Megan Shorey (Interview 34)

Megan Shorey will never write a musical. Or so she tells me. But before I can wonder if I’m having a coffee with the wrong gal, she clarifies: “At Joymas Creative we write Music Theatre. Theatre with music, for theatre lovers; for people that enjoy a mental challenge, an emotional challenge; where the songs continue to drive the narrative.” So, if you’re looking for sequins and a kick-line, you’d better head elsewhere. Or stay – and enjoy something new.

Joymas Creative is a Brisbane-based, independent music theatre company that produces its own work, and has done so since 2009. It is headlined by the extraordinarily talented Megan Shorey – writer, director, producer, songstress, wife and mum.

I met Megan for the first time last week to chat about the launch of Joymas’ 2013 season. We covered kids’ illnesses, ballet school madness, starting prep and our mutual disdain for babies that don’t sleep, and then I remembered I had to do an interview. Not only is Megan one of the most delightfully articulate, clever and engaging women I’ve met, she’s also got her finger firmly on the pulse – and a good thing too – for 2013 will see Joymas embrace the often elusive, yet always intrusive Generation Y. Continue reading “Megan Shorey (Interview 34)”

Review: Children of War, La Boite indie and The Danger Ensemble in association with the Vanguard Youth Theatre

Image: Courtesy La Boite Theatre

I like the concept. Take a group of young characters pulled out of the myths surrounding the Trojan War and make them the seniors of 2012, complete with impending formal. Writer Chris Beckey and director/designer Steven Mitchell Wright have offered up a media-infused collision of old and new that seeks to highlight that it’s all just a little bit of history repeating itself when it comes to growing up in a war zone. The Danger Ensemble collaborated with the Vanguard Youth Theatre to develop and perform the work, and the cast of eight young actors grab the show with both hands (and at times their bared teeth) and run with it. Continue reading “Review: Children of War, La Boite indie and The Danger Ensemble in association with the Vanguard Youth Theatre”

Review: Some Dumb Play – Metro Arts Allies

I still recall my first Choose Your Own Adventure book. Remember those? You read a chapter and then you’re faced with a choice – do the characters take the river or head through the dunes? Stick the knife in, or show mercy? Drink the potion or storm the castle? Ok, Head to page 26. It was GREAT fun, especially for a child, who is never the boss of anything – not so much the hobby for the compulsively indecisive, but a little bit of a thrill.

Stepping into the buzzing Sue Benner Theatre to take in the digitally experimental Some Dumb Play, that familiar feeling of spine tingling excitement began to brew. For the folks at home, this is how it works: You take along your smart phone; find your wifi settings and connect to ‘some dumb play’; open your browser and type www.somedumbplay.com, and your voting screen pops up.

To get in a bit of practice before the curtain goes up, you can vote for the pre-show music – the punters loved this. I could hear husbands and wives trashing each other’s choice and mates cheering their approval as their song was played. My girlfriend and I had an altercation over whether it was a moral duty to vote against the Backstreet Boys. It certainly got the party started. Continue reading “Review: Some Dumb Play – Metro Arts Allies”

Claire Christian (Interview 33)

I had the pleasure yesterday of speaking with Claire, the current Director of Empire Youth Arts. We chatted about the work being done by EYA in Toowoomba and the surrounding regions in southern Queensland.

Over the past couple of years I’ve seen a lot of the work being done in the various after school and performance projects which EYA has produced. The scope and outcomes are impressive, to say the least.

Claire expanded. “Some … that I’m really proud of include a partnership with Toowoomba Flexi School for National Youth Week. We also worked with the boys from Optikal bloc to create a documentary. We facilitated a Child Protection Week project with some young children at Rockville Primary school, and provided them access to a couple of visual artists.”

In addition, during 2012 there were two IMPACT Ensembles: the first was a production of Blackrock which Claire speaks about in the interview. She notes that it was particularly exciting for the group who had partnered with the Toowoomba Says no to Violence movement, and held a Young Men’s Forum day as part of the overall project.  The second IMPACT Ensemble a production written, performed and designed by the ensemble members has just closed. Claire and I chat about the value of this particular project in the interview. Continue reading “Claire Christian (Interview 33)”