Company History

 

Windmill Theatre Company is an incorporated association based in the City of Casey.  We are a not for profit organisation of volunteers governed by a committee of nine members of the company.

Windmill Theatre Company started in 1968 as Westernport Light Opera Company founded by teachers at the Koo Wee Rup High School.  Early performances were held in an old movie theatre - St George’s Hall, Koo Wee Rup.

The late 70’s early 80’s also saw a foray into variety shows with performances held at both Pakenham and Dandenong High School Halls as well as the St George’s hall. Shows were also performed in a theatre on the site where Chadstone Shopping Centre currently stands.

In 1979, to reflect that the Company was staging dramas as well as musicals, we became the "Westernport Theatre Company” and in 1984 moved to the newly built Monash High School Theatre and then also began performing some shows at the Berwick Performing Arts Centre.

In 1993, on the 25th Anniversary of the company, we had moved away from being “Westernport” based with cast and patrons now being drawn from Cardinia, Casey and Dandenong districts.  Wanting to keep WTC as the initials and after discussions regarding the name going around and around in circles, “Windmill” was suggested and ultimately stuck.

In 2000 Windmill briefly entered into a joint arrangement with Adlib Entertainment to perform pantomimes in between their major shows in the City of Casey, and in 2002 the newly built Cranbourne Community Centre played host to the first of a number of shows that the company has performed at that venue.

Monash was now an aging facility in need of constant repairs and the company looked to alternative venues as it was becoming clearer closure of the venue was inevitable.  Grease was performed at the new Cardinia Cultural Centre in 2005, and then in 2007 when the new Drum Theatre in Dandenong had opened the company began performing its major musical there annually.

Due to issues with size, layout and management of the theatre, in 2009 the company ceased performing at the Cardinia Cultural Centre choosing to focus solely on a single musical presented in June/July at the Drum Theatre.

 

Windmilll relocated their costume depot in January 2016 from Pakenham to Star Crescent, Hallam. This year also saw Windmill return to performing two annual shows, with our January show aimed predominantly at younger audiences, and engaging local creative talent to write and direct.  After the great success of the 2016 and 2017 pantomimes staged at the Cranbourne Community Centre, Windmill continues performing in January, now showcasing the talent of Melbourne's youth, in a variety concert. 

Since celebrating our 50th Anniversary in 2017, Windmill has relocated our set-building depot from the sadly deteriorating Pakenham depot into The Factory at Cranbourne. This move now sees Windmill solely operational within the City of Casey after having been certified as the resident theatre company at Narre Warren's Bunjil Place Theatre.

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