Posts Tagged ‘Auditions


The Stars Shine Bright in Brisbane: Harvest Rain Season Launch 2014


Harvest Rain Theatre 2014 season launch

QPAC Playhouse

18th  November 2013

Attended by Meredith Walker


Harvest Rain stars shine in 2014


After 18 days of social media clues, Harvest Rain Theatre Company revealed its 2014 season in an all-singing, all-dancing launch at QPAC’s Playhouse. For the company’s 2014 season, its first as a fully professional company*, Harvest Rain will be continuing what it does best, presenting a trio of big musicals featuring an impressive list of Australian stars. The season features a golden oldie, a modern Broadway classic and a Broadway hit musical, ranging from the sublime to the silly, but all with promise of maximum entertainment.


Harvest Rain is fast developing a reputation for effectively reviving and recreating the classics.


The company’s 2013 Oklahoma proves that classic musicals can still be popular and the company aims to recapture the magic when it reintroduces the delightful musical Guys and Dolls to a modern audience in March.  After their acclaimed performances in Oklahoma, Ian Stenlake and Angela Harding will reteam in the show and the audience was reminded of their vocal talents, including through Stenalke’s dynamic performance of Luck be a Lady. The really big news, however, was that the company has recently signed Gold Logie winner Daryl Somers to play Nicely Nicely Johnson, a role made famous on the Australian stage by the late Ricky May. And Somers was in full schick mode as he hammed it up about his preparation for the weighty role. Auditions for professional ensemble roles are to be held in December.


Image by Nick Morrissey


Everyone is invited to the Jellicle Ball when the company presents Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Cats in an arena spectacular style show at the Brisbane Convention Centre for five performances in May. With over 500 performers taking to the stage, Cats promises to be a glorious production of immense scale. Indeed, it will be the largest production of Cats ever staged in the southern hemisphere. While the whimsical cats shone both on stage and as they slinked about the post-launch function, the highlight was undoubtedly headliner Marina Prior’s goosebumpy performance of Memory, the show’s haunting anthem.


Audiences are guaranteed a good time when Simon Gallaher and Jon English reunite thirty years after their Pirates of Penzance romp for the Tony Award winning Monty Python musical Spamalot, based on the cult 1975 film Monty Python and the Holy Grail. After rousing renditions of Knights of the Round Table and Always Look on the Bright Side of Life, Lady of the Lake Julie Anthony revealed how she was coaxed out of retirement for the show, which will be staged in QPAC’s Concert Hall in October.


Harvest Rain has not only earned its place at QPAC, but its energetic approach to theatre making makes its works valuable resources for school groups. Indeed, shows such as Cats, provide an exciting access point to for school students to engage with a classic text, wether that text be Andrew Lloyd Webber’s beloved musical or its genesis, Old Possum’s Book of Practical Cats by T. S. Elliot, in a welcoming context. Not only this, but the company offers students the opportunity to engage with the arts on a practical level though their musical theatre internship program, in keeping with its aim to nurture young artists in their passion for the performing arts. Harvest Rain will also be conducting auditions for the Cats youth ensemble in early December.


The Arts in Australian schools is at a turning point; Australian students now all have an entitlement to education in the five art forms – dance, drama, media arts, music and visual art.


Companies such as Harvest Rain, should be commended for the manner in which they encourage young people to participate in the Arts more fully and to understand how the arts provide unique and valuable ways of making meaning.


Harvest Rain’s motto for 2014 is ‘the stars shine bright in Brisbane’ and if the 2014 launch is any indication, this is indeed the case, as the company adds to their list of the acclaimed artists who have trodden the boards in a Harvest Rain show over the past three decades.


*In 2014, Harvest Rain is giving young amateur performers from across South-East Queensland the opportunity to take part in a large-scale arena presentation of Andrew Lloyd Webber’s CATS, the largest production of the classic musical ever staged in the southern hemisphere.


Australia’s leading lady of musical theatre, Marina Prior, will star as Grizabella in this record breaking production, along with a core cast of professional musical theatre performers (auditions for the professional adult cast will be held in January 2014). Surrounding this cast will be a large youth ensemble made up of over 500 young amateur performers from across South-East Queensland.


If you want to be one of those young performers, then apply to audition today!



West Side Story Auditions – Noosa Arts Theatre

West Side Story Auditions at Noosa Arts Theatre this Weekend!

Noosa Arts Theatr Front Entry

This weekend, in between our green smoothies, coffee, vino, ADELE UP LATE and Katie Noonan’s SONGBOOK Sam is auditioning hopefuls for the upcoming Noosa Arts Theatre production of West Side Story.

One of his favourite shows ever, this version of West Side Story will establish a contemporary urban feel from the outset, and challenge fans of the original production style. Because I’m not directly involved in this one (from now until September I have my french tips in too many other pies, people!), I will be your eyes and ears throughout the process. You’ll learn a bit more about what goes on behind the scenes. More about that after the auditions.

Noosa Arts Theatre ain’t that big a place, it’s a lovely little intimate theatre, and having been privy to the early ideas being discussed with committee and the production team, I know audiences will be surprised with the way the space is to be utilised. Performers will experience something different at Noosa Arts too!

Bringing one of our fave Sunshine Coast choreographers, Stephanie Brown on board, means that the look and feel of Sam’s West Side Story is going to test cast members in the initial stages, and ask them to be open to trying anything. I know! How excitement! It will be no different to working with Sam on any other project!

Sam Coward

Director, Sam Coward. Image by Blueprint Studios.

So are you auditioning?


If you call today you can still book an audition spot for Sunday 28th April but Saturday 27th April is BOOKED OUT!



Stephanie Brown

Choreographer, Stephanie Brown. Image by picture this! photography.

Assistant Director: Synda Turnbull

Musical Director: Noel Bowden

Choreographer: Stephanie Brown

Join the Facebook group to be part of the conversation!


CLICK HERE for Available Parts & Character Outlines

Need some last minute audition tips? Remember our good friend Todd Schroeder?

Check out what he’s been teaching performers for years!

Principal Roles include:  
Maria, Bernardo, Anita, Riff, Tony, plus the 4 adult roles:
Officer Krupke, Doc, Schrank, and Glad Hand.

By appointment 

Saturday, APRIL 27 – BOOKED OUT!

Sunday, APRIL 28 from 9.30am

An pianist/accompanist will be present at auditions to play your music, 
or bring your own backing CD.  A CD player will be provided.

Due to time constraints, please keep your singing audition to 16-20 bars Maximum.

Performance dates: 

SEPTEMBER 11, 12, 13, 14, 18, 19, 20, 21, 25, 26, 27, 28 at 7:30pm 

SEPTEMBER 15 and 22 at 2pm

For more information about Sunshine Coast productions and auditions contact Synda via email or keep an eye on Facebook and


Strange Attractor – Sam Coward

Strange Attractor

Strange Attractor

A Chat with Sam Coward


It’s hard to catch my husband for more than 2 minutes at a time so we’re lucky we got this much out of him.

This weekend is your last chance to see Sam in what he says will be his final role on stage for a while. And he’s good. And I’m his biggest critic. You should see this production, it’s good; it’s Simon Denver’s staging of Sue Smith’s bold Australian play about a Pilbara community rocked by the unexpected death of their mate, Gus, played by Sam.


Tell us about Gus

Gus has a fairly fast decline from being enthusiastic and somewhat superficial about his role as the safety officer. He’s got an IQ of 133. And then all of a sudden we see his decline; he’s obviously been in the job too long and he sees the de-civilisation in the camp that brings him to breaking point. He resorts to drugs and alcohol, which leads him to doing something stupid. Perhaps if he weren’t depressed he wouldn’t have taken the risk, which ultimately led to his death. Did the drugs and alcohol make the risk possible?


How much has the environment contributed to the death of Gus?

Gus is a good man. You see him trying to fit in and he’s an Alpha but it’s not about intellect in that environment. It’s as superficial as “might has right” and it’s a Neolithic hierarchy. Placed in those extreme environmental conditions, combined with a lawless and loveless mental condition, basic instincts govern.


Are there any answers by the end of the play?

By the end we learn that relationships are all that matter but people are still going to be attracted to the bright lights and the promise of money. They’ll put themselves into shit conditions to make a lot of money fast. The resource boom FIFO jobs are traps. They sound like they’re a good thing for the family, they’re sold attractively but these jobs are just cheese in the trap. The alcohol, the drugs…

There must be people who find the lifestyle attractive. It’s empty, shallow, and it’s easy until you stop and think about it. It’s purely about the wants. There’s no love, there are just connections.


What’s it like to play a dead guy?

It’s funny. Because you’re one of the guys but you’re not performing as one of the guys. They’re all talking about me but I’m not there talking with them. I have a different relationship with them.


Tell us about working with SRT

The company is cavalier, crazy and raw. Whether the success of their shows is by accident or design we’ll never know. Simon says the success of a show is 99% casting and he’s right; that’s what we see him do.

There’s a high degree of trust in the SRT process, where actors in the fold are trusted and it’s more a baptism of fire for the newbies. Weaknesses are exposed, ridiculed, and laughed about until they’re not weaknesses anymore. It’s survival of the fittest. You can either work the way we work or you can’t. There’s no management and no handholding. Everybody knows what he or she is doing and they expect you to do the same. When you join SRT for a production it’s sink or swim.


So describe the rehearsal process…

BAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA! Oh. You mean Bump In and Tech? That’s it. No, really, that’s it.


Is this an important play?

Yes, it’s very relevant; it takes an up close look at the impact of the FIFO phenomenon on Australian families. There’s so much perpetuated about the mining culture and this is a glimpse at the truth.


What’s this about a Boys’ Shed at Noosa Arts Theatre?

The Mens’ Sheds comprise men over 60 who hang out and build stuff. The proposal is to start up a boys’ arm of the Mens’ Shed to provide role models for the sons of FIFO fathers, as well as opportunities to learn and apply new practical skills. It’s an old school idea for a new generation of Lost Boys.


What about a Girls Shed?

Well, they’re everywhere…salons, stores, and coffee shops.


Righto… What’s next? The Pirate Show is ongoing, at least until the 22nd. What do you have on after that?

Soiree_2013The Pirate Show is the first theatre restaurant concept the Sunshine Coast has seen for years so we hope to bring you a return season later in the year. We have some other concepts up our puffy pirate shirt sleeves too. Next Saturday 9th February the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance presents their annual Soiree, a night of fun and great food, and the season launches from our Alliance theatre members. Check out for details on how to book and how to get involved at your local community theatre.


Following that, I’m involved behine-the-scenes with Noosa Arts Theatre’s West Side Story, directed by Synda Turnbull, and I’m directing opening and closing pieces for the Noosa International Food and Wine Festival and Floating Land. And you know XS has a heap of other projects, which we’ll reveal details about later in the year.


Book online for Strange Attractor


Book online for the Sunshine Coast Theatre Alliance Soiree


Find audition info for the Noosa Arts National One-Act Playwriting Competition and West Side Story here





Auditions: XS, SRT & Free Spirit Entertainment!




XS Entertainment

Suncoast Repertory Theatre

Free Spirit Entertainment


are holding combined open auditions

for their 2013-2014 projects


Saturdy 15th December 2012

Times available from 10am – 2pm


@ Embody Performing Arts in Nambour


ACTING AUDITIONS – please prepare a 2 minute monologue


DANCE AUDITIONS – please prepare a 2 minute routine


SINGING AUDITIONS – please prepare a 2 minute song


*You can audition for all 3 if you wish, only one audition time will be required.


You may be required to attend a call back at 2:30pm, which will be an open group call back.

We are looking for strong individual performers who are happy to work closely with a fantastic team. 



To arrange an audition please email –

The actual address is 3/131 Currie Street but you access the studio via Howard Street. Turn into the driveway beside the white wall on Howard Street. Embody is in the same building as Civic Video……. 

if all else fails call Sam 0402461062



A Chorus Line…the revival replica

A Chorus Line


A Chorus Line 

TML Enterprises 

QPAC Lyric Theatre

16th November – 2nd December 2012


Reviewed by Xanthe Coward


“A classic Broadway musical for a new generation.”

…but just what is it telling them?


For a “timeless musical” (certainly one of the most loved movie musicals of all time), this one sure feels dated. And long. No interval, kids. As the lights came up at the end of the show on opening night in Brisbane, all I could do was sit and think, “Wow. Wow. WOW. THAT’S IT?! WHAT WAS THAT?!” I was in shock! That was the finale? That was the show I grew up singing and dancing to in the living room? That was the song (Nothing) that I sang as my contrasting monologue at auditions for tertiary studies? That was the girl (Cassie) too good for the chorus line? Okay. It’s fair to say that you might have loved this production. In fact, you probs did. It’s probs just me. Is it just me? I know Caroline Hutchinson was there on opening night; perhaps it should be a Mix FM segment after you’ve all seen the show. Because you should see this show. And then let me know what you think.


What I think is this: Tim Lawson et al saw the revival production on Broadway and thought we should see it here. But what we are seeing here is not what they saw there. It’s a copy and it’s lost its heart and soul somewhere between New York City and here. Did no one take on the responsibility of breathing new life into Michael Bennett’s original work? Instead of a fresh and vibrant new version, we get a vague, half-arsed homage to a vision that, for a whole new generation is questionable, and to the older ones, those more familiar with it, almost laughable.


A Chorus Line is a show about dancers, about heart and soul and blood and guts and sweat and tears. You don’t do it without investing a substantial amount of self. Like any show, you give it your all…and then a little bit more. The last time we saw A Chorus Line was on the Sunshine Coast and the heart and soul that went into that production came across very clearly. Choreographer and Producer, Paul Attow, staged a production in 2004 in Nambour  (I know, right?), something he’d always wanted to do. In fact, putting on A Chorus Line meant so much to him that he mortgaged his house to do so. After 2 successful combined theatre companies’ musicals, the stakes were high, and the production was a hit and most of the performances were as “professional” as we’d seen. As an example, let’s consider Brett Klease’s performance, compared to the monochromatic outbursts from this current Zach (Joshua Horner). Now, let’s get one thing straight. We don’t care what else you’ve done. Sure, a long list of Broadway or West End (alright, or reality TV show) credits could indicate immense talent but I say you’re only as good as the guts you’re willing to give in the show you’re in. Unfortunately, it appears that Horner tried to be as least like Michael Douglas as possible (Douglas made the role famous in the 1985 film), and in complete contrast, comes across as harsh, loud and just plain irritable. Klease, on the other hand (currently performing in Caravan at Noosa Arts Theatre), in 2004, was able to show the many colours, tones and textures that make up the complex man who cast and directs the Broadway show for which 17 hopefuls line up. In the line-up is his past love, Cassie.


Most of these current performers seem…un-stretched. I feel like they want to go there but there’s been no one to say, with a sparkle in their eyes, “GO THERE! DO IT! YOU CAN DO IT!” Perhaps they did go there in 4 previous cities in Australia, perhaps not. This production has received mixed reviews and I know singers, actors, and dancers, dance teachers and non-performers have all loved it. But I want to go on those massive journeys with the characters, not just watch them from afar. I want to feel the same way I do when I watch the movie, or the doco, Every Little Step. I mean have you SEEN that doco? It’s amazing, about how the show came together originally, after Michael Bennett sat down with a group of dancers and a couple of bottles of wine one night, and recorded everything they had to say about the industry, their lives, their loves and their tough skins. It’s real. On the other hand, I haven’t been this unaffected by the stories in a live show since David Atkins’ odd production of West Side Story.



Paul (Ross Hannaford) nearly went there, Diana (Karlee Misipeka) nearly went there and then, with the exception of Will Keith as Greg, we watch cardboard cutouts strutting about (Samantha! I mean Sheila! Really?! Others love her.), that didn’t get anywhere near revealing a full personality, despite the fact that this is the show in which to do so. THIS IS THAT SHOW. We should see more than the iconic poses from each character. We should see more than Cassie and Zach shouting at each other downstage. Geez. What was that? IS IT JUST ME?


A Chorus Line


Luckily, we saw A1 dancing and enjoyed some top voices. (Well, you know if Maggie can’t get “At the Ballet…” you might as well get up and leave but Nadia Komazec underplayed Maggie beautifully, belted that top note and made that number). Look, some of them were maybe thinking, “God, I hope I get it!” on opening night rather than actually getting it. Apparently there were no previews in Brisbane? Perhaps that would have solved the sound issue for the Lyric Theatre (Paul White, we miss the bigger, bolder, brassier sound from Marvin Hamlisch’s score! Is it a System Sound Associates thing? I heard similar comments about the sound for Carmen. In fact, the best sound I’ve heard in the Lyric Theatre in a while was at Rock of Ages.). God, I hope they’ve learned from that.


The problem is not what will the audience like (well, clearly that’s a challenge for the investors, promoters and venues), but will this be the pinnacle of Australian musical theatre at this time? What does excellent currently look like, sound like? This? Really? Just this? And there’s the problem. As far as aspiring musical theatre performers (and their teachers) in Australia can ascertain, the current touring production of A Chorus Line is what excellent looks like, sounds like.


The quality of a production ultimately lies with the director and while Baayork Lee is my favourite Connie, and while she has remained faithful to the original production’s look and choreography (as noted, the choreography is executed by all with aplomb), I just don’t think that beyond the dance, she’s done all that she can with it. On the other hand, perhaps she has and, ultimately, that’s the problem with this little revival replica.



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