Jonathon Larsen’s tick tick…BOOM! is an is the autobiographical story of a talented composer questioning his self-worth, life choices, and relationships, set in New York, 1990. Michelle Theunissen-Scott makes her directorial debut with the show for Off The Leash Theatre. “I was absolutely flattered when Off The Leash Theatre Company invited me to direct this great show”, says Theunissen-Scott. “For me the attraction was the realistic story that aligns with most performers life. Directing is something I have always wanted to do and it was perfect timing”.
Theunissen-Scott has spent much of her professional life performing in musicals, both overseas and here in Australia. The last musical on which she worked was Wicked in London, prior to returning home to regional Victoria to start her family with husband Pharic. Heading into her first show as director with three children at home (a 6 year old, and 3 year old twins) brought new challenges, as well as loads of positives. “I didn’t have the usual amount of time outside of rehearsals to spend preparing, as I would have had pre-kids. I think sometimes we can overthink things, so it’s made me trust my own creative process and gut more, and feel each moment as it arises in rehearsals”.
When she finds things are getting a little tricky and she finds herself out of her comfort zone, she feels blessed to be able to turn to her husband. “My husband Pharic is definitely my go to person”, reflects Theunissen-Scott. He has a huge wealth of knowledge across many areas of the industry. Although he is a singer/actor, he has worked on and continues to work in lighting, sound, and production management, alongside having a successful career as a performer”.
Directing can have its testing moments for even the most experienced director, so Theunissen-Scott is counting her lucky stars that her first outing as director is with Off The Leash. “It’s been really great working with Off the Leash. They are so professional. Every T is crossed and I dotted – I love that! I have learnt that directing an amateur show means that you have more gaps to fill than you would on a professional show, as there isn’t always someone to fill every possible position. This has meant great training!
I’ve loved working with the cast on this show because it allows them all to really showcase their talents. I honestly believe that all of them have what it takes to work professionally one day, and to be a part of their journey has been a joy”.
Such is the joy she finds in working with her cast, she is hard pressed to name a favourite moment in the piece. “I am really drawn to the comedic moments in the show because it just helps bring things back in perspective and reminds us that Jon’s situation is a first world problem and how overdramatic he can be at times”. However, she continues, “Musically, I love it when the drums kick in during ‘Louder Than Words’, and the three friends are still there for each other regardless of their challenges (goosebumps every time)”.
Despite having been penned over twenty years ago, Theunissen-Scott feels that the story of tick tick…BOOM! could not be more relatable, even now in 2017. “There have never been more entrepreneurs, people questioning their life purpose, changing career paths at a later stage in life etc.”, she continues. “[The character of] Jon is also going through challenges in his relationships and having to learn of his best friend’s illness. […] it makes you laugh, cry, and I hope at the end the audience walks out feeling more positive about their lives”.
Her final thoughts? “Life is too short to not do what you love in some way shape or form. You just have to surround yourself with good people. Not everyone cheers for you and that’s ok. Make wise and courageous choices, your gut instinct is ALWAYS right. Only you do you so worry about being the best you can be”.
Good advice for us all.
The Gem – Emerald: July 14th & 15th @ 8pm
Wesley of Warragul – July 21st & Sat 22nd @ 8pm
Anglican Church– Drouin: July 28th & 29th @ 8pm
Adults $36.00 ($1 donated to BeyondBlue) & Concession/Student $31.00 ($1 donated to BeyondBlue)