Posts Tagged ‘student actors

11
Oct
12

FACE IT: QTC Youth Ensemble Showcase 2012

Face It 

QTC Youth Ensemble Showcase

Queensland Theatre Company

Bille Brown Studio

06th – 07th October 2012

 

Reviewed by Xanthe Coward

 

Youth Ensemble 2012 Tutors:

Chris Sommers, Andrea Moor, Travis Dowling, Jason Klarwein, Louise Brehmer, Kate Foy, Melissa Agnew, Nigel Poulton, Brian Lucas, Catarina Hebbard

Directed by Louise Brehmer & Kate Foy

Performed by The QTC Youth Ensemble:

 

Face It

Clementine Anderson

Tara Barazza

Emily Geale

Meg Haslam

Skye Heales

Sam Hocking

Finlay Holmes

Joseph Howard

Eliza Huybers

Zach Jamieson

Joe Klocek

Renee Lyon

Tiama Martina

James McMillian

Erin Pattison

Mia Pattison

Maddison Perez

 

Face It

Max Radvan

Brodie Shelley

Andrea Zdral

Isaiah Edwards

Alex Beard

Amelia Kordic

Anna Vickerman

Ben Shaw

Bridie Devereaux

Bridie McKim

Brittany Francis

James Kehoe

Ginger Kelly Watrous

Jamilla Wynter

Jess DeGlas

Katie Mirabito

Kirsty Thatcher

 

Face It

Madeleine Aprile

Mia Doyle

Nikki Bell

Olivia Bird

Payton Grgurovic

Rebecca Zanetti

Shannon Widrose

Tia Auld

 

Pressure

 

Pressure and a teenager’s rite of passage were the overriding themes last week at the Bille Brown Studio, for Queensland Theatre Company’s Youth Ensemble Final Performance Showcase. Highly anticipated, this was not your typical “showcase”, which by my understanding of the word would have indicated specifically, which actors were presenting which scenes, for an invited audience of agents and managers. Perhaps this is the sort of event it will evolve into. Perhaps they were there. No pressure…

Family, friends, and a few of the acting tutors enjoyed the polished performances of our next generation of working actors. I know many of our current working actors turned out to one of the Saturday performances. And look out! These kids are good. Really good. It should be no surprise really, when we look at with whom they’ve had the pleasure of working. And they are mad-keen theatre students to start with, from Brisbane, Sunshine Coast and Gold Coast high schools (four of the girls attend the same Brisbane school – how proud must that HOD be?!). Out of some 200 auditionees earlier this year then, these guys and girls are seriously looking like the next big things.

The pieces selected covered a broad range of issues (I’ve listed them below), and represented the wonderful depth of the texts available for young people who want to work on something more challenging than your standard high school curriculum texts. Having said that, some of the best excerpts are of course from the plays included in our curriculum lists. Some of the most interesting came from our local playwrights, including Matthew Ryan, Robert Kronk, Bridget Boyle and Liz Skitch.

Too many of these students gave extraordinary performances to mention them all but a couple of the girls in particular managed to capture the entire audience, as if they had the performance experience of those actors rehearsing Bare Witness and Managing Carmen in the same building. In fact, one of the most poignant comments made by QTC’s Artistic Director, Wesley Enoch, in his introduction to the evening’s program, was about the developing confidence of the students and their increasing levels of comfort whilst in the building, in the first instance, spotting actors, Anna McGahan and John Batchelor on the other side of the space and whispering to each other rather than approaching them, then striding up to them to say hello in the next and just about taking over the building! I love this aspect of Wesley’s direction of the company; he’s always made it very clear that the actors are welcome to hang out there, at “home”. I remember this being central to Wesley’s launch speech last year, both for the mainstage and Greenhouse programs, and I’m looking forward to hearing about the next chapter on Sunday at QTC’s 2013 Season Launch.

Still in my head and somewhere just outside of my heart (when one has a child one tends to distance oneself from the horrifying possibility that anything at all could harm said child), was a performance by an actor who delivered the challenging monologue from Joanna Erskine’s Boot, which Erskine wrote for the The Voices Project (2010). The piece was adapted into a short film, which was released in March this year. Take a deep breath before viewing it. I feel we were incredibly privileged to see the powerful performance delivered by this young lady. The final monologue stayed with me too. This was a moving delivery of Stick by Carolyn Burns, also written for The Voices Project (2011).

 

TIP FOR TEACHERS:

get onto Currency Press and get your copy of The Voices Project.

 

It is wonderful – heartening and inspiring – to see so many young actors with half the battle won. With the opportunities afforded them by QTC (and let’s not forget the support from families) these actors are well on their way to making an impression in the industry. Indeed, they already have.

 

APPLICATIONS NOW OPEN FOR QTC YOUTH ENSEMBLE 2013

 

APPLICATIONS CLOSE NOVEMBER 5TH 2012

 

After an incredibly successful inaugural year the Queensland Theatre Company Youth Ensemble program returns for 2013 and applications for auditions are now open.

Queensland Theatre Company will provide access for motivated, passionate and talented young performers to develop their skills as actors by working with theatre professionals throughout the year long Youth Ensemble program. The program will demand a high level of commitment from participants and will celebrate and strive for excellence.

Upon the outcome of a successful audition a select group of students will be invited to join the Youth Ensemble in 2013. The Ensemble trains out of school hours with theatre professionals to advance their skills as actors. The groups will work towards a performance showcase season at Queensland Theatre Company’s Bille Brown Studio. All Ensemble members receive a season ticket to all Queensland Theatre Company productions in 2013 and are invited to participate in group excursions to the theatre throughout the year.

FACE IT included scenes from the following texts:

THE STONES by Tom Lycos and Stefo Nantsou
SNAGGED by Robert Kronk
SUMMER WONDERLAND by Matthew Ryan
POPPING LEAD BALLOONS By Bridget Boyle, Liz Skitch and Robert Kronk
TRANZITIONS by Stephen Davis
BLACKROCK by Nick Enright
WHO’S AFRAID OF THE WORKING CLASS? by Melissa Reeves
WAR CRIMES by Angela Betzien
ALL STOPS OUT by Michael Gow
ENGINE by Janis Balodis
SUMMER OF THE SEVENTEENTH DOLL by Ray Lawler
THE GOLDEN AGE by Louis Nowra
AWAY by Michael Gow
DAGS by Debra Oswald
THE VOICES PROJECT 2011 & 2012
BOOT by Joanna Erskine
PRINCIPAL by Zoe Hagan
THE LAST POST by Sarah Gaul
STICK by Carolyn Burns

 

QTC Youth Ensemble 2012

31
Mar
12

the last days of judas iscariot

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot

Company 08 & QUT Precincts

QUT Gardens theatre

27th – 31st March

Reviewed by Meredith McLean

 

I’m no architect but despite this fault in my knowledge I’ve always loved the Gardens Theatre at Gardens Point. It reminds me of Mary Poppins’ handbag.

 

 

It looks so small on the outside but when you step inside it gets bigger and bigger. There’s a neat front desk, a quaint modern bar around the corner and the stage will pleasure any theatre technician with a soft spot for lighting. However, I am not reviewing the building, which is a shame because I would’ve taken my hat off to it without a second thought. No, I’m reviewing The Last Days of Judas Iscariot, the play I saw in this wonderful theatre the other night.

The Last Days of Judas Iscariot can be summed up to many things. Black comedy. Religious parody. Phrases such as these come to mind. Hit show would not be in that mix for me. Looking into the history of this play this was not a clean-cut success. Its original production came with mixed reviews. Some giving appraisal and others asking if it was “too much New York.” It is true that it did begin at off-Broadway and George Street in Brisbane isn’t exactly New York but something in that review did sit with me. It niggled at me during the first act. It hung around the bar with me during intermission and sat next to me a little too close for comfort throughout the rest of the show. Finally, while trying to mind my own business on the train ride home, I couldn’t take it anymore.

 

“What?”

I had to scream to this irritating comment, amongst others from previous reviews.

“Did you enjoy

the show?”

the relentless thought asked me.

Unfortunately, I couldn’t say for the entire duration I did.

The premise is promising enough. In fact I was excited for this production because of the concept it was presenting. The idea that Judas waits in purgatory for a Judge Judy-like woman to decide the verdict; Heaven or Hell seemed hilarious. Having eyewitnesses like friends, family, Freud and even Satan seemed like the perfect spark for a good comedy. In the case of this production there were moments where echoes of laughter bounced off the walls of the theatre. But like I said, they were only moments. There was no consistency. It was a lucky draw waiting to see if this next scene would make me laugh or make me wait.

Although I do have to contend with the thought that it is simply the fault of the script. Regardless of these university students’ talent perhaps it was the original script by playwright, Stephen Adly Guirgis, which has let us down. There were recurring moments where I would sit quietly thinking to myself “This skit should’ve ended five lines ago.” There was so much unnecessary banter between characters, jokes repeated for the sake of an extra laugh and persisting moments of characters shouting nothing of use to the audience.

I question Guirgis’ writing because there was one young man who stood out for me in this production. There was constancy in his character that made me laugh every time he spoke. Even his movements relayed those of his role, El Fayoumy: A pseudo-lawyer acting against the defendant, Judas. Thomas Albert played the imposturous disaster of an attorney. The dedication to absurdity in Thomas was impressive. It was his ridiculousness in every wave of an arm or unnecessary shout of “Objection!” that kept me laughing.

Likewise, Leonard Meenach’s direction, despite the content, was a solid result. The use of space on the stage was for lack of a better description how I would’ve done it. This is one of those strange occurrences in life where everything was done well, each line and movement delivered suitably but the results do not match up. A mystery of error that despite a great set-up just didn’t pay off. The concept was there. The arrangement was there but the laugh out loud experience I was building myself up for just didn’t reach the audience.

 

 

Naturally I still have faith in these students. It was clear they had worked hard. As I said there wasn’t consistency but there was, for the most part, humour. The Last Days of Judas Iscariot was not a show that blew me away but there was satisfaction in seeing it. As I expected, it was fascinating to follow the narrative of the piece. And besides, we all want to know what happens. Does Judas go to Heaven or Hell? I had to find out, and I did laugh at times while waiting. If you want to be tearing up in your seat from laughing too much, this production is not the show you are looking for. However, if you’re looking for a tongue in cheek observation on the theories that circulate Judas Iscariot’s life then The Last Days of Judas Iscariot is a play you should see.