YOUTH DRAMA CLASSES
KUCOM YOUTH DRAMA CLASS TEACHER
Mr Joe Clutterbuck, B.Sc.(Hons), B.Ed, ATCL
Joe first got involved with drama while at university in the very early '70s while still at home in Canada. University drama students ran summer programs to further develop their own courses which provided opportunities for science students like him to get involved. He graduated from Brock University in Canada in 1973 with an Honours degree in Biology and continued on to Queens University where he completed a Bachelor of Education degree specialising in Science. An opportunity to come to Australia in 1974 and teach provided not only travel but also a chance to become involved with the Emerald Arts Council productions for several years. 1979 saw a transfer to Mackay North State High School, where he remained a teacher until his retirement in 2008.
Once in Mackay, involvement with the then Kudos Theatre in the plays Inherit the Wind (1980) and The Man from Muckinupin (1982) provided Joe the opportunity to meet and marry his wife Anne. He was involved in the Committee in the early days when it was decided to convert the old clubhouse in Shakespeare Street into a performance venue, and actually proposed to his wife during the run of Stop the World, I Want to Get Off! (1983), one of the early successes in this new venue. Joe became involved in most aspects of theatre as Kudos merged with Mackay Community Theatre to become Kucom. These included acting, stage lighting (with a special course provided by Elisa Shepherd through TAFE back in the '80s), and set construction, among other jobs.
1981 Joe began directing musicals at Mackay North SHS working with Mrs Kathryn George as the music director: Bye Bye Birdie, Calamity Jane, The Wiz to open the North High Community Hall in 1984 (the year his eldest son Ben was born), and a spectacular production of Grease (said by some attending reviewers to rival the then current NY production) were among the 10 or so musicals that were very successfully produced. Also in 1984 Joe achieved an ATCL (teacher of drama) through MacGregor’s Speech and Drama School (a local Mackay drama school) and taught Theatre and Drama at the high school for a number of years, and at Theatre Arts Mackay until 2000. While at Mackay North he also trained students to work backstage and use the theatre lighting. He returned to acting in 2006 in Kucom’s The Memory of Water and helped out with lighting and sound for The Carer (2008) and many plays since then.
In 2012, Joe took on the role of President of Kucom following the sudden death of former President, Sue Stock, earlier that year. While in that position he oversaw the acquisition of the lease on the land in Snow Wright Court. He stepped back a bit when it came to designing the building and putting it up, but has gotten involved again with the Committee as they work towards outfitting the theatre space and making the new Kucom Theatre something all of Mackay can be proud of.
Since retiring from the Department of Education, while continuing to do relief teaching, he has cut back quite a bit on the early days even though relief teachers are in high demand. He has remained a registered teacher and holds a Positive Exemption Card (Blue Card) #727412/2.
In 2019, now that the new theatre is finally ready to use, Kucom is introducing Drama Classes for high school students in an effort to revive the Youth Theatre program so that young people and their parents can be involved in the ‘New Kucom’, as it develops further into a true community theatre that encourages all performance art opportunities whenever they arise.
ATCL: Associate, Trinity College, London