Theatre talent invited on stage

Invercargill pupils who took part in the StageAntics Summer Programme in Dunedin in January (from left) Binnie Lenihan (13), Lachie McGregor (13), Samuel McGregor (15), Emmy Roderique (17) and Meadow Bodkin-Allen (16).

WITH the increasing popularity of musical theatre in the region, an Auckland duo wants to shine a spotlight for young talents.

Professional performance and art directors Emma Bishop and Mark Bradley, from StageAntics, will descend on Invercargill next week to host a three-day intensive musical theatre training and performance programme.

During the past couple of years, StageAntics has run workshops in Dunedin, Christchurch, Nelson and Wellington.

Bishop said the idea to take their programme to the Deep South came after a successful workshop in Dunedin, in January, which included five talented Invercargill students.

“They approached us and said they would love to have those workshops in their city as they believed more students would like to take part.”

Bishop believed the interest for the musical theatre scene had skyrocketed across the country recently.

She noticed this from her experience working with Music Theatre International – one of the world’s leading theatrical licensing agencies, granting theatres from around the world the rights to perform the greatest selection of musicals from Broadway and beyond.

“They basically said there has been a 400% increase in requests for rights in New Zealand. This means schools, companies have been doing a lot of musicals throughout Aotearoa.”

Bishop believed Invercargill offered great opportunities for young talent.

However, cancellations of several musical productions due to the Omicron outbreak led to a space and a desire for those kinds of programmes in Southland, she said.

“A lot of those kids are part of local theatre clubs or they do shows at school them the opportunity to learn from different people.”

The programme will run from 9am-4.30pm from April 26-April 28 at the Southern Institute of Technology.

It would include ensemble work, singing, acting technique and musical theatre choreography and will culminate in a showing of work on the final afternoon, she said.

“They will pull everything they learn into a show for family and friends.”

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