Queensland Conservatorium musical theatre graduates have been cast in a host of high-profile shows this year.
‘This is everything I dreamed’
Recent graduate Jordanna Morandin will make her professional debut in 9 to 5 – the hit West End musical based on the cult 1980s film.
She has won a role in the ensemble cast, and will also understudy the character of Doralee, immortalised by Dolly Parton on screen. The young performer is in good company, starring alongside Australian theatre stalwarts including Caroline O’Connor, Marina Pryor and Eddie Perfect.
Jordanna was still finishing her Bachelor of Musical Theatre when she auditioned for the show last year.
“I was shaking when I found out I got it, and I had to pinch myself when they told me I was covering the lead,” she said.
“This is everything I dreamed of.
“I don’t think I would have had the confidence to audition if I hadn’t done the three-year course at the Con.”
Jordanna said winning the lead role in the Queensland Conservatorium production of Les Misérables last year confirmed she had chosen the right career path.
“It was my first time playing a lead role, and I just had a feeling of pure joy the whole time I was on stage,” she said.
“It’s a feeling I want to chase for the rest of my life.”
‘I feel very lucky’
Another recent musical theatre graduate Tiarne Sue Yek will make her professional debut next month at the Hayes Theatre in Merrily We Roll Along – the celebrated Stephen Sondheim musical.
“This is my first gig out of uni, and I feel very lucky to be performing in a show like this so soon after graduating,” she said.
“The producer spotted me at the Queensland Conservatorium industry showcase last year, and invited me to audition.”
Tiarne will co-star with fellow musical theatre alumnus Georgie Hopson, who will take a lead role in Opera Australia’s production of The Secret Garden later this year.
‘This is a show I believe in’
Griffith musical theatre alumnus Vidya Makan is currently starring in Six – the hit West End musical currently touring Australia and NZ.
“To be cast as one of the leading ladies in a big touring show like Six is a milestone,” she said.
“Female characters are often underwritten in musical theatre, but this show features six strong leads.
“I’m so lucky – this is a show that I really believe in, and I get to work with a great bunch of women.”
She has just been nominated for a Green Room award for her performance in last year’s Sunday In The Park With George, and credits her training at the Con for helping her forge a diverse stage career.
“We had such a range of opportunities, from cabaret to contemporary and classic musicals,” she said.
“I think it gave me a great work ethic and adaptability, and the course is held in such high regard in the industry.”
Meanwhile Queensland Conservatorium graduate Shubshri Kandiah has won a lead role in Everybody’s Talking About Jamie, which comes to Australia after receiving rave reviews in London’s West End.
Shubshri comes to the role after a stint with Queensland Theatre. She made her professional debut in Disney’s blockbuster musical Aladdin just months after graduating in 2017.
Fellow Queensland Conservatorium graduate Courtney Monsma, who appeared in Six and Aladdin, was also recently cast in Disney’s blockbuster show, Frozen.
‘A world-class education’
Acting Queensland Conservatorium Director Professor Gemma Carey said the Bachelor of Musical Theatre continued to turn out the country’s finest performing arts talent, with graduates cast in hit productions in Australia and internationally.
“The success of our alumni reflects the calibre of teaching and learning happening at the Conservatorium — our students are given a world-class education and are ready to make their mark in the industry when they graduate.”
As part of its 2020 performance season, the Queensland Conservatorium will mount a blockbuster production of Wicked, with a cast featuring the entire musical theatre cohort.