KALAMUNDA community theatre icon Terry Hackett passed away recently after a short battle with cancer, leaving a lasting legacy among the lives she touched.
Perhaps Mrs Hackett’s greatest gift was her ability to pass on her love of the theatre to her students such as Lucy Dreyer.
Mrs Dreyer’s theatrical aspirations were inspired by Mrs Hackett’s guidance and teachings.
The pair grew very close over the years and the sudden death of her mentor came as a shock to the actor and director.
She had only just returned from the UK in April, after the death of her mother, when she discovered her long time mentor was seriously ill.
It was a bitter blow for Mrs Dreyer, who first met Mrs Hackett while becoming involved in the community theatre scene some 23 years earlier.
Mrs Hackett’s final parting gift of her three Robert Finley WA community theatre awards upon her death to her former pupil said volumes about their close working relationship and friendship.
“Terry was a force of nature, small in stature but strong willed,” Mrs Dreyer said.
“She taught acting classes at the club and would push, cajole and inspire others involved in community theatre to give anything a go.
“She wanted everyone to reach their full potential, whether it be as an actor or as a director.
“Terry started as an actor but quickly found her niche as a director, she loved to direct.
“She was great supporter of Australian plays and new works but it was even better in her mind if the play was a new Australian story.
“Another of her great passions as a director were plays that featured strong female protagonists, she loved to bring those stories to life.”
“I first became involved with Terry in 1994 when I was acting in my very first play, a local production of Steel Magnolias that Terry was directing.
“My mother was living in the UK but Terry and I grew very close and she eventually became like a surrogate mother to me.”
Mrs Hackett twice won the best play Robert Finley award, winning acclaim in 1997 for her play Same Time, Next Year and in 2003 for Barmaids.
She also captured a Robert Finley award for best musical for 1999’s Nunsense.