State of Play

Image source: Contributed

Whether it is amateur theatrical companies enriching their local communities with plays, youth theatres creating high quality performances including classics and musicals, or new entrepreneurial companies kickstarting exciting productions, the Sunshine Coast has a wealth of theatre experiences available to all. Robyn Ernst shares the state of play for youth theatre in our region.

The first half of the year has seen a fabulous array of theatre with the youth of the Sunshine Coast leading the way!

The opportunities for them to shine are apparent and the hard work of their directors, choreographers and production teams support these amazing endeavours. 

BYTES – Buderim Youth Theatre of Excellence presented the much-loved Pride and Prejudice; the edgy Dracula; and an enormously popular season of Disney’s Tarzan, complete with aerial silks and a 15 piece band! 

High production values in Tarzan were apparent, transforming the Buderim Memorial Hall in to an ever-changing jungle as Tarzan climbed high above the Buderim stage to music by Phil Collins. 

Audiences were captivated by an exceptional cast who swung, sung and danced their way through this rarely performed and technically intricate musical. It was a knockout season!

Another fabulous musical production in the month of May was Stephen Schwartz’s Pippin, produced by Pacific Lutheran College under the direction of Janine Delaney at the Caloundra Events Centre. The talents of this ensemble cast were outstanding, with Kai Sorbello as Pippin, leading the way in this revival version of the show, set inside a circus tent with accompanying tricks and flair. 

It was full of colour, expert choreography and brilliant teamwork as Pippin tried to find life’s meaning. This talented cohort of students are destined to delight us in future productions. 

LITTLE SEED based at Noosa gave audiences a stellar Taming of the Shrew this year as part of its Shakespeare at the Lake program, a popular annual event on Lake MacDonald at the Noosa Botanic Gardens Amphitheatre. The gorgeous setting and the emerging artists from Little Seed, under the direction of Johanna Wallace, means that entertainment is on offer and there are always several outstanding performers who are on their way to bright careers in the arts. Shows to come include Peter Pan Jr and Spamalot.

Other show stopping schools bringing the arts into focus included Matthew Flinders Anglican College, who performed After Juliet by Sharman MacDonald; Sienna Catholic College who presented 13 The Musical; and Good Shepherd Lutheran College who gave colour and excitement to their production of Charlie & The Chocolate Factory at the J Noosa. 

Sometimes it’s difficult discovering all the fabulous theatre being performed by our younger people, but if you make the effort to attend, you will be pleasantly surprised and more often amazed by what these performers can accomplish and the exciting works their production teams are bringing to the local stages. 

With the likes of Sunny Coast Showdown bringing awareness and funding to projects for local talent in the film and television industry and performing arts and cultural events like Horizon Festival continuing to grow, it is a very exciting time for young performers and crew. Watch this space! 

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