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Barry Spring

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During his time as an AFS exchange student in the States Barry was not only inducted into the American Thespian society but also met Shirley, his wife-to-be. In the years since, he has directed 33 plays for groups such as Dolphin Theatre, Pilgrim Productions and Howick Little Theater. His production of “On Golden Pond” for Howick won the Drama League award for Best Play of the Year, and he also holds nine acting and directing cups from Dolphin. Barry was on stage at the Stables a few years back in Sam Winer’s production of “Taking Sides” and is now returning with a play that is playing all over the world at this moment owing to the success of playwright Alan Ball (“American Beauty” and “Six Feet Under”) and its modern, funny but moving characters who inhabit the same dress. This production of Five Women Wearing the Same Dress is the N Z premiere and is slated for professional production in 2011.

Apart from New Zealand, the United States is the only country Barry has actually lived in, originally as an exchange student. During his many visits to the states since, he has seen much of the country and met many people, from California to New York, New England to Florida. He guesses, then, it is only natural that he usually directs and acts in plays from these two countries. A director must not only fee at ease with the rhythm of the language, the characteristics unique to a particular geographic area, but also must genuinely admire and feel akin to them.

In over sixty years of theatre, and having directed almost forty shows for Pilgrim Productions, Howick Little Theatre and Dolphin Theatre he was pleased to be approached by ETS to direct his second show here. The first was the popular Five Women Wearing the Same Dress back in 2010, which drew an audition of over thirty actresses. The magnet of live theatre still retains great fascination for him, and he has enjoyed success both as an actor, winning many awards, and a director, with awards from Dolphin, ACTT (Auckland Community Theatre Trust) and the old British Drama League.

Things My Mother Taught Me is similar to a good TV sitcom. A young couple, their in-laws, the misunderstandings, reconciliations .... not of Shakespearean stature, but simply very recognisable people, with recognisable foibles, living recognisable lives. It is funny, moving and lovable, and Barry hopes his cast and crew will be able to present a great evening to an audience so they can leave with a smile on their faces and perhaps recalling similar memories of their own.

'Dedicated to my mother Melba who taught me about life's important stuff' says Barry.

For Ellerslie TheatreThings My Mother Taught Me (2015)director
Things My Mother Taught Me (2015)sound designer
Five Women Wearing the Same Dress (2010)director
Disposing Of The Body (2001)Alexander Barley
Taking Sides (2000)Major Steve Arnold