If you have ever been to the theatre in Port Elizabeth you were probably watching a young, local, lighting whiz working her magic from the box! Former Collegiate Girls High School matriculant, Claire Rentzke has built a solid reputation as a talented theatre lighting designer, operator and stage manager at the tender age of 20. Having learned from the best here in Port Elizabeth and already developed skills and expertise way beyond her years, Claire leaves PE in August to begin studies in Technical Stage Lighting and Sound Management at the Temple Bar Technical College in Dublin, one of only two colleges in the world offering this type of comprehensive theatrical training. Whilst Port Elizabeth has a solid reputation as a breeding ground for on-stage talent, our city also produces skilled production and technical people who are studying and working professionally throughout South Africa and internationally.
Claire’s first taste of theatrical magic came in 2007 when she worked on the sound during a school production of South Pacific. Her enthusiasm was quickly noticed by lighting designer extraordinaire, David Limbert, from well known local lighting and sound company Magnetic Storm. David has mentored many young people with a talent for lighting. Claire began her journey behind the follow spot for the Port Elizabeth Gilbert Sullivan Society’s 2008 production of Guys Dolls and in 2009 she completed the S.T.E.P.S programme, sponsored by Magnetic Storm, which develops technical skills in young people to work on the annual Showtime shows. As her skills grew Claire has taken on ever more challenging roles as Lighting Operator, Stage Manager and Lighting Designer and been in hot demand to work on numerous productions for GS, PEMADS, a host of local schools and many other local and touring professional shows. In between working and lighting, she also serves on the GS Committee.
Claire will host two benefit concerts on 29 and 30 June at the Savoy Theatre to raise funds for her travel and study expenses. Lending their support on stage will be popular PE entertainers Niqui Cloete-Barrass and Marilize Barnard, backed by local talent including Ace Magxaki, Bennie Gerber, Kehly Windvogoel, Jane van der Berg and Darne Klaasen. “The benefit concert will tell my story about leaving Port Elizabeth to study overseas, travelling and then returning home. We’ll take the audience on a trip around the world with us.” said Claire of the great variety of music in the concerts which ranges from John Denver to ABBA. For once, Claire will be in the audience having been banned from the lighting box!
Claire is hoping for great ticket sales as she asks the theatrical community, which she has served so well, to rally behind her and help her achieve her dream. “I need to raise money to keep doing what I love and what better way than a show!”. Seating is cabaret style so patrons are welcome to bring along a picnic basket or snacks to enjoy during the show. Tickets are only R80 and available by calling Denise on 083 611 9430.
Article source: http://mype.co.za/new/2012/06/claire-rentzke/