Our History

Gemco is a community theatre group, which began over 30 years ago in Emerald.

  • Over that time Gemco has performed to over 45,000 people using some 3,600 people on or offstage
  • Gemco has had over 1900 young people involved in its’ Youth/Children’s programs
  • All leaders and committee give their time voluntarily
  • Gemco has raised over $20,000 for groups within the community and beyond
  • Over 70% of material is Australian with much of it locally written
  • Gemco is incorporated i.e. a not for profit organisation
  • The youth theatre has grown in the last 9 years from 15 young people, to 60 young people attending per week and a waiting list
  • “Hot Mikado” – was not able to be performed at Gemco Hall due to space constraints – in fact, the rehearsals became impossible towards the end when the whole company was assembled. Gemco has had a fabulous and colourful past. Soon you will be able to relive the Gemco experience by browsing through the history of Gemco, year by year. Learning which productions were performed when, what awards were won in which year and what major millstones and other events happened.

Read about what Gemco has done for the youth of the Hills in Belinda Smullen’s Ode to Gemco. Aside from all of the productions that Gemco has put on over the past few decades, we have also been involved in the following:

  • A capella Singing workshops by local singer Suzann Frisk called “Vocal Nosh”
  • Further acoustic music nights in an informal setting giving local performers the chance to perform in an excellently acoustic environment, run by Carol McCoy and friends. Both these events arose from the performing arts festival.

Involvement in community events include:

  • Cockatoo’s celebration of the International Year of the Volunteer,
  • Senior Citizens week closing concert at Cardinia Cultural Centre,
  • Emerald Winterfest street entertainment.

Over the past few years, Gemco has hosted:

  • The 6th – 13th Dandenong Ranges One Act Play Festivals a competitive event between groups from all over the State, this one being known as “the friendly festival” and also one of the few that offers Youth prizes. The festival occurs as a curtain raiser for the Winterfest in Emerald on the third weekend in July each year.

Fundraising for others has included:

  • A concert in aid of the “Bali Appeal” and
  • A special fundraiser for the Tenderfoot Kindergarten in Nairobi, Kenya.
  • During this period funds were raised for the local Palliative Care group.
  • Over $3000 was raised in 2005 for the victims of the Tsunami disaster via an outdoor music day held in the Gemco car-park.

Other groups who have booked and used the Gemco Hall include:

  • The Phoenix Recorder Consort, Emerald Primary School, Emerald Performing Arts Company, The Dandenong Ranges Orchestra, Beaconhills College’s Year 9 Productions, Sixth Sense Theatre Company (UK), TheatreBox and also the Flinders Quartet who performed prior to their entry into the London and Melbourne International String Quartet competitions.

You too can book the Gemco hall for your own play, party or special event! Contact us for more information.