The Yass Repertory Society, also known as the Yass Rep, is making its return, after having been closed since the lockdown period. Standing as the longest-running repertory group in NSW, having been established in the 1940s, the Yass Rep remained dormant during and since the Covid period due to restrictions and lack of available performing space, however, due to various fundraisers, contributions from community members and efforts from the Yass Rep members, the society is now in a sound financial position.


 President of the Yass Repertory Society Joe Morrissey spoke to the Yass Valley Times, putting out a casting call to interested community members and talking about the Yass Rep’s plans moving forward.


“We’re in a position now financially where we can actually start looking at performing”, said Joe; “We spent the last 18 months raising funds because we were perilously close to folding, with no income but still had expenditures. We had to shut, we were almost completely depleted.”


Having recently performed Rinse the Blood off my Toga, a comedy at the Yass Golf Club and Murrumbateman Markets, the Yass Rep is looking for new members, both in on-stage roles and off-stage roles, in the hopes of returning to, at first, play readings, before hopefully returning to stage productions by Christmas time. With the Yass Rep’s Annual General Meeting (AGM) coming on the 9th of July, 2 pm at the community centre, Joe feels it’s the best time to start recruiting. 

Yass Repertory’s Rinse the Blood off my Toga

“As part of the fundraising we also had a membership drive and I’m pleased to say that we’ve recruited quite a few new members, particularly younger members and people with experience”, said Joe

“After the AGM we’ll be discussing play readings where people don’t have to be on stage, we’ll just go to a place big enough to move around and just read to get people back into the rhythm. Reading is the first stage of performing”.


For those interested in theatre and play readings with the Yass Rep, but unsure of being on stage, Joe assures that many roles are open, including technical, script, directorial and others, with a particular focus on makeup. 


“On our membership form, there are boxes, obviously acting, technical like lighting — when we’ve been recruiting we’ve been emphasising they don’t have to act. Some people are quite happy standing in front of a crowd, other people would run a mile if I suggested going on stage. The backup folks are just as important, and things like the front of house, directing, producing building sets, costumes etc”, said Joe;


“It’s impossible to do the job without that kind of stuff — the Rep doesn’t work unless we’ve got all of those roles. At the moment we’re not too badly off, but we could use more” 

The group will conduct play readings leading up to Christmas; “To encourage more people to come along and build membership and have a bigger range. We need that variety, a pool of talent to pull from”, said Joe. 


“We’re on our way back and would love to have more involvement from people in the Yass district”


Griffin Palen