Hailey McQueen (Barrett), Excelsia College tutor and graduate from our alumni group of 2002, recently adapted and directed C.S Lewis’ The Screwtape Letters for the stage. Sell out crowds were a testament to the extraordinary success of her stage play adaption.
The Screwtape Letters follows the correspondence between senior demon, Screwtape, and his nephew; a junior tempter named Wormwood. Both are looking to secure the eternal damnation of a young man. With characteristic wit and uncomfortable accuracy, Lewis illustrated the frailty of the human mind, and shone a light on the vulnerabilities we like to pretend are not there. McQueens’s production executed this perfectly, and had the audience squirming with self-reflection.
Presented by Twisted Tree Theatre, and performed at Sound Lounge in the Seymour Centre, the team packed 7 performances into 5 days and every single show was sold out. The talented team included two other Excelsia Alumni: George Zhao and Jessica Gray. We are proud of the success of so many of our graduates in an expanding number of fields.
Audiences loved the show, and took to social media to praise the performance and express their desire to see it restaged. Jacqueline de Keizer said; “This was an absolutely awesome production. We’ve seen quite a bit of theatre, and this rates as one of the best things we’ve seen”.
Hailey and the team are looking into doing just that, so stay tuned for a 2016 season with a longer run and a bigger theatre.
The Comedy, adapted from the book of the same title, focuses on one hot Queensland summer in the lives of a Chinese-Australian family. The series was shot on location in May with support from screen Queensland and produced by Matchbox Pictures – the same production company which produced the BAFTA-nominated hit series The Slap.
We spoke to George about working on The Family Law, an experience that if possible, he would do all over again.
“The people on set and off set were absolutely amazing and incredibly supportive. As actors we bonded very quickly and before we knew it we had, in fact, become a family. As an Australian Asian actor, these roles are a dream come true. As the public will see next year, these ‘Asians’ you see aren’t Kung Fu experts or super nerds but just an ordinary family with its own quirks and complications. This diversity is lacking in Australian television and only in recent history has that begun to change. I am looking forward to hearing the laughter from next door as the show airs early next year.”
The Family Law will screen on SBS in early 2016.
Congratulations to alumna Hannah Bath for her debut performance in a brand new comedy show Open Slather. Hannah scored a coveted role on this new Aussie show when she showcased her considerable comedic timing at the audition.
Since graduating in 2007 Hannah has landed multiple TVC’s, performed stand up routines throughout the UK, featured in several short films, written, produced and performed a web series Cooking with Julie, and now, starred alongside Australian Comedy legends Glenn Robbins, Jane Turner, Magda Szubanski, Shane Jacobson and Michael Veitch in Foxtel’s comedy sketch show.
Filmed in Melbourne with a large studio audience, Open Slather is a 20 part series that satirises popular culture, politics, and sport. It looks set to be an instant success, with two of Australia’s best comedy show producers Rick McKenna and Laura Waters (the producers behind Kath & Kim and Summer Heights High) on board.
Executive Director of Television, Brian Walsh, said: “Foxtel is delighted to reunite this legendary group of comedic performers in this exciting new series, and thrilled to have the creative genius of Rick McKenna and Laura Waters on board to guide the new, up and coming performers. OPEN SLATHER is shaping up to be the must-watch comedy series of the year!”
Excelsia College graduate Lauren McDougall will be directing the Broadway musical HAIRSPRAY at Pacific Hills Christian School this May.
HAIRSPRAY is a musical set in 1962 Baltimore, Maryland. The show is full of 1960s-style dance music and "downtown" rhythm and blues.
Lauren recently took the time out of her busy schedule to talk to Excelsia College and spoke on how the Music program has equipped her for her career in music.
“Studying at Excelsia College helped me to tackle a range of creative avenues. My studies have equipped me for performing as a vocalist, and an actor, or directing musicals with understanding of the place of faith in the creative arts”- Lauren McDougall
Performances will be running on 7, 8 & 9 May 2015. For more information or to book tickets follow this link: www.trybooking.com/127215
Over the 2014/15 summer break our second year Drama students packed their bags and flew to LA for Drama’s Oz to LA program.
Our students spent 3 months in LA training with Acting Corps learning from industry workshops, seminars and conferences as well as specialist training in screen acting. Students were also given the chance to network with actors, writers, agents and producers, developing this vital skill for the entertainment industry.
The program again proved to be a once in a lifetime opportunity:
“After an unbelievable, once-in-a-lifetime trip to Los Angeles I’m excited to kick start my career as an actor in Australia. I am so thankful to have had this experience and to have met all the wonderful people I've met” Shane Millward
Featuring Students from the Music Program and a range of styles including Contemporary, Jazz and Classical
Performers of contemporary repertoire need solid and appropriate technique to support their artistic choices. They need to be able to create brilliant effects without compromising the authenticity and personal resonance of their work. In a masterclass format, Excelsia performance teachers David Holmes and Clare Heuston interact with young singers and guitarists, critiquing the work and suggesting technical and musical strategies to help them craft performances that will electrify their audiences.
Book your spot in the Guitar and Vocal Workshop and receive a FREE Ticket to the music showcase!
You can look forward to:
– Students and emerging artists trying out new repertoire
– Experienced coaches exploring the structure and significance of the pieces chosen
– Excelsia’s collaborative studio teaching methods in action with guitarists and singers across a variety of styles
– Join us for Q&A and complimentary dinner following the workshop
Excelsia College (formerly Wesley Institute) kicked off the first week of Semester with the launch of the new name. CEO Dr Greg Rough addressed staff and students and spoke about the vision of Excelsia College ultimately becoming a university. He also spoke on the value and importance of the performing arts courses in our Excelsia College community. The celebrations included burgers and shakes and an acoustic music set played by alumni Dan Friend and Olivia Shaw