Who are the people behind Theatre People?
Not surprisingly, Theatre People is designed by theatre people, written by theatre people, marketed by theatre people, for theatre people. The staff of Theatre People don’t just know their audience, they are the audience, contributing every day to the community through creative as well as business pursuits.
Theatre People began fifteen years ago, when a group of disgruntled thespians got together because they were tired of the low quality publications the theatre community had available to them. The founders of Theatre People wanted to create a community, not just a website, and thanks to the involvement of a dedicated core team of staff and literally hundreds of casual contributors, we’ve grown year on year and are now widely recognized as the premier resource of our kind.
Chris Hughes – Business Manager/Editor In Chief
Chris is a founding partner of Theatre People. Over the the past thirteen years, he has made his mark on the theatre community as an actor, singer and dancer, appearing in over thirty large scale productions. Chris made his professional theatre debut in as a principal performer in Follies In Concert at the Crown Showroom. The many faces of Hughesy have been spotlit in lead and principal roles in Anything Goes, Sweet Charity, Oklahoma, Bye Bye Birdie, The Wiz, Chess, Hot Mikado, Grease , Pirates of Penzance and Jesus Christ Superstar, The Hot Mikado, Whitehorse’s West Side Story and most recently is Johnny O’Keefe in CLOC’s Shout! and is currently directing Phantom of the Opera for Windmill Theatre Company. Chris has earned multiple nominations by the Music Theatre Guild for his performances in various roles over the years including two best director nominations for the critically acclaimed productions of Assassins and Phantom of the Opera. By day, Chris is an Executive Headhunter for search firm, Alex Kaar.
Sally Hughes – Administration Manager
Sally completed her Bachelor of Music Degree with Distinction under several scholarships at the Melba Conservatorium of Music and continued her studies at the Australian National Academy of Music. Sally performs regularly as a soloist and recitalist at many venues around Australia, favouring musical theatre, oratorio and operatic repertoire. She also performs with the successful corporate act ‘Yummy Opera’, managed by the Glynn Nicholas Group. Theatre roles include ‘Rosa Bud’ Iin The Mystery of Edwin Drood, ‘Margot’ in The Desert Song, ‘Laurey’ in Oklahoma!, receiving a Victorian Theatre Guild nomination for Best Actress, ‘Young Sally’ in Follies In Concert, ‘Hope’ in Anything Goes, ‘Mrs Segstrom’ in A little Night Music, ‘Maria’ in West Side Story and ‘Maria’ (a different one) in ‘The Sound of Music’. In 2005 Sally won the Victorian Theatre Guild Award for Best Supporting Actress for her performance of Emma Carew in CLOC’s Jekyll and Hyde. Sally spent 8 years in a senior management position in the financial services sector, but now works as a Melbourne Marriage Celebrant and the most in demand female wedding celebrant at that! In 2013 she won the ABIA marriage celebrant of the year. Her personal website can be found at www.wordsandmusic.net.au
Richard Thomas – Financial Controller
Theatre People’s Financial Controller Richard Thomas is a Chartered Accountant and Financial Adviser and maintains an executive position at a notable Melbourne Accounting firm. Richard is a highly regarded performer in the Melbourne theatre community, having played prominent roles in large-scale productions of Sweet Charity and The Secret Garden, as well as professional appearances in Mame and Follies. A singer of first-rate acclaim, Richard has sung with many of the cream of Australia’s vocal talent, and has released several solo CD’s of theatrical works. Richard has appeared several times as a special guest on Good Morning Australia, and is widely considered to be one of Melbourne’s greatest theatre talents.
Jon (Jonno) Sebastian – Webmaster
Jon is the Billing Solutions Manager at Vodafone Hutchison Australia which so kindly supports his love for the theatre. He has performed in over 30 musical productions such as ‘Patroclus’ in the World Premiere Production of Jon English’s PARIS for Laycock Street Theatre in Gosford NSW, ‘Don Lockwood’ in CLOCs Singin In the Rain, ‘Gregory Gardner’ in CLOCs A Chorus Line, ‘Enjolras’ in Gosford Musical Society’s Les Miserables. Others include: Little Shop Of Horrors, Tapestry – A Musical Revue, Crazy For You, Jesus Christ Superstar, CLOCs Jekyll & Hyde, CLOCs The Scarlet Pimpernel and as Lumiere in Whitehorse’s production of Disney’s Beauty and the Beast for which he recieved a nomination from the Victorian Music Theatre Guild for Best Supporting Actor. In 2007 Jon played the role of Captain Tempest in Return to the Forbidden Planet (Lyrebird Nomination) and the role of Jon in tick, tick… BOOM (Victorian Music Theatre Guild Nomination), both with Fab Nobs Theatre Inc. In 2008 Jon went on to play his ‘dream’ role of Peter Allen in The Boy from Oz with CLOC Musical Theatre followed by Zoser in Whitehorse Musical Theatre’s acclaimed production of Elton John & Tim Rice’s AIDA. More recently, Jonno has treaded the boards with CLOC as the Boy From Oz and Sky Masterson in Guys and Dolls.
James Terry – Head of Digital Media
James is sought over his extensive experiences in filming and photographing theatre, which has included Australia’s leading professional productions of LEGALLY BLONDE, WICKED, GREASE, ROCKY HORROR and the world premiere of KING KONG: THE MUSICAL to name a few. He has had the privilege of getting his work aired on CH7 and ABC, including the 7PM PROJECT and THE MORNING SHOW. James’ Photography specializes in headshots and portraits for aspiring performers/actors including publicity images and graphic design for Musical Theatre Productions. James’ stage credits include a MTGV nomination for ‘Leading Male’ as Joseph in ‘Joseph…Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat’ (WINDMILL), commendation for ‘Supporting Male Lead’ as Willard Hewitt ‘FOOTLOOSE’ (Panorama), MTGV nomination Male Dancing Ensemble ‘PIPPIN’ (Waterdale) and Lyrebird nomination for ‘Best Number in a Variety’ as Rudolpho in ‘MATILDA’ (OTG). This 90s Night marks James’ fourth production this year following his professional début in ‘BEAUTY AND THE BEAST’ lead by David Harris and Patrice Tipoki.
Alison Coffa – Communications Manager
Alison was introduced to the world of amateur theatre at age nine when she saw her first production. Now, ten years later, that passion still continues to grow. Alison has worked both on and off stage for the last decade, involving herself in any aspect of theatre she can get her hands on. She has performed in several shows including playing the title role in Annie Jr, as well as productions of Aladdin Jr (Genie), Peter Pan, Bugsy Malone (Captain Smolsky), The Sound of Music and most recently, Jason Robert Brown’s 13. Musical training has included voice, piano, guitar and clarinet. Behind the scenes, Alison has held the role of Microphone Coordinator and backstage assistant with an amateur children’s theatre company for a number of years. Outside theatre, Alison is studying a Bachelor of Arts (Media and Communications) at Deakin University, majoring in Public Relations and Journalism.
Allison Hilbig – Deputy Editor In Chief
Allison’s interest in live theatre first started as a young child watching pantomimes. Ensemble and supporting roles in school musical productions further developed this interest, along with studying music through most of her high school years. She joined a community theatre group travelling all over Melbourne and into regional Victoria, then turned to producing and directing youth musicals. Allison is now an avid theatre goer and regularly attends both professional and community theatre, organising group bookings for friends and colleagues. When she’s not at the theatre, Allison is a senior physiotherapist in a large metropolitan health network, as well as being a wife and mother to four singing/dancing/acting children
Kris Weber – Editor, Plays
Kris has had a love affair with the stage, and those actors and directors that honour it, for many years having recently celebrated her involvement in her 60th production. Memorable acting credits include: Stella in A Streetcar Named Desire; Alice in I Never Sang For My Father; Pearl in Summer of the Seventeenth Doll; Helga Ten Dorp in Deathtrap; Lady Cynthia Muldoon in The Real Inspector Hound and Hilary in Hotel Sorrento. These days Kris spends more time directing with highlights in this discipline: Agnes of God; Steel Magnolias; Cosi; Last of the Red Hot Lovers; The Odd Couple (Female Version); The Castle; Nuts; The Laramie Project; Speaking in Tongues, Almost Maine and The Other Place. She has been an in-house adjudicator for various Melbourne theatre companies and runs successful theatre workshops for small groups of actors. She has also been a critical observer and advisor to VCE Theatre Studies students preparatory to their performance exams. Over recent years Kris has worked as Executive Producer of Mockingbird Theatre.
Maddi Ostapiw – Editor Amateur/Non Professional/Community Theatre
At 21 years of age, Maddi is well on her way to spending a life consuming theatre at a rapid rate. Studying voice for a number of years, Maddi has participated in many musical and operatic productions in both leading roles and backstage, and enjoys her role with Theatre People immensely. She is particularly passionate about social issues within theatre, and can always be found planning her next escape from her country town to take in as much theatre as possible in Melbourne and Sydney. Maddi looks forward to the next chapter of her life, where she plans to set up her own musical business, become an accredited journalist and continue to write about theatre until her fingers are cramped over the keyboard and her opinions are no longer relevant.
Stacey-Louise Camilleri – Auditions
Brent Downes – QLD
Within the last decade, Brent has performed at, featured, or hosted poetry events in Brisbane and in poetry adventures down the east coast of Australia, Northern New South Wales, and The United States of America. He has two published books Coat of Arms (2008) and In the Other Room (2011) which has seen him given the award of Trimaxx International Publishers 2011 Feature Author of Poetry. He is constantly seeking to redefine and challenge contemporary artistry and publishing and is passionate about the emerging generation of writers. He holds an honours degree in theatre from Australian Catholic University where he explored notions of community in contemporat Queensland mainstage theatre and is currently completing a doctorate at ACU that explores the links between artistry and community in contemporary Queensland playwrights. Brent can be contacted at email@example.com
Tim Garratt has been a passionate theatre buff for over two decades. Though only ever a theatre participant himself at school, his appetite for theatrical experiences encompasses plays, musical theatre, dance, comedy and immersive theatre. He’s particularly interested in following development of new works for the London and New York stages.
By day, Tim is a business journalist, currently working as editor of a magazine with a sizeable national readership and his interview credits include high-profile global business leaders. He also holds a law degree, but is far from sharing career ambitions with Atticus Finch and Elle Woods.
Adam Letherbarrow – Play Reviews Co-ordinator
Maxine Montgomery – Musical Reviews Co-ordinator
Maxine studied at the Conservatorium of Music at University of Melbourne (BMus), Queensland Conservatorium at Griffith University (GradDipMus in Opera Performance), and at the National Opera Studio in London. In 2009, she was the recipient of the Opera Foundation Australia Vienna State Opera Award. Operatic performances include Lucia in Lucia di Lammermoor, Magda in La rondine (both with Melbourne City Opera), Musetta in La bohème and Micaela in Carmen (both for Melbourne Opera). In 2010-11, Maxine was a member of Victorian Opera’s Developing Artists Program, and during that time, she performed the roles of Mrs Grose in The Turn of the Screw, Second Lady in The Magic Flute, and Lady Billows in Albert Herring for the company. Max has been involved in music theatre for over 25 years in various capacities, doing everything from props and choreography to lighting and ushering. Some of her favourite performances include The Witch in Into The Woods (ACUPA), Mrs Phagan in Parade (Waterdale) and Rona inThe 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (BLOC). She won a Victorian Music Theatre Guild Award for Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd with BLOC in 2003.