An Ōrewa playwright, theatre director and librettist has been honoured by the Australian Government for his services to the performing arts while he was living and working in Queensland for nine years.
David Crewe said he was astounded to hear he had been awarded an honorary Order of Australia medal and was looking forward to being able to travel Wellington for the investiture as soon as Covid restrictions allowed.
“I was amazed, it came completely out of the blue,” he said. “I had no idea it was going on.”
While living in Australia, David established a community drama group, wrote and directed 10 productions and a cantata, won a national songwriting contest, and was commissioned by the Queensland Government to write and direct a major open-air spectacular, Anzac Dawn, to commemorate the Gallipoli landings.
He and his wife Helen moved to Kerikeri in 2016, where David became co-founder and artistic director of the Stage Door Theatre Company and directed three of his own original works, as well as a wide range of plays, musicals and pantomimes.
In January, they moved to Ōrewa to be closer to family in Auckland and, while he has been busy overseeing home renovations, David has already been impressed by what he’s seen at Centrestage Theatre.
“There’s a huge amount of talent at Centrestage and young people keen to get into it,” he said. “I have been immensely impressed by the range and quality of talent of all ages on the stage.”
However, he is in no great hurry to dive too deeply into local theatre life and is enjoying a bit of a breather after the move south from Northland.
“I love the theatre and I love to entertain and work with people who are creative and love to act,” he said. “I’ve introduced myself, though I think I said at the time, after Kerikeri I wanted a break. I’m not in a hurry; I have done quite a lot!”