The University of Melbourne’s Music Theatre Association (UMMTA) is a popular place for new talent to be show-cased, and their current production of the Broadway musical Curtains will be no different. With a myriad of talented performers on the stage and a group of young skilled musicians in the orchestra, the show is sure to be a crowd pleaser.
UMMTA is an interesting association in itself, having a slightly different process to most amateur theatre companies, being run entirely by students. Tegan Jones, artistic directer of UMMTA and producer of Curtains gave the low-down on how they do it.
"It has been a whirlwind," she says. "We have only ten weeks to put on this full-scale musical and only seven weeks of rehearsal. But the quality and standard of the show that has been produced in this short time frame is astounding."
There’s no doubt that UMMTA has perfected the art of a short rehearsal period, boasting successful big-scale musicals such as Cabaret, Fame, and most recently, A New Brain thanks to the combined experience of the production teams. Bradley Dylan, directer of Curtains, has learnt a lot from the theatre "On both sides of the stage; for many years. What draws me in time and time again is the opportunity to impact an audience and take them on a journey that ends with them being personally affected by the outcome. This is the essence of the theatre and my life blood," he says.
With a cast of 36, Curtains has an ability to "generate excitement within the cast and crew but also for audiences" according to Jones. "There is something about the mystery ‘whodunnit’ aspect of the show as well as that return to that Broadway style of the 1950’s."
"It was the intrigue of the staging that drew me in," says Dylan. "It has a lot of potential to show theatre at it’s core. It’s a show within a show within the theatre it’s set in." And what does Curtains promise to give it’s audiences? ‘Hilarity,’ Dylan says simply.
So to experience a mysterious, hilarious show, buy yourself tickets to UMMTA’s ‘Curtains’. It’s running from the 6th to the 14th of May at the Union Theatre.