Drama Exposes Family Skeletons

L-R Julian Harrison (Robert) and Terry Hooper (Stanley) in rehearsal for Because of Beth
L-R Emma-Mae Eglinton (Cara) and Emily Briggs (Penny) in rehearsal for Because of Beth
The first HLT Studio production at Howick Little Theatre Because of Beth promises to be a compelling drama about life, death, secrets and lies.


The first HLT Studio production at Howick Little Theatre Because of Beth promises to be a compelling drama about life, death, secrets and lies.

The play, written by American Elana Gartner, has been re-set in New Zealand with the writer’s cooperation. It explores the difficult family relationships and revelations that emerge after the death of Beth. Beth’s feuding daughters, distraught fiancé and estranged ex-husband must deal with their grief and come to terms with the past in order to move forward.

Director Pam Browne doesn’t want to give too much away about how the story unfolds but hopes that audiences will connect with the themes of the play. “Many families have the odd skeleton in the cupboard which can come to light after the death of a loved one. In those situations the mourning process can also be quite cathartic.”

Pam says she has been involved in theatre for longer than she dares think about, both as an actor and working behind the scenes. Because of Beth is however her first foray into directing a full-length play. Last year she completed the eight-week Introduction to Directing for Theatre programme run by Howick Little Theatre. She was thrilled to then be asked to direct the first piece for the 2015 HLT Studio season.

The cast of four represents a great combination of youth and experience. Both Terry Hooper, who plays the fiancé, and Julian Harrison, as the ex-husband, are talented actors and directors who have considerable knowledge of theatre. Emma-Mae Eglinton, who plays Beth’s older daughter Cara, is a young actress who is already getting noticed. And Mcleans College student Emily Briggs, at only 15, has displayed an ability and confidence that is well beyond her years.

Pam admits that directing such a poignant drama has been a challenging but extremely worthwhile process. “The most important thing I learned on the HLT directing course was to choose good people. I feel so fortunate to be working with such a wonderful mix of seasoned professionals and emerging young talent. I am confident that I chose great people! “

Because of Beth 25 – 28 March at 8pm with matinee 28 March at 2pm
Howick Little Theatre, 1 Sir Lloyd Drive, Pakuranga, Auckland
Bookings through iTicket – www.iticket.co.nz

The Studio at HLT, supported by Howick Little Theatre, was founded by Artistic Director Terry Hooper and The Studio Director Nick Martin. It aims to showcase new creative practitioners and works as well as encouraging new talent to get involved all aspects of theatre.

Further information: 

Because of Beth is produced by The Studio at HLT – facebook.com/thestudiohlt

Written by

The Studio at HLT

19 Mar 2015