When asked to measure her years of supporting Melbourne Theatre Company, Sandra Beanham – like many long-time subscribers of the Company – could only take a guess at the number of years she’d been attending MTC plays; somewhere around the four-decade mark she thinks, admitting ‘I’ve lost count’. Nevertheless, Sandra remembers that in 1993, she began attending the theatre with her daughter.
When Sandra’s daughter, Susie Robinson, was still at school, Sandra recalls attending an evening performance where a photographer approached them to take a photo to feature on the cover of the 1999 Season Brochure.
‘I have always suspected that our group were included because Susie and a school friend, who also subscribed at that stage, were probably the youngest subscribers there on the night – by about 30 years,’ Sandra said.
Now, after 25 years of subscribing with her daughter, Sandra has dedicated a seat plaque in The Sumner to Susie as a birthday present and token of ‘something that represents our history – and future – with MTC’.
‘There comes a point in a person’s life when they have accumulated enough ‘stuff’ and have the means to buy more if they so choose. I wanted to gift Susie something important, memorable and unique; something with longevity,’ Sandra explained.
As Sandra and Susie often sit in Row H, they chose Seat G8 for their seat dedication so they could appreciate the plaque from the row behind.
‘MTC has been an important part of our cultural life in Melbourne, [providing] an opportunity to come together once a month, reconnect and enjoy an experience that becomes part of our family history,’ Sandra said.
Though a personal gift, evident in the chosen inscription, ‘SUSIE ROBINSON – WHO ALWAYS PREFERS TO SIT!’, Sandra and Susie are happy for other audience members to share in the joy of the message, hoping, ‘when other people read it, it brings a smile to their face’.
Many patrons like Sandra may struggle to calculate their years involved with MTC, however Sandra and Susie’s story reminds us that the gift of performance is intangible, and sharing the experience of theatre with those closest to us is invaluable.
Reserve your place in history or honour a family member, friend, group or company with a personalised name plaque on one or more seats in The Sumner. Learn more about naming a seat.
Geraldine Lazarus' lifelong passion
Geraldine Lazarus has always had a passion for theatre and the performing arts.
This year we are thrilled to present an MTC Lifetime Patron Award to Pat Burke.
Christine Brown's Legacy
Jannie Brown speaks of her departed sister Christine’s extraordinary and generous bequest to the Company.
Roger Riordan AM and Cybec Electric
With the generous support of Roger Riordan AM and his late wife Patricia, the Cybec Electric play readings se…
Your Donations in the Spotlight
Melbourne Theatre Company has evolved as a company enormously over the past 60 years...
A Family Affair
Read more about how supporting theatre became a family affair for Daryl Kendrick and Sandy Bell
Vizards in the Engine Room
Read an interview with Steve Vizard about his support of the MTC Literary Office.
MTC Lifetime Patrons 2016
This year we are thrilled to present MTC Lifetime Patron Awards to Caroline and Derek Young, and the late Biddy Ponsford...
MTC Lifetime Patron 2017 - Pat Burke
Read an interview with Pat Burke, supporter of MTC since its inception in 1953.
Every Seat Tells a Story
Next time you take your seat at the Sumner, take a moment to look around at the personal dedications that adorn the seats around you.
Read the speech made by MTC Foundation Chair Jane Hansen at our Season 2016 Launch.
Lorrane’s long history with MTC has helped her understand the importance of theatre in young people’s lives.
The Dowd Family
We speak to Carl and Wendy Dowd about their support of Costume and Design.
Denis Irving may not be a household name, but his impact on Australian theatre will be remembered for many generations to come.
Peter Clemenger AM
Peter Clemenger AM tells us about a lifelong tradition of giving and how rewarding the experience can be.
MTC Lifetime Patrons 2015
In September 2015 we honoured five of our extraordinary benefactors with the MTC Lifetime Patron Award.
Rosemary Forbes and Ian Hocking
Rosemary Forbes and Ian Hocking have been actively supporting the Melbourne Theatre Company as Subscribers...
Spotlight on: Craig Semple
Craig Semple is a member of MTC's inaugural Artistic Director's Circle.
Family Production Giving Circle
Led by Johnathan Feder, an MTC Donor and Board member, the Family Production Giving Circle was started...
A gift for MTC's future
Bequests have made an important contribution to shaping Melbourne’s home of live storytelling as we know and love it today.
MTC Lifetime Patron Award 2018
This year we are thrilled to present an MTC Lifetime Patron Award to Maureen and Tony Wheeler.
Twelve Facts About Twelfth Night
The Betty Amsden Youth Scholarship Course