Stephen Valeri talks about his new cabaret and has some advice for our struggling companies.
TP: Your brancing out into the world of cabaret and you have chosen quite an interesting subject area given the times. So what exactly is the show about?
Stephen: Through our show, we explore Melbourne’s amateur theatre community. We hope to give audiences – those both familiar and un-familiar with the community – an insight into the typical lives of people involved in the amateur theatre circuit. The show includes classic and contemporary musical theatre repertoire, anecdotes, skits and some tips to success!
TP: What were your motivations for writing the show?
Stephen: This show has been devised and performed as a part of both mine and Jessica’s university studies. We are currently in our graduating year of the Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash University, and the creation and performance of this show forms part of our final assessment. The show itself came out of an interest from both of us to explore the exciting and thriving amateur theatre community in Melbourne – one that we have both been a part of, and something we thought would translate well into a new performance work.
TP: Your partner in crime is Jessica King and Musical Theatre is obviously a huge passion for both of you. How have you found it working together on such a project?
Stephen: Jess and I have been studying together for three years and bonded over a mutual love for all things musical theatre. This project has been an amazing opportunity for us to utilize our skills as performers – both being singers, as well as expanding our knowledge of performing in both cabaret and musical theatre. We’ve had an absolute ball putting this show together (probably a little bit too much fun!) plus the fact that we are great friends has made the process a lot easier and much more enjoyable!
TP: There are a lot of struggling companies out there at the moment. How do suggest they succeed without trying?
Stephen: Tough question! I think it’s unfortunate that there are so many struggling companies out there at the moment. Of course, it’s important for companies to try and pick shows that are going to be appealing to both theatre people and the general public – but I really think it comes down to how well companies play to their strengths and resources – the most successful companies have a strong and consistent audience base, normally a particular age demographic – and they cater to their valued patrons. It’s always been my belief that companies should try and create the best possible show with the resources available to them – you can’t do much more than that!
TP: As soon to be graduates, what are you plans heading forward?
Stephen: Jess and I are both about to graduate from university and are both hoping to pursue a career in the professional industry – the chance of developing the show further has been discussed and is certainly possibility in the future! We hope that this show is a stepping stone towards more performing experiences.
TP: Final words???
Stephen: We really hope that all the "Theatre People" out there will come and support this show. If you’ve ever had any involvement in the amateur theatre world, you’ll find something to relate to or have a giggle about in this show – and if you haven’t, we’re sure you’ll learn something new on the night!
HOW TO SUCCEED IN
WITHOUT REALLY TRYING
Opens this week
For more details check out our ‘Whats On’ Section