The local play Flame Trees has proven to be a big success in Kempsey, with over 500 people going to see the contemporary stage production over the past two weeks.
"I wanted this play to run in Kempsey because I wanted to reintroduce live contemporary theatre to the town," director and writer Chris Dockrill said.
"The response we have received shows that there is a demand and a need for live theatre in Kempsey."
Chris said the reality of live theatre disappearing from country towns is a generational issue.
"You need to find what a young audience is interested in, and that's proving to be something that is more of a serious show," he said.
"The Bandox Theatre no longer being a part-time cinema has made putting on a show there a lot easier. We were able to conduct rehearsals there and we weren't restricted by cinema showing times. It's been a huge advantage."
Chris said getting young locals into theatre has always been a passion of his and he hopes Flame Trees will inspire others to create their own stage productions.
"Drama isn't offered in school as much as it used to be, it's not as popular. But if people can see live theatre and what it's like, hopefully they will pursue it.
"Even using the Banbox as a drama club for high school students instead of their school hall would be great."
Flame Trees will finish up at the Bandox this weekend, with two shows at 7.30pm on Friday and Saturday and one matinee at 2pm on Sunday.
"I've been overwhelmed with the response from the community. It's great to see people discovering the magic of live theatre."
Chris said he is looking at ways to take Flame Trees on the road.
"I think the play would resonate with many other communities and it is something I am looking into," he said.
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