margaret was eager to expand her skills and imagination and undertook a drama course in Perth at the National Theatre. She soon began concentrating her skills in Directing. Her talents were quickly recognised, and as Director she was awarded Best Production at the Cultural Development Council State Drama Festival in 1971 for her production of “Sorry, Wrong Number, then again in 1973 and 1975, for KTW’s performance of “No Why” and “The Spiders” respectively.
At the 1971 Hyde Park Festival, Margaret was assistant stage manager of the entertainment section. For the official launching of Kwinana’s history book, Third Time Lucky, published to commemorate the 25th Anniversary of the Town’s inception, Margaret was invited by author Laurie Russell and Kwinana Mayor, Frank Baker, to stage a re-enactment of a segment of the book. This play was subsequently performed at the Parmelia Hotel, Perth. In addition to her work with KTW, Margaret was also instrumental in establishing Kwinana’s Junior Theatre Workshop and was a founding committee member of Independent Theatre Association (WA) where she served an adjudicator for the Robert Finley Awards, the equivalent of the Oscars for local amateur theatre, from 1989-1991.
After four decades of successful performances, KTW closed its doors in 2013. Sadly, Margaret passed away in August 2015 at the age of 77.
Her passing was a great loss to the community and we thank the Harts for their role in helping to establish theatre as a vibrant aspect of Kwinana culture.
For a history of the various activities and performances of KTW, please click here.