New theatre company inspires and nurtures God-given talent
Many may know Dan Widdowson as the former presenter of Saturday Disney host at Network Seven from 2000-2007, but most of us know him as the talented breakfast co-host of Hope 103.2’s program with Laura Bennett.
Dan is also a scriptwriter and Associate Pastor at Coast Community Church. He has deep desire to perform and help others unlock that “God-given” talent within them. Dan’s passion to perform and encouragement of others talent has seen him launch the Salt House Theatre Company. They’re offering Workshops, Performance Groups, and Touring Groups for six year olds to adults.
Salt House Theatre Company was born from a ministry that Dan and his wife Leia ran during their time on Norfolk Island. In the three years they were there they ran both a youth group and a separate drama group.
“We found that more young people attended the drama group and opened up more about their life dreams and life struggles. Perhaps this was because when you take to the stage there is a level of vulnerability and trust of the others on stage with you, “ said Dan of the group on Norfolk Island.
They have bought the idea back to the mainland and when Dan took over the role as Associate Pastor at Coast Community Church it has continued to enhance the youth ministry. In 2014 Dan produced and directed “Beauty & the Beast” and they have just finished a season of “Mulan”.
“We had so many young people get involved and unlock these talents they never knew were inside them,” says Dan.
“I hold a firm conviction that God has placed unique gifts inside every single person. Sometimes we’re unaware of these abilities, that is until we take the time to explore. At Salt House Theatre Company we work in teams with the purpose of discovering the skillset God has placed inside each performer. We then train the performer to fine tune and practice their gifts alongside others,” says Daniel of his desire to explore and uncover potential talent.
“Enrolling in a Salt House Theatre Company Workshop gives you the opportunity to create unique performances as part of a performer driven creative conglomerate. Throughout the workshop, performers practice the art of improvisation and storytelling. Gradually the ad-lib performances are grouped and scripted, serving as the base for a mid-year and end-of-year showcase.”
While there are a lot of theatre groups around, few offer the opportunity to be encouraged in the performance gifts, Dan believes Salt House can encourage and grow.
Salt House has a unique connection to the Uniting Church, with workshops being held at Kincumber Uniting Church.
“It has been a blessings to work with Kincumber Uniting Church, they caught the vision of helping young people find their God given gifts and wanted to work alongside us,” says Dan of working with the local Uniting Church who have also caught Dan and Leia’s vision of reaching into coast community youth’s lives in a positive way.
“You do have to put in a lot of time and effort, but you do get a good result in the end,”explains Year 10 Student, Kira Edmonds.
“You get to completely embrace another character & explore a new side to you,” says Jack Styles, Adult student.
Daniel Widdowson is an Australian of the Year finalist for contributions to the Arts, an Australian Playwright finalist, and recipient of the Collins Booksellers Arts Award. His writing credits include two feature length documentaries, scripts for Home & Away, children’s dramas, and he is a member of the Australian Writer’s Guild. Whilst previously working on Network Seven’s Saturday Disney & Ground Force, he currently announces Hope Breakfast on Hope 103.2, and serves on the Board of Directors for Council of Churches NSW Broadcasters Committee. Concerning study, Daniel holds a Master of Theology majoring in Hermeneutics, a Bachelor of Theology majoring in Biblical Studies, and he is a graduate of the Power of Acting Course at The Actors Centre.
Enrolments are currently being taken for 2016.
Visit the website at www.salthousetheatrecompany.com.au
For all enquiries contact Administration Manager: Leia Widdowson / email@example.com / 0402 475 010
Workshops being held throughout the four terms next year at Kincumber Uniting Church, cnr Avoca Drive and Killuna Road Avoca NSW 2251.