Musical theatre stars from the Queensland Conservatorium are wowing audiences with a sell-out winter season at the Brisbane Powerhouse.
Final year triple-threats have wowed audiences at the iconic arts venue with two acclaimed productions: a musical re-imagining of the beloved literary classic, Little Women, and the classic Broadway smash, Company.
Jerrod Smith is one of the actors playing the lead in Company – a part he describes as “a dream role”.
“I’ve really fallen in love with the character, it’s been an amazing experience to be playing the lead in a production like this,” he said.
“Being at the Powerhouse also offers us great exposure – it’s not just family and friends along to see these shows, they both sold out before the cast was confirmed.
“I think productions like this offer audiences the best chance to see students at the final stage of their training right before they head out into professional roles.”
Fellow final-year student Hannah Bennett is taking on the role of Joanne in Company – an iconic part played by legendary musical theatre divas including Elaine Stritch and Patti LuPone.
“I get to belt out the classic Sondheim tune, Ladies Who Lunch, and the character is such a delight to play,” she said.
“She’s very brash, abrasive and has some great one-liners – this is one of my top five bucket list roles.”
Rebecca Rolle played the role of Jo March in the musical adaptation of Little Women, which played to sell-out crowds during its run earlier this month.
“The tickets to our season sold out in a week and we had great audiences,” she said.
“It is a very intimate theatre-in-the-round, which offers you a completely difference experience as a performer.
“It was jaw-dropping to be cast in one of the lead roles – it was a great chance to put all of our hard work and training to use.”
Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Scott Harrison said the Powerhouse season offered a chance for students to work with leading industry professionals and perform in a professional setting.
“Our close ties with the Brisbane Powerhouse have opened up remarkable opportunities for our students,” he said.
“The students have had the chance to work with industry professionals who are at the top of their game, with a host of guest directors, musical directors and choreographers.
“They have also had the chance to perform at the Powerhouse, which is the home to many of Brisbane’s independent musical theatre productions.”
Queensland Conservatorium Head of Performing Arts, Associate Professor Paul Sabey, said Queensland Conservatorium musical theatre graduates formed the backbone of performing arts productions in Australia and internationally.
“Since its inception in 2011, our Bachelor of Musical Theatre has turned out the country’s finest triple-threat talent, with graduates cast in high profile productions like My Fair Lady, Aladdin, Mamma Mia and Beautiful,” he said.
“The program was the first of its kind in the country, and offers aspiring musical theatre stars the chance to prepare for a career in the industry under the direction of internationally renowned teachers and performers.
“Our program has a focus on industry engagement and we believe it is vital that young performers build their professional networks and gain exposure to the industry while they study.”