Theatre star says goodbye after 15 years
JUDITH La Forest has been a major influence on the Hervey Bay theatre scene for the past 15 years, and now she is saying goodbye.
Her final project is directing Z-PAC Theatre's current production Travelling North, before moving south with her husband.
"Travelling North is my swan song," Mrs La Forest said.
"Being my last production, I wanted it to be special.
"We have an outstanding cast and 31 different scene changes."
In the early 2000s, Mrs La Forest and her husband purchased a holiday apartment in Hervey Bay.
She fell in love with our town after visiting her son who moved here with his family.
During a short stay at the holiday home, the experienced actress saw an advertisement in the local paper for auditions of a play, Honor and couldn't help but give it a go.
"I landed the lead role of Honor and began rehearsals," Mrs La Forest said.
"Tragically, my son's wife and 3-year-old son were killed in a car accident a few weeks later."
Mrs La Forest and her husband relocated permanently to Hervey Bay from Gosford to help him cope.
"I withdrew from the production and they re-cast the role," she said.
"As fate would have it, the re-cast actor fell ill weeks out from opening night and the director pleaded with me to come back and do the role.
"It was the best decision I could have made to return.
"It gave me happiness and an escape in a time of extreme sadness from the realities of real life."
Over the 15 years since, Mrs La Forest has been part of more than 30 Z-PAC productions from on-stage to behind the scenes.
Through the range of experiences, she was also part of Calendar Girls and hit the stage covered in nothing but a few flowers.
"A highlight has been seeing all the young ones come through, find their passion in theatre, and go on to do bigger things," she said.
"I will greatly miss the wonderful people, our theatre family, with whom I have enjoyed friendship, hard work, and a commitment to deliver an all-round quality theatre experience."
Travelling North plays at the Z-PAC Theatre at Zephyr St, Scarness March 12 at 2pm; March 17 at 7.30pm; March 18 at 2pm and 7.30pm; and March 19 at 2pm.
Book tickets online at trybooking.com/251362.