We get the low down on the upcoming Melbourne Amateur Theatre Ball, with event organiser Jen McKinnon

Why are you hosting this event?
“We have so much to celebrate in the Melbourne amateur theatre world and, in conversation with amateur theatre people last year, many expressed that it’s a shame that we have to wait until the end of the year to get together as a community. With the Guilds and Lyrebirds primarily based on awards there isn’t really any opportunity to simply enjoy time with fellow musical theatre performers. So I have taken it upon myself to take the risk and hope that this event satisfies the void that so many people have flagged.”

Who's putting it together?
“This is a solo mission. I’ll be the first to admit that I’m a very fussy person. I have hosted events like this in the past with a team but have found myself more stressed having to keep track of others and their assigned jobs, so this time I decided to keep it simple (in a sense) and take it on by myself. TheatrePeople have been very supportive and I’m really excited that their team will be there on the night to cover the event.”

“The last event I managed was a couple of years ago for five hundred RMIT students. The evening was a great success and so, using a similar formula, I decided to take on a new project.”

“My background is twofold. I have a degree in Advertising – so, with that comes the event management experience – and, of course, I have a background in musical theatre and am currently studying at the Victorian College of the Arts.”

What can people expect from the night?
“It’s basically a big party! We all know theatre people love a good night out! The whole idea is just to get everyone together to continue to build and nurture relationships within the theatre community. I know, personally, that it’s so hard to keep in touch with the many wonderful people you meet from show to show so this event is aimed to provide an evening for us all to ‘rendez vous’ at once and catch up together. Its also an opportunity to meet new people and build new connections with like-minded individuals. Hopefully, it will take off and become an annual event on the Melbourne theatre calendar.”

What's included in the ticket price?
“Included in the ticket price is a sit-down, three course meal, live DJ entertainment from DJ YAK and, of course, all the beer, wine, sparkling and soft drink you could ask for!”

“I’ve tried to make the evening as affordable as possible, while still maintaining the quality of the event so it’s great value for money!
“The ticketing scheme accounts for all different groups of people: The standard single ticket is $85 for people who haven’t organised a group. The next tier is for a group of ten and tickets are $82 each. There is also a special price for tickets purchased through any amateur theatre company, which is cheaper again, so companies are advised to contact me at [email protected] for more information on that.”

What do people wear?
“The theme for the event is ‘red carpet’ and the TheatrePeople paparazzi will be there to capture all the glamour. So hopefully people will go all out and dress to impress!”