Details of the Don Harper Award
When in 1961, the original twelve people who had attended a drama class at night school, were told they had enough talent to start a group, TADS came into being. It was quickly realised they had no knowledge of how to go about putting on a play for a paying audience. One of the twelve had a neighbour with a great deal of experience. Along came Don!
He certainly knew a great deal about the hiring of the hall, scenery, props, licenses, royalties, programs and choosing, casting and directing our first full-length play 'Candied Peel'.
Over his 50 years with TADS Theatre his assets were many. His dramatic input included acting, directing both full-length and festival plays and backstage work. He also won a Festival Best Actor award for his role in 'Blind Date' in 1978. In addition he gave much time to committee work as Chairman and Treasurer and as a Trustee. He was also highly involved in setting up our constitution and charity status. He was a prime mover in the building of the scenery store so that TADS no longer depended on any of the nine 'Grace and Favour' homes we had used for our ever-growing amount of scenery, props and costumes. Likewise he played a crucial part in the purchase of the church hall, now TADS Theatre. Initially this was not looked on favourably by some members, but the theatre has proved to be a great success.
Once the theatre was purchased, he turned his attention to running the bar, which he did with his usual thoroughness and it proved to be a good regular increase in our finances.
Our recognition of Don's contribution to making TADS the success it has become is this annual award, given in his memory to the best director of the current season.