Peoples Playhouse is Proud to present, 13 A New Musical……..A grown-up story about growing up!
Co-Director Nick Rees sheds a little more insight into this intriguing premise. "I would say message of the show is the most significant feature and that message is no matter our age, " we all have a little more homework to do" and that growing up can be difficult," he says.The show is also significant for Rees as it will mark his first time as a director.
The story follows Evan Goldman who is forced to move from New York to a small town in Indiana after his parents' divorce. He just wants to make friends and survive the school year. Easier said than done. Rees first heard of the show in 2009 a year after it was released on Broadway. "The following year I came across the soundtrack (the musical has a rock score from Tony Award-winning composer Jason Robert Brown) and the music drew me into the show," he says. "In 2011 I saw the Stagemasters production and from there I said I would love to direct this show one day and had a vision of how it would sound and look.
This show is performed by 30 local and extremely talented teenagers so, according to Rees, the first challenge was casting! "We were looking at leads around the 15- 17 year old bracket so it was tough to find the right fit for the roles," he explains. "And then I went through times where I had a scene planned out in my head but physically it just didn't work, so then you have to adjust. I have learned to be adaptable & while I would love everything to be perfect, it's probably not always going to happen."
Rees identifies another challenge as one of being bale to make things relatable to the cast. "It's a show about 13 year olds growing up & we all remember that age……….the mind, the body, emotions, friendships, values are all sharing to develop," he says. " Some handle it better than others. And then the cast is actually the same age!! What were we thinking??"
13 A New Musical is being produced by and staged at Peoples Playhouse which has been providing opportunities for musical theatre lovers of all ages in the Frankston area for over 21 years. The Playhouse also runs its Kidz 4 Kidz and, according to President David Krause, the founding members saw a need early on to create opportunities specifically for youth and so Kidz 4 Kidz was born. "Since that time about 18 years ago the company has been putting on youth, mixed and adult shows," says Krause. " Our directors have both performed in youth shows as part of Peoples Playhouse and Kidz 4 Kidz and it is great to have them back as adults to help out the next group of aspiring young actors."
In 2011 Rees performed his first show with Peoples Playhouse playing "Fagin" in 'Oliver'. "I had an absolute ball but unfortunately was too old to do their next show as I was 19," he says. " So I then put in an application to be assistant director for The Wizard Of Oz, their previous production and had a blast doing that. Now of course I have the pleasure of helping them develop more knowledge of the musical theatre world."
Rees is excited by his young actors and the talent that they have to offer! "They each bring such enthusiasm to rehearsals and are always eager to learn," he says. "We have such a talented bunch of teens not only from the Mornington Peninsula and Frankston area but some have been travelling from the other side of Melbourne to be part of the show."
13 is a hilarious, high-energy musical for all ages about discovering that cool is where you find it, and sometimes where you least expect it. So, says Rees, if you like Comedy, Energy & seeing new talent this will be a great night out for audiences, so book tickets now!!
Location: Cranbourne Community Theatre, Brunt St, Cranbourne
Show Dates: April 12th-April 20th
Friday April 12th @7.30pm
Saturday April 13th @2.00pm and 7.30pm
Friday April 19th @7.30pm
Saturday April 20th @2.00pm and 7.30pm