[title of show]: Four friends. One original musical.
[title of show cast]: William Duignan, Waylon Edwards, Marylouise Thomas and Sarah
30 November 2012
For immediate release
Four friends. One original musical. Three weeks to write it.
Energy Theatre is proud to present the New Zealand premiere of [title of show] as part of the New Zealand Fringe Festival. This Tony Award-nominated musical is “perfect for anyone who’s dared to dream that they can actually get paid for doing what they love,” says director Tabitha Arthur (Skellig, 84 Charing Cross Road) who is completing her Masters of Theatre Arts in Directing, with Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Victoria University.
Arthur explains that [title of show] speaks to anyone who ever wanted to create, but let their inner critic voice speak too loud. “I think most creative people go through times where we let those voices inside our heads get to us. [title of show] was offered for me to direct at a time where my inner critic was getting all shouty.
Working on this musical reminds me that not only are there other people in the world who feel the same way I do - but they put a show about it on Broadway!"
[title of show] follows friends Hunter and Jeff who are working to write a musical for the New York Musical Festival in three weeks. While searching for a subject for the show, they realise that their conversations about what to write are more interesting than what they are actually writing, and so the musical they are trying to write becomes the musical you are watching. With the help of their ladyfriends Heidi and Susan, the two men explore the challenges of writing and performing their musical. Biting and witty, clever and inspiring, vulnerable and hilarious, this quirky musical comedy chronicles the serious and hilarious moments of following their dreams.
Known for “transporting, entertaining and moving audiences” (Theatreview.org ), Energy Theatre’s mission is to bring exciting, innovative and edgy productions to Wellington and give audiences the opportunity to explore modern musical theatre. This is their sixth production and features Waylon Edwards, William Duignan, Marylouise Thomas, Sarah Andrews Reynolds and Hayden Taylor. Directed by Tabitha Arthur, Musical Direction by Hayden Taylor and Choreography by Sam McLeod.
[title of show] with music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen and book by Hunter Bell. 28 February to 9 March 2013, 7.30pm. Whitireia Theatre, 25 Vivian Street, Wellington. Tickets $18-22, available from www.thetheatre.co.nz .
Door sales and cash bar available. Please note, due to adult language this show is not recommended for children.
Cast and Crew Biographies
TABITHA ARTHUR - Director
Tabitha was born and raised in New Plymouth, where she gained a Diploma of Media Studies in Communication. She worked as a copywriter for radio down south, and then moved to Wellington in 1999 to study for her Bachelor of Design at Massey. She worked as the graphic designer at Saatchi & Saatchi in Wellington for three years before embarking on her study for the Master of Theatre Arts in Directing, taught jointly by Toi Whakaari: NZ Drama School and Victoria University.
Tabitha has previously directed for the Wellington Fringe Festival, Stagecraft Theatre and Khandallah Arts Theatre, and enjoyed a sell-out season of Skellig, a dark and eerie adaptation of children’s novel at BATS in August 2012 for her Masters. She is currently working on a dark and exciting adaptation of a Grimms tale.
“I think most creative people go through times where we let those voices inside our heads get to us, and we second-guess ourselves. [title of show] was offered for me to direct at a time where my inner critic was getting all shouty. What excited me about [title of show] is that I am reminded that not only are there other people in the world who feel the same way I do - but they put a show about it on Broadway! If anything can get you up and out of the dumps, it's this show. This show makes me feel damn good about everything - and I truly hope it does this for others, too.”
SAM MCLEOD – Choreographer
Sam started his dance training in 2007 at Wellington Performing Arts Centre. To date, Sam has completed a Diploma of Commercial dance and a Bachelor of Applied Arts in Musical Theatre though Whitireia Performance Centre. Outside of study, Sam has performed for Wellington Musical Theatre in High School Musical, Cats, Gleevent and the recent Hairspray. Taking on choreography, Sam has choreographed for Industrial Burlesque Collective with Zomburlesque and Energy Theatre with Bloody Broadway 2 and Hot Toxic Love.
“[title of show], is a quirky little musical, and I’m excited to sink my teeth into it.”
HAYDEN TAYLOR – Musical Director and Larry
Hayden is a prominent Musical Director, conductor and pianist in Wellington. He has gained his Masters in Music (composition and performance – piano/conducting) from Victoria University and has many musical direction credits to his name including: Little Shop of Horrors (Hutt City Musical Theatre - HCMT), Bloody Broadway 1 and 2, Hot Toxic Love (Energy Theatre), and RENT (Speakeasy Theatre). Hayden has also accompanied various shows and vocalists as a pianist around New Zealand; credits include: Spamalot (HCMT), Society Slump Superstars (Fresh Dada), The Producers (Porirua Little Theatre), and vocalists such as Ivy Padilla, Matthew Pike, Chris Crowe, James Adams, Tim Beverage, and Julia Booth. Hayden also writes musicals having written many for Toi Whakaari projects from 2008 – 2010 and four full length musicals. Hayden is also the keyboard player in the band Poppy Dust.
“I’m enjoying [title of show] because it is my first role onstage since Miss Saigon in 2009 and I get to be the WHOLE band! GO LARRY!”
WILLIAM DUIGNAN – Hunter
Although William Duignan is the youngest member of cast (in many ways) this fact has never entered his mind, nor is it making him sweat (Hunter–Bell–style) backstage as you read. Despite his shortcomings, he's appeared in “The Best Little Whorehouse in Texas!” (Sheriff Ed Earl Dodd), “Threepenny Opera” (Smith), and “Rent” (Tom Collins). A gifted singer, his credits include “Rusalka” (Vodnik, the water– goblin), “Kiri te Kanawa & Friends”, “Mistletones, a Christmas Caberet!”, “Now That's What I Call Musoc!
” (you're welcome, Christchurch), and about a thousand bands and musical projects that never really had a chance. Raised in Christchurch, this is William's first show in Wellington, and he'd like to thank the show's Director and Producers for believing in him, Musoc, a God, and his Mum, Dad, and two beautiful (slightly less talented) sisters. In the words of Jonas Brothers' Nicolas Jonas, “...(Tiny Tim, Scrooge at eight)...”. Death to vampires, smiley–face.
“It’s fascinating working on [title of show] as there is a real life story that shaped the show. Everyone involved is so open, friendly and beautiful and I’m loving the challenges that come with the level of performance we’re working towards.”
WAYLON EDWARDS – Jeff
Waylon is the front man for Poppy Dust, and is currently recording their second studio album, producing music videos and vlogs. His performance life started in Rotorua with lead roles in pantomimes, Shakespeare in schools and one act play competitions. In 1997 he was "bitten by the musical theatre bug" starting as a dancer, then on to supporting and lead roles. Creatively he began as a painter but now believes his talent as a visual artist has moved to songwriting, commenting, "I get to paint weird pictures with sound, the extra excitement is the visceral." Lead roles include Rum Tum Tugger, Cats, The Engineer - Miss Saigon and The Count – Fang.
“The last big role I did was 2010 and I've had amazing personal experiences since. [title of show] seems to be a perfect narrative for my journey and the synchronicity of my personal creativity and stage experiences coming together.”
SARAH ANDREWS REYNOLDS - Susan
Classically-trained in England, Sarah is an expatriate American. Recent roles include The Witch (Hansel & Gretel, KKT) and The Player (Rosenencrantz and Guild..., Wellington Rep, Best Actress Antoinette 2011).
Sarah has toured the United Kingdom and United States with Romeo & Juliet (Juliet), Hamlet (Ophelia), A Midsummer... (Titania). She is a gifted mimic of voices and accents, which she uses in her extensive voice-over work - most recently as the benevolent AI 'Starfish' in the animated feature, "Raize: The Lost Chapter". The rest of life finds her deeply involved with Richter City Roller Derby (Danger Spouse) and her hunky boyfriend, Danger Danger.
“I love the awesome, revelatory role of Susan. [title of show]’s music is strange and unusual but our MD is great and my cast-mates are encouraging and fun, which makes learning it easier - and we laugh lots.”
MARYLOUISE THOMAS - Heidi
Wellingtonian Marylouise has always loved to sing and perform. There is a family rumour that at the age of 3 she got up on the bar at the local pub to show off my stuff, which consisted of singing “Read your bible” on a loop until her parents managed to drag her down. To this, she says “I can neither confirm nor deny.” Living in Wellington gives Marylouise great opportunities to pursue the theatre that she loves and she consider herself lucky to be a part of it. Most recently Marylouise starred as Dorothy in Wellington Musical Theatre’s 42nd Street. She is delighted to be back with Energy Theatre, having last treaded their boards in the original Bloody Broadway.
“I love the joy and pure fun that [title of show] has. It shows real(ish) people living real(ish) lives and doing what they are passionate about. At its heart [title of show] is about people doing what they love, with people they love - how can you not want to get involved in that!”
[title of show] with music and lyrics by Jeff Bowen and book by Hunter Bell. 28 February to 9 March 2013, 7.30pm. Whitireia Theatre, 25 Vivian Street, Wellington.
from www.thetheatre.co.nz. Door sales and cash bar available.