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Take Ten over the years

A list of the top ten plays from the our festivals. 

2023 - Take Ten 

The Waiting Room. Author: Clare Griffin 

Clare’s play The Karma Fairy came runner up in the Take Ten Festival in 2017 and she was Highly Commended in the HNSA First Page competition in 2021. Her novel Tumble was long-listed for the Adaptable Prize in 2021.You can find Clare on Instagram and Facebook at ClareGriffinWriter

Director: Cat Tregillis

Characters: Jessica played by Sarah Wallis
Shaun played by Caine Aylen

Administrator played by Maxine Neville 

Director:  Cat Tregillis

Cat has been involved in Gemco over the past 6 years, having multiple roles including actor, stage manager and committee member.  She has been involved in a number of Take 10 festivals as actor, writer and this is her second go at directing.  Her most recent acting roles have include parts in Much Ado About Nothing, Women of Troy and Going

 Sarah Wallis playing Jessica

Sarah has been involved with Gemco since 2020, mostly as a cast member in ‘Murder on the Puffing Billy Express’ and ‘Day Out with Thomas’. Sarah is delighted to be a part of the Take 10 Festival again after acting in three of the plays last year.  Sarah considers joining Gemco to be one of the best things  she’s ever done! Sarah has been a Disability Support Worker since 2013 and loves her job wholeheartedly. Sarah used to live in Emerald as a child, making being apart of Gemco all the more special to her.

Caine Aylen playing Shaun

A life long resident of the Hills, Caine has been enamoured with the theatre since early high school. After studying with Associated Studios Australia in 2020, he is ready to take on what he has learned to practice.

 Maxine Neville playing The Administrator 

Maxine has been a part of student and community theatre for 20 years. This has included a wide variety of shows: from comedies such as Henry VIII The Musical and Going Postal to Shakespearean performances such as Coriolanus and A Midsummer Night’s Dream. Maxine loves the camaraderie in the Theatre and the welcoming nature of Gemco in particular.

Title of Play: Please Hold On

Running Time: 10 Minutes

Style of Play: Drama/Comedy

Play Rating: PG

Play Synopsis: Who’s behind those placid voices that announce the next bus stop, tell us to exit from the rear, urge us to hold on for our own safety? It turns out those voices want to connect with others, just the way the rest of us do. Take a 10-minute bus ride and hear them share a secret or two, and also reveal the course they take to find a life outside the bus.

Author: Cherielyn Ferguson

Author Bio:  Cherielyn Ferguson is pleased to be part of Gemco Players’ Take Ten Festival. Cherielyn is a member of the Dramatists Guild, Theatre Bay Area, Berkeley’s Play Café, and PlayGround-SF’s2022-23 writers pool. PlayGround-SF selected Going to the Trouble for its November Monday Night staged reading. Oakland’s Pan Theatre included This Will Be Thine in its recent new play program, and Minneapolis’s Chameleon Theatre Circle read Lit Crit as part of its 2023 festival of new works.

Director: Mandy McGarrigle 

Characters: Woman - Leharna Black 

Man -  Mat Greenaway

Director: Mandy McGarrigle

Mandy McGarrigle has been part of Gemco since its humble beginnings in 1979. She was then 14 years old. She operated the lights for the first show, was the youngest member of the first committee and started the youth section a few years later. She is very proud that the youth groups are going strong and now have more than 60 amazing young performers attending every week. Mandy has been teaching Drama and directing plays for many years and loves every minute of it.

Leharna Black playing Woman 

Leharna Black has been involved in the arts, theatre and music since her mid teens.  Credits include: CLOC Musical Theatre: Anything Goes (2000), Desolation Angels (2006) short film, The Extra (2008) feature film, Women’s Circus physical theatre: Sacred (2004), Daddy (2005), Antechamber (2007), Here (2008); Commonwealth Games Opening Ceremony (2006).  Leharna currently has an interest in Kirtan and the use of sound and voice in meditative practice.

Mat Greenaway playing Man

 Mat was born to entertain! He is delighted that you have the honour of admiring his acting prowess. With any luck you may even get the chance to have Mat sign your program after the show! Don't be shy to rub shoulders with fame and fortune now...

Mat is still single and ready to mingle.

Title of Play: Outcasts and Rebels 

Running Time: 10 minutes

Style of Play: Drama

Play Rating: G

Play Synopsis: Gram looks for and finds her granddaughter Cassie after she has gone missing for a day.  Through questions and cajoling, Gram and Cassie find out they are very much alike. 

Author: Marj O’Neill-Butler

Author Bio: Marj O’Neill-Butler, a resident of Miami Beach, Florida, is the Regional Rep for the Dramatists Guild – Florida Region. She is also a member of the New Play Exchange, Honour Roll and the International Centre for Women Playwrights. Her work has been seen in 32 states, the District of Columbia, Canada, Great Britain, Scotland, Malaysia, Hong Kong, Australia and S. Korea. She has had 62 different plays produced in multiple theatres, numerous readings and of course, many rejections.  A published playwright and mother of two grown sons, Marj is a proud member of Actors Equity and SAG-AFTRA.

Director: Mandy McGarrigle

Characters: Gran played by Margie Gemmell
Cassie played by  Safiye Drummond
  Director: Mandy McGarrigle 

Mandy discovered her love of the theatre through her involvement with Gemco as a teenager and went on to study performing arts at Deakin University. She worked as stage manager with her dear friend Julie Day as they took Julie's original play to the Edinburgh festival. Mandy directed the same play here at the Gemco last year and loved every minute of it.

Margie Gemmell playing Gram

Margie is a life member of Gemco and has been a participant in most areas of its existence, on and off stage since its inception forty odd years ago. 

She loves taking part in the Ten Minute Play Festival and is really enjoying pairing up with Safi to do Outcasts and Rebels. 

Safi Drummond playing Cassie

Born in Istanbul, raised locally in Emerald, Safi is a budding actor in her first year of secondary school, who enjoys the creative outlet Gemco activity provides. She has been a regular on the Gemco community drama scene starting at just 4, and has had the pleasure of a variety of roles, including but not limited to Macbeth’s witch, an alien and Mole from Wind in the Willows. She has immensely enjoyed taking part in her second Take Ten play.

Title of Play: The Worst Taste

Running Time: 10 minutes

Style of Play: Drama / Comedy

Play Rating: MA

Play Synopsis: It's the morning after a one-night stand and a woman is hiding in her bathroom contemplating her life choices, sexual history and whether the man still in her bed, could be 'the one'. 

Author: Katie Lee 

Author Bio: Katie has been involved in local community and school theatre in Gippsland for over twelve years.  As a writer, Katie has had short plays performed at Gemco’s Take Ten, La Mama Melbourne, Baggage Productions, ARKfest, Melbourne Writer's Festival, and Short + Sweet. In 2018 her original One Act Play ‘The Reveal’ premiered at The Butterfly Club at Melbourne Fringe Festival.

Director: Leharna Black and Mandy McGarrigle 

 Characters: Woman played by Julia Lambert

Directors: Leharna Black and Mandy McGarrigle. 

This is Leharna’s directorial debut, she is grateful for the guidance of the talented Mandy McGarrigle. 

Julia is an awesome actress and directing her in this funny yet poignant play has been an absolute delight.  

Leharna and Mandy met at last years Take Ten and have been looking forward to working together. 

Co directing is great fun, a huge learning experience and very rewarding. 

Looking forward to next year’s festival. 

Julia Lambert playing Woman in Bathroom. 

Julia is an actor and director with a passion for physical theatre and creating new work. She has collaborated across Gippsland and Melbourne as a performer, producer and director. Julia has a bias for contemporary and Australian work, but is ultimately drawn to theatre that speaks to the human condition. 

She enjoys watching and making theatre that makes you think, and makes you laugh. 

Title of Play: Pathways

Running Time: 10 minutes

Style of Play: Scifi/Dystopia

Play Rating: M

Play Synopsis: Jim and Jessica split up over 18 months ago.  Now Jim has returned—to rekindle a love he hopes will never end.  Will Jessica take him back?  In this day and age, things are always more complicated than you realise.

Author: Michael Olsen 

Author Bio: Michael has been involved in theatre for over 30 years.  His work has been performed in Australia, New Zealand, the UK, Europe, Africa and the US.   His best-known play, Two Women & A Chair, has been performed at the Edinburgh and Prague Fringe Festivals.  Michael has a second play in this festival called Swimming in Sebastopol which you will see after interval. 

Director:  Marc Williams

Characters: Jim played by Mat Greenaway
Jessica played by Evie Housham Director: Marc Williams 

Despite years of working backstage and on-stage, this is only Marc’s second time directing and his first time doing so with someone else’s play. His previous effort was his own work “Wow!” in Gemco’s One act Play festival of 2015 which was then toured to other OAP festivals. He hopes you enjoy “Pathways” which he says intrigued him from the outset.

Mat Greenaway playing Jim

 Every morning Mat wakes up, looks into the mirror and pinches himself, just to make sure he isn't dreaming. 

Mat was literally born into Gemco and from birth he was thrown onto the stage as a flower, from there he played countless characters with some of his most memorable roles including 'Wilbur' the pig, 'Toad' in Wind in the Willows and lets not forget the world premier of Jolly Roger in which he played "Jolly Roger". 

Evie Housham playing Jessica 

Evie, starting out in entertainment as a six year-old singing a song in a school production, went on to be a cabaret dancer and teacher of a French style of rock’n’roll. She has been a Graphic Designer, and a Remedial Masseur running a company with her husband for the last 20 years.

Interval of 15 Mins

Title of Play: The Changing Room

Running Time: 10 mins

Style of Play: Comedy

Play Rating: PG

Play Synopsis: A husband and wife go shopping where they encounter a very enthusiastic shop assistant who assists in more ways than one. 

 Author: Guy Newsham

Author Bio: Guy spent a career making buildings more energy efficient and sustainable.  He has been an enthusiastic actor on community theatre stages for decades, and started writing for the stage in earnest six years ago.  His plays have been successful in multiple competitions and festivals, leading to more than 60 productions in five countries.  He is a member of the Playwrights Guild of Canada, and the New Play Exchange.  In 2021 he won Canada’s National One Act Playwriting Competition.

Director: Joy McLeary

Characters: Selena played by Cat Tregillis
Tom played by Gerard Lewis-Fitzgerald
Shop assistant.played by  Evie Housham Director: Joy McLeary 

Joy has been a member of Gemco since landing here in beautiful Emerald in 2014 when she played a role in a 10 minute play. She has been the leader of the Junior Gemco group for nearly as long. She is passionate about keeping theatre alive in the community and more widely. 

Gerard Lewis - Fitzgerald playing Tom 

Gerard has made a modest return to theatre over the past two years. This includes some writing, one play having gained him a recent award for Best Comedic Writing at Cracked Actors Theatre. Performing in these bite-size ten-minute plays, for Gerard, is a most enjoyable diversion. Twice, he gets to portray objectionable males. 

Cat Tregillis playing Selena

Cat has been involved in Gemco over the past 6 years, having multiple roles including actor, stage manager and committee member.  She has been involved in a number of Take 10 festivals as actor, writer and this is her second go at directing.  Her most recent acting roles have include parts in Much Ado About Nothing, Women of Troy and Going Postal.  

Evie Housham playing The Shop Assistant

Evie has been involved with Gemco Players since 2009, behind the scenes and on stage. Wanting to expand her costume and set making skills she has recently completed a Fine Arts Degree - Design and Production, at Victorian College of the Arts.

Title of Play: Swimming In Sebastopol

Running Time: 10 minutes

Style of Play: Drama

Play Rating: MA

Play Synopsis: In the wash-up after his divorce, Neal Temby makes a weekly trip to Sebastopol to see his son, but today, on one of the hottest days in the year, a laid-back swim at the local pool becomes something else entirely.

 Author: Michael Olson

Author Bio: Michael’s plays range from comedies, to dramas, to black comedies and fantasies, and are published by Maverick Musicals and Plays.  All he’s really doing when he sits down to write is waving to strangers—you, the audience—and hoping in some small way you are all waving back.


Characters: MAN 1: Rob Sale.

Director: Tanya Ryder-Barns

Teaching and directing are the same thing.  Our job is to make sure the people we work with reach their full potential and perform to their very best abilities.  I’m lucky enough to do both.  Most recent plays include: Teechers, Bouncers & Shakers all by John Godber, Blood Brothers Willy Russell, Tissue by Louise Page and many other one act plays.

Rob Sale playing Man

Rob's First appeared in Gemco's Tilly in 1996 however, Rob last walked on the Gemco stage back in 2014 in Hancock's 'The Blood Donor' directed by David Greenaway.

Rob is glad to return to the stage at Gemco.

Please note - This play contains language and content that may be deemed unsuitable for children. 

Title of Play: This Time It Will Work

Running Time: 10 minutes

Style of Play: Comedy

Play Rating: M

Play Synopsis: This play explores the highs and lows of going through IVF treatment. 

Author: Katie Lee  

Author Bio: In 2019, Katie’s One Act Play 'Fourplay' premiered at The Butterfly Club, and was scheduled to be performed again in 2020 at The Melbourne International Comedy Festival, before COVID.  

Katie is a full time single mum to a gorgeous baby girl, and also a VCE Media and Drama teacher in Gippsland. She divides what little free time she has between her daughter, her dogs, and directing her school’s Musical Productions.

 Director: Teri Williams

Characters: Woman 1  played by Laura Lane
Woman 2  played by Sarah Wallis

Woman 3  played by Emma Newport Director: Teri Williams. 

Teri is thrilled to be directing “ This time it will work”. With a passion for all aspects of theatre, she has experience both on stage and behind the scenes.

Teri’s first time directing was a collaboration with Evie Housham and Gemco’s one-act play festival, where she directed the play “ The Last Bread Pudding”.

Sarah Wallis 

Sarah has been a Disabilty Support Worker since 2013 and loves her job wholeheartedly. She used to live in Emerald as a child, making being apart of Gemco all the more special to her. Sarah is delighted to be appearing in her second Take 10 Festival. 

Laura Lane

It is a long time since Laura has taken to the stage to perform in a play and she is so excited to be here in a very heart wrenching and vulnerable play. She has always had a passion for performing and hopes to make it a bit more frequent as her children get a bit older. She has recently performed with Emerald City School of Dance and a Neil Diamond tribute band.

Emma Newport

Fresh off the heels of her most recent show, Emma is excited to stride the boards of Gemco once again. Emma has been performing for as long as she can remember, staring as a caveman at the ripe old age of 9. Emma’s most recent accomplishments are as - Marie in ‘Calendar Girls’ and Norma in ‘Flowers for Algernon’ for which she was nominated for an award!

Emma has recently dipped her toes in the directorial waters, making her debut on stage with ‘The Crucible’ in 2022.

 Title of Play: Nijinsky’s Admission

Running Time: 9 minutes

Style of Play: Drama

Play Rating: M

Play Synopsis: In 1898, a desperate mother brings her Ukrainian-born son to enrol in the Imperial School of Ballet, defying the School’s caustic Russian administrator. He does not know that the boy one day would become the most famous dancer-choreographer in the world. 

Author: Michael Normandy

Author Bio: New York City-based playwright Michael Normandy received a Master of Fine Arts degree in Theatre from Ohio University in the United States. His one-minute play, Sunday Crossword, was featured in Fresh Words, vol. 4 (2023), an international literary magazine. Normandy has completed playwrighting workshops at Chicago Dramatists, Dramatists Guild Institute and Juilliard Extension School. He is a member of New Play Exchange, The Dramatist’s Guild and Actor’s Equity Association.

Director: Jasmine O’Shea

Characters: played by Annette O’Shea
played by Gerard Lewis-Fitzgerald 

Director: Jasmine O’Shea 

Jasmine has had a number of directing roles, assisted with tech for lighting and sound and back stage crew. She performed in and was assistant director for Off The Leash Theatres original production of ‘Ekspozia.’

She was also the director for Gippsland Youth Theatres production of ‘Frozen JR’ which performed last weekend. Jasmine will be assistant director for OTLT production of ‘The Children’ being performed in July. Jasmine will also Choreograph ‘Stepping Out’ for GEMCO later this year. She is very excited to be directing in GEMCOs Take Ten.

Annette O’Shea playing Eleanora

Annette has a long and varied theatre resume which includes everything from Acting to Directing and all in between.  

This is her 2nd Take 10 appearance after playing Pat in ‘Come back for light refreshments after the service’ with GEMCO in 2022. Annette has mainly worked with theatre companies in the Gippsland Region. Characters she has played include, Annette in God of Carnage, M’Lynn in Steel Magnolias, Angela in Secret Bridesmaids Business, and the Wicked Witch in the Wizard of OZ.

Gerard Lewis-Fitzgerald playing Marius Ivanovich

Gerard has made a modest return to theatre over the past two years. This includes some writing, one play having gained him a recent award for Best Comedic Writing at Cracked Actors Theatre. Performing in these bite-size ten-minute plays, for Gerard, is a most enjoyable diversion. Twice, he gets to portray objectionable males

Title of Play: Ahavah

Running Time: 10 minutes

Style of Play: Drama

Play Rating: M 

Play Synopsis: A Jewish man returns to his family home with his gentile girlfriend where he hopes to make a good impression. 

Author: Dana Hall and David Lipschutz

Author Bio: Dana Hall (she/her) and David Lipschutz (he/him) are Chicago-based playwrights. Besides Ahavah, they have co-written several other plays together, including Pete & Petria’s Petrifying Podcast (Gather by the Ghostlight; For Page & Screen), A Date with Dagon  (Westchester Civic Theatre), and Matzah Ball Soup (The Lightbulb Factory). They are both 2023 TANYS Award Recipients for Excellence in Playwriting – Dana for All Out of Spoons and David for G’Oy Vey! Later this year, Ahavah will be featured in “The Best Ten-Minute Plays 2023” (Smith & Kraus, publisher). and

Director: Joy McLeary

Characters: Alice played by Tina Chalmers
Saul played by Mat Greenaway  Director: Joy McLeary  

Mat Greenaway playing Saul.  

Tina Chalmers playing Alice 


There was no Take Ten performed in 2020 or 2021 due to lockdowns. 



2019 - Take Ten 2019
That was Well Handled by Sarah Fernee
Valentines Day by Stacey Gietman
Ingenue by John Jennings
Shower by John Jennings
Daring Dating! by Katie Lee
Gimme Some Kit Kats! by Katie Lee
He Said…She Said! by Katie Lee
Four Play by Dean Spijer
Let Me Say This… by Dean Spijer
The Secret Life of Phones by Dwayne Yancey

2018 - Take Ten 2018
My Perfect Mate by Ethan Bortman
A Rose by Any Other Name by Sarah Fernee
Chinese Whispers by Sarah Fernee
It Started with a Thwack by John Jennings
A Chick Pic by Kathie Lee
Beige Weddings and Coral Dresses by Kathie Lee
Truth or Dare by Kathie Lee
Kindness Pays by Rex McGregor
Outfox by Rex McGregor
So Sorry for Your Loss by Joe Starzyk

2017 - What If?
The Genesis of Ronald Rump by Ethan Bortman (Comedy)
Beginning With Intent by Catherine McKernan Doris (Drama)
The Karma Fairy by CE Griffin (Comedy)
Coffee by Katie Lee (Drama)
Flight of the Cows by Rex McGregor (Comedy)
The List by Barry O’Neill (Comedy)
Liar by Chris O’Neil (Drama)
Wound Up by Kate Reynolds (Drama)
Pet Zombie by Martin Stolp (Comedy)
Altered Expectations by Suzy Wilds (Drama)

2016 - Take Ten 2016
Selling Point by Vishesh Abeyratne
Wallet by Sarah Fernee
Anywhere but Home by Chris O’Neill
The Pitch by Damien Perry
War Babies by Madeline Puccioni
Pillow talk by Peter Saunders
The Play’s the Thing Ain’t It by Joe Starzyk
Whistle and his Mother by Joe Starzyk
It’s Not Over ’til the Bald Soprano Sings by J Weintraub
Lion’s Den by Heather Zubek

2015 - Take Ten 2015
It’s for the Birds by George Bryjak
Melody by Julie Johnston
FOMO by Jason Matthews
Tango Mike by Aleks Merilo
Unsaid by Kylie Rackham
Bless Me Father by Joe Starzyk
The Golden Years by Joe Starzyk
Two Million Birds by Thomas W Stephens
Transports of Delight by John Tilbrook
Skivvies by Cath Tregillis

2014 - Once Upon a Time
Behind Quota by Damian Perry
Bliss by Miller Shor

Food Porn ’77 by Pooja Nellore
Fruit and Nuts by Michael Lill
Lipstick and Mirrors by Beverly Lello
So Thin by Beverly Lello
Love and Patients by Ross Tandowski
Math by T. Adamson
Owl Nowhere by T. Adamson
Sunday Lunch by Felicity James & Helen Scott

2013 - Little Gems 2013
The Cupcake Kid by Kari Lightner
A Leading Role by Beverly Lello
Double Image by Beverly Lello
Errata by Jane Cafarella
Exorcising Elvis by John Tillbrook
Folly by Carolyn Stuart
Perceptions by Felicity James & Helen Scott
The Moon Boy by Sara Seal
Turning Tables by Michael Lill
Write to Life by Felicity James & Helen Scott

2012 - Little Gems 2012
Going Once, Going Twice by Cerise de Gelder
Two Todays, No Tomorrows by Colin Donald
The Nine Tales of Jinx by Cerise de Gelder
Natural Mothers by Kylie Seeberg
Interval by Beverley Lello
It’s Only a Spider by Cerise de Gelder
Small Talk by Kylie Rackham
Foreclosure by Pete Maliki
On The Edge by Kylie Rackham
Time Capsule by John Tilbrook

2011 - Eleven Little Gems
Flight Path by Deborah Sheldon
Secret Frog Business by Jeanne Haughton
Coda by Kylie Rackham
Unlocked by Beverley Lello
Vermillion by Gaylene Carbis
Let’s Do Lunch by Gaylene Carbis
Sacked by Kay Poiro
Grass Roots by Carolyn Stuart
The Dream by Liliane Grace
Mail Order Muse by Hayley Lawson-Smith

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