Archive for the 'Youth Theatre' Category

17
May
18

Metamorphoses

 

Metamorphoses

BYTE Youth Theatre

Buderim Aquatic Centre

May 12 & 18-20 2018

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

 

The most exciting inclusion in this year’s Anywhere Theatre Festival, BYTES’ Metamorphoses is performed entirely in a pool. Fortunately for the performers, and for those in the front row – the splash zone – the pool is heated! Testament to the imagination and sass of this creative team (Robyn Ernst, Jo Hendrie, Melissa Lanham and Travis Macfarlane), not even the Tony Award winning Broadway production used more than an ankle-deep body of water on stage. 

 

Evocative shapes and intelligent use rather than overuse of repetition and canons, seamless transitions and generally strong vocal work below an ever-changing series of gorgeous lighting states can be considered fairly standard now for this youth company. These elements, with Lanham’s touch all over them, combine to take us on a richly rewarding journey through a series of the ancient myths of Ovid, brought to life in the water using a combination of narrators, and characters particular to each story, as well as abstract configurations, using just bodies in and around the water.

 

 

Lanham’s choreography is always stunning and this time, like Ginger Rogers doing everything Fred Astaire could do, only backwards and in heels, she accomplishes it all in the waist-deep water of Buderim Aquatic Centre’s enclosed heated pool. The performers are tasked with swimming, diving and at one point (and it’s a highlight, and just one of many powerful and emotive images), almost death-rolling beneath its surface before coming together to create images of trees and corridors and ships. Performers swim up to play a leading role and sink away agin to re-join the company as their featured story draws to a close. The sense of ensemble is present at every moment, and the stillness that starts and closes the show is powerful; pure magic sub-surface energy and intensity, which informs well considered, economised action. The performers are strong and bold, and incredibly brave to commit to spending well over 90 minutes in the water during these cooler autumn nights. Costumes, conceptualised by Ernst and inspired by the water’s hues, are beautifully basic and effective.

 

 

Fragments of stories and commentary intercept the featured tales – King Midas, which feels cutely reminiscent of King Herod’s scene in Lloyd Webber’s Jesus Christ Superstar, beautifully bookending the show, and Ceryx and Alcyone, Erysichthon, Orpheus and Eurydice, Pomona, Phaeton, Eros and Psyche, Baucus and Philemon – not all are well known but all are well told.

 

Metamorphoses is a coup for both BYTE and Anywhere Theatre Festival, which celebrates performances anywhere but in theatres. This is the most powerful and engaging production to fit the brief. Let’s hope we don’t need to wait until next year’s festival to experience this sort of inspired live entertainment again.

 

Press featuring students from MFAC

 

DURING Anywhere Theatre Festival in May each year, we see shows anywhere but in a theatre. In the most exciting production of this year’s program, Matthew Flinders’ Performing Arts students excel in a unique version of Metamorphoses for Buderim Youth Theatre of Excellence (BYTE), performed entirely in a (heated!) pool. Featuring Zahra Voss, Natalie Ferris, Sia Tamba-Lebbie, Dominic Graves, Romy Salmond, Holly Wiley, Louisa Travers-Jones and Ben McCullough, this stunning retelling of the ancient myths of Ovid, demanding rigorous physical and vocal performances, is testament to the training and commitment of these talented performers. Drama HOD, Melissa White, acknowledges that these performance experiences are vital for students, offering them the opportunity to work with Industry professionals outside the classroom. Artistic Director of XS Entertainment, performance coach and critic, Xanthe Coward, said the show is “pure magic; a richly rewarding, brave and beautiful journey.”

 

Anywhere Theatre Festival continues until May 27 but Metamorphoses has just three performances remaining, on Friday and Saturday night at 7:30pm, and Sunday at 6pm. Bookings: anywhere.is

 

25
Aug
14

Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival 2014 Results

 

Sunshine Coast Theatre Festival 2014

Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance

August 15 – 24 2014

The Lind Theatre

 

#SCTF14

artshouldneverbejudged_SCTF14

 

YOUTH SECTION

August 22 – 24 2014

 

Certificates of Distinction:

 

Primary Certificates of Distinction

 

Bella Wood

Alira Slyderink

Stefanie Cooper

Erica O’Brien

 

Secondary Certificates of Distinction

 

Mahana Currie (Bursary Winner 2013)

Ashleigh Cooper

Shearah-Rose Spears

Lucy Rockliff

Georgia Gleeson

Ayla Long

Liam Hartley

Matthew Bapty

 

Primary Section

 

Adjudicator’s Award

Anna McMahon

Hands in the Air…Bullies Beware (Talara Primary College)

 

Best Ensemble

Talara Primary College

Hands in the Air…Bullies Beware

 

Best Supporting Actor

Curtis Bock

 

Best Supporting Actress

Bella Wood

 

Best Actor

Jett McConochie

 

Best Actress

Anika Jocumsen

 

2nd Best Play

Hands in the Air…Bullies Beware (Talara Primary College)

 

Best Play

The Compass by Mem Thomas (MEM Productions)

 

Best Unpublished Script

The Compass by Mem Thomas (MEM Productions)

 

Secondary Section

 

Adjudicator’s Award

Paris Williment

 

Best Ensemble

Little Seed Theatre Company

War At Home

 

Best Supporting Actor

Valentino Koch

 

Best Supporting Actress

Ellie Manning

 

Best Actor

Caleb Holman

 

Best Actress

Brooke Masters

 

2nd Best Play

Love Awkwardly (Little Seed Theatre Company)

 

Best Play

War At Home (Little Seed Theatre Company)

 

Best Unpublished Script

One Idiot, Two Thugs and Cement by Louisea Snelling (Dramaworks)

 

Bursary

Paris Williment (Little Seed Theatre Company)

 

Overall

 

Best Director Over 25

Michelle Allan

All My Love, Paul (Focus On Stage)

 

Best Director Under 25

Marina de Jager

Fairytale Frolics (Acting Up! Youth Theatre Academy)

 

xantheandmargi_SCTF14

OPEN SECTION

August 15 – 17 2014

 

Adjudicator’s Award

Michelle Lamarca

The Devil’s Dance (Noosa Arts Theatre)

 

Best Supporting Actor (Comedy)

Shane Cassidy

The Rock in the Water (SRT)

 

Best Supporting Actress (Comedy)

Sue Sewell

Duplicitous (Miranda’s Dressing Room)

 

Best Supporting Actor (Drama)

Brett Klease

The Rock in the Water (SRT

 

Best Actor (Comedy)

Kyle Breese

Held (Downstage Theatre Co)

 

Best Actress (Comedy)

Not awarded

 

Best Actor (Drama)

James Patrick Reed

The Devil’s Dance (Noosa Arts Theatre)

 

Best Actress (Drama)

Michelle Lamarca

The Devil’s Dance (Noosa Arts Theatre)

 

Best Set Design

The Rock in the Water (SRT)

 

Best Unpublished Script

The Rock in the Water by Simon Denver (SRT)

 

Best Director

Simon Denver

The Rock in the Water (SRT)

 

3rd Best Play

Held (Downstage Theatre Co)

 

2nd Best Play

The Devil’s Dance (Noosa Arts Theatre)

 

Best Play

The Rock in the Water (SRT)

 

SCTF14 Margi&TheRockInTheWater

The Rock in the Water (SRT) Anna McMahon, Shane Cassidy, Brett Klease and (on behalf of Simon Denver), Joy Marshall with Adjudicator, Margi Brown Ash

 

12
Apr
14

CircUS

 

CircUS

Flipside Circus

Judith Wright Centre of Contemporary Arts

April 9 – 12 2014

 

Reviewed by Poppy Eponine

 

Flipside+2014+hero

 

Before we even got to the theatre, Aroha had to do some acrobatics to get into a tricky car park. We (sensibly) ran across the road to make the show on time and (carefully) raced up the steps to find four seats together in the top row of the tiered seating. We had very good luck all day. We could see everything. EVERYTHING!

 

This is a circus show of a different kind, without animals, fancy costumes or a Ringmaster, but with extremely talented kids of various ages, who clearly love what they do. What they do, for 60 minutes without an interval, is tumble – forwards and backwards – stand on the shoulders of their friends, hang and twist and twirl on ropes and hoops and swings, leap over each other and jump giant red flags, juggle yellow squishy balls, and keep five plates spinning.

 

I just have to put in, not wanting to spoil the show if you’re going to see it, but do you want me to tell you just one little bit of an actual act? There is a really funny, circus performer. He started off singing along with some music and the other performers kept putting more and more shirts on him. This is something that made me think of my cousin because no matter what happens, even if somebody sits down in the seat that Oscar wants, he just keeps doing what he’s doing, in this case, singing. In this way the little boy was like a clown at the circus and some people laughed and some people didn’t. Maybe they didn’t get it. I screamed with laughter. I got it.

 

Even though the costumes weren’t fancy, they were funny and just good for the acts with big, beautiful, colourful flowers on most of them. One girl wore a bathing cap of flowers. No one wore shoes. Barefoot is better for circus.

 

flipside

 

The performers are really brave. They take awesome risks, physical risks, and surprised us by climbing over each other. The smallest kids climbed up onto the tallest kids. Sometimes this was to get to the equipment above their heads. Sometimes they just jumped on each other for fun and games. By climbing and balancing, the whole cast of kids create a very fun-looking and extraordinary wall. Mum says they’ll remember they did that and use that extraordinary shape in physical theatre one day at school!

 

The music changed only once. I don’t mean they play just one song – there are lots of songs – but the music suddenly becomes dangerous and an older girl swings on the high rope with a safety rope attached to her belt, and she looks quite groovy. There was a lot of clapping and screaming because her act was so risky.

 

I loved the fun and games in the foyer afterwards. There were: hoops, spinning plates, devil sticks and soft juggling balls. This meant that the show could go on for us and we stayed until no one else who had seen the show was still there. Amanda asked if Flipside gets the Poppy Seal of Approval and yes! Definitely! It was the most awesome, spectacular and amazing circus we’ve seen this year.

 

Flipside teaches other kids too. You can do their classes and holiday workshops at their studio. Even kids who don’t normally do circus – anyone can do it! Because I’m on the Sunshine Coast I’m doing a different class next week here but if you’re in Brisbane you should definitely check out Flipside for your kids. They will love it! And they will love this show! But two shows sold out and the last one is tonight so see here if there are any tickets left for you.

 

 

20
Mar
14

Special Guest Musical Theatre stars appear at BYTE & Matthew Flinders

The Sunshine Coast has welcomed some of Australia’s top musical theatre stars, with special events for students at Buderim Youth Theatre of Excellence (BYTE) and Matthew Flinders Anglican College.

 

chelsea&amanda_bytes

 

Yesterday, Chelsea Gibb and Amanda Harrison appeared at Buderim Memorial Hall for a discussion with Robyn Ernst’s BYTE Master Class students about the performing arts industry in Australia and overseas.

 

These two triple threats were relaxed and chatty, as they sat,  swinging their legs, on the edge of the stage and talked about how they got their start in the industry, what it’s like to be “stayers” in the industry and what differentiates a dancer from a “mover”. They discussed what it is that makes it all worthwhile, how to fit a family and the demands of being a mother into a real working career in the performing arts, and shared some valuable tips for auditions.

 

Run up a hill until your heart is beating SO fast and stop and sing. That’s what it’s like to sing when you’re nervous, with your heart beating that fast…You have to squish it all down! – Amanda

 

Gaining experience, skills and work outside of the arts industry is vital to sustaining a career in musical theatre, at least in this country, and so is having a close-knit group of like-minded friends to help you through the lows and celebrate the highs. Amanda noted that so many of the friends come from wherever you’ve studied and of course, from the productions in which you’ve been involved.

 

chelsea&amanda_serious

 

Both Chelsea and Amanda mentioned their concerns over the rise and rise of the Internet during their careers, and the damage that heartless, careless critics and bloggers can do to artists and to the industry. They explained very well that as artists they expect support and honest feedback. Chelsea admitted she doesn’t mind if an individual doesn’t love her interpretation of a character, or her tonal quality, but doesn’t see the need for a reviewer to resort to personal jibes and attacks. Amanda agreed and both advised staying away from what’s written about the show you’re in while you’re in it!

 

Today Matthew Flinders Anglican College students will have the opportunity to attend a Q&A session at Flinders Performance Centre during their lunch time.

 

Chelsea and Amanda will be joined by Simon Gleeson, Patrice Tipoki, Mark Vincent and Laura Tipoki. Patrice and Laura Tipoki are MFAC Alumni and Patrice joined us last year, with Lucy Durack and David Harris for a similar special event.

 

Patrice Tipoki_colour

 

If you haven’t booked yet for A Little Night of Music – Songs from the Silver Screen you can do so HERE

 

 

With this calibre of talent on stage together AT THE SAME TIME EVEN there really isn’t anywhere else you should be!

 

 

Brisbane and Gold Coast friends, are y’all coming up for this? IF NOT WHY NOT!?

 

 

SEE YOU THERE!

 

27
Jan
14

Sunshine Coast Arts January 25 2014

 

SCD Arts January 25 2014

Xanthe Coward

 

Jordan Russell in West Side Story

Jordan Russell as Maria in Noosa Arts Theatre’s West Side Story

 

Give your child the chance to shine 

 

When I was growing up in a creative household I never considered myself lucky. I wasn’t ungrateful, but I thought my family was like everybody else’s, hosting closing night parties, learning in primary school to do my own hair and makeup for ballet concerts and musical productions, and spending most afternoons at dance classes and rehearsals. Before there was a shopping hub across the road from Buderim Memorial Hall, there was a single shop. It was a fish and chips shop and a convenience store (conveniently, it stocked Smith’s crisps as well as hot chips). After school, a bunch of us would order $2 worth of hot chips to share on the grassy lawn out in front of the hall. The kids came from all the local schools, from as far away as Nambour. I can attribute some of my most memorable friendships and a great deal of confidence to hanging out at BATS.

 

From the perspective of teacher, parent and theatre critic, there is nothing more valuable than supporting our kids’ creative pursuits. Being involved in a theatrical production is like any team sport, teaching vital social skills and developing children’s confidence as an individual performer and as a member of a team. There are many roles backstage too so if your child shies away from the spotlight, get them along to learn the technical side of making theatre. It’ so exciting to be a part of Wardrobe, set design and construction, or lighting and sound!

 

BYTES YOUTH THEATRE will be holding a Registration afternoon on Tuesday 28th January from 3.30pm – 6.00pm at Buderim Memorial Hall. Auditions for their Master Class acting and Musical Theatre Program will also be conducted on this day.

 

With Robyn Ernst at the helm, BYTES has been 13 years in operation, with over 160 productions staged and over 4000 young performers through its doors. BYTES has won multiple awards in production, direction, playwriting and performance, and alumni include graduates of WAAPA, VCAE, AIM, QUT, USQ & USC. Details bytesyouththeatre.com

PAK Fundraiser

USC’s Performing Arts Kollective (PAK) is holding a super fun fundraising BBQ sausage sizzle today from 10am – 4pm outside Woolworths in Currimundi on the corner of Bellara Drive and the Nicklin Way. Support PAK performers and find out what they’re up to in 2014. Details on Facebook.

NT Live – The Habit of Art

 

The Habit of Art screens on January 31 at 1pm and 7.30pm. Alan Bennett’s play is as much about the theatre as it is about poetry or music. It looks at the unsettling desires of two difficult men, WH Auden and Benjamin Britten, and at the ethics of biography. It reflects on growing old, on creativity and inspiration, and on persisting when all passion’s spent: ultimately, on the habit of art. The telegraph’s Charles Spencer said, “The Habit of Art is another absolute cracker, often wonderfully and sometimes filthily funny (this is not a show for the prudish), but also deeply and unexpectedly moving.” Directed by Nicholas Hytner and starring Richard Griffiths and Alex Jennings, this is a screening not to be missed. Bookings online noosaartstheatre.org.au or call 5449 9343

 

Start spreading the news – Jordan Russell sets her sights on New York City

 

Speaking of New York City, Jordan Russell, who played Maria in Noosa Arts Theatre’s West Side Story and Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls at Matthew Flinders Anglican College last year, is off to NYC. In New York, Jordan will audition for four universities: The Manhattan School of Music, Mannes School of Music, PACE University and Academy of Musical and Dramatic Arts. We wish Jordan well!

 

Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance President Acting Up in 2014

 

Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance President and Co-Artistic Director of XS Entertainment, Sam Coward, has accepted a role in a major movie being filmed this year in Nambour for a 2015 release…but due to strict publicity guidelines we can’t tell you what it is yet! Producers of the horror slasher film have shared the news across multiple social media platforms, including Facebook and Twitter, so if you were thinking it’s time to open an account you’re right! Theatre companies, artists and filmmakers are using social media more and more effectively to get their news out to fans. Details here soon, but in the meantime, get online to get all the goss.

 




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