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About us

Our Mission is to foster an intimate theatre experience that engages, entertains, inspires and empowers both our artists and our audiences while providing the link between playwright/composer and our patrons.

Our Vision is to train and support the next generations of theatre artists for the next generations of audiences.

The Whangarei Repertory Society Inc (aka Octagon Theatre) came into being on April 8, 1948. The first play was staged at a private home in November 1948. From small beginnings, the Society’s number of drama enthusiasts and followers continues to grow. Read more about the history of the theatre here and to ensure a future, think how together we can continue to provide a unique, enjoyable and entertaining experience.

Theatre Executive

Carol Freebairn

Carol Freebairn President

Carol has been a member of the Society since 1974 and has held several positions including Committee Member, Secretary and President. Carol has performed and been involved with more than 50 productions and welcomes new members to join the team to future-proof the Octagon family.

Wendy Berridge

Wendy Berridge Vice-President

Wendy has been an active member of the Society since 2007 and has been involved as Actor, Director, Stage Crew and Lighting/Sound Director as well as fund-raising, Front-of-House and waitressing.

Rick Billing

Rick Billing Treasurer

Rick has been a member since 1979 and Treasurer since 1980. He provides administrative support so that those who wish to be on the stage are able to concentrate on learning their lines and getting on with it. He is one of our Licensed Bar Managers and often supports with Front-of-House duties and our go-to Mr Fixit!

Bill Fenton

Bill Fenton Secretary

Since returning to Whangarei from teaching overseas, Bill has been an active member of the Society.
He is our second Licensed Bar Manager, can often be found assisting with the Front-of-House management and has also been persuaded to tread the boards from time to time.

Theatre Committee

Cynthia Cahill

Cynthia Cahill

Since arriving in Whangarei in 2015, Cynthia and her actor husband have brought a wealth of directorial, set design/ construction and acting skills to our stage including Looking, Quartet and Curtain Up and Cynthia enjoyed playing retired schoolteacher, Jessie, in Calendar Girls.

Bill Finn

Bill Finn

Bill has been in the Whangarei theatre scene since 1993 and joined the Octagon in 2003. He has been involved in many productions and, for 10 years, produced and directed the popular Christmas Show. He continues to direct shows and to assist in other productions planned for the future.

Wendy Fulcher

Wendy Fulcher

A keen audience member since 1994 and as a “failed retiree” Wendy joined as a Props Manager and Stage Crew in 2016. She has also more recently been involved in Stage Management, Sound Engineering, Website Development and fund-raising.

Irina Liebig

Irina Liebig

Originally from Berlin, Irina’s parents introduced her to the theatre as a teenager. Having moved to Whangarei, a friend introduced her to our theatre 11 years ago and she fell in love with the experience. Having learned that all who work at The Octagon are unpaid volunteers, Irina is keen to contribute and make a difference so that others may enjoy as much as she does.

Jean Millington

Jean Millington

Jean joined the Octagon Theatre in 2000 and has been the Committee Secretary since 2010. She has appeared in numerous productions and other roles have included Stage Manager, Props and Costumes.

Pete Romer

Pete Romer

In 2003, Pete’s introduction to the Society was playing an ageing English Actor in Laying the Ghost. Later he enjoyed comedy and singing in musicals plus the role of Major Metcalf in The Mousetrap. His focus is on producing advertising material for each production.


The Octagon Theatre gratefully acknowledges support from the following organisations.

The Southern Trust logo
Lottery Grants Board logo
The Lion Foundation logo
Pub Charity logo
Whangarei District Council logo