In the ever growing music theatre industry that Melbourne has developed throughout the past few years, the amateur scene has evolved to give audiences both high quality productions and a plethora of choices in the companies and projects they choose to support. Providing us with high quality performances that match both the production and talent value of larger shows, the amateur area of theatre is thriving.
The newly established Western Arts Theatre Company hopes to continue in the tradition that other Melbourne based amateur groups are known for, providing high quality access to arts and theatre with a focus on social cohesion, community development, and equal opportunity, all based in the Western suburbs in Melbourne. Developed by a handful of performers who found a lack of music theatre opportunities in the western Moonee Valley Area, the company was established to not only allow more music theatre opportunities in the Western area, but also to allow other projects (non-musical related) to be undertaken. Heather Wright, president of Western Arts Theatre, is hoping to allow opportunities to all to perform and create comradeship in a safe and healthy environment. Ms. Wright, along with the community, believes that the Melbourne theatre scene is strong and thriving, and that the amateur scene is a wonderful environment for those developing their skills, and those who undertake theatre as a hobby.
“… (I) am very fortunate to have a supportive team to pursue the performing arts in the area,” says Ms. Wright, who is currently gearing up to produce RENT as Western Arts Theatre's first foray into a fully staged musical.
In the meantime, WAT’s first production will be a cabaret style performance, drawing influence and inspiration from “The Good, the Bad and the Ugly of Musicals.” The cabaret is set to feature classics from Oklahoma! and My Fair Lady through to music from Andrew Lloyd Webber, and more contemporary shows such as Avenue Q. Funds raised on the night will be used to later produce RENT, and the WAT team hope that the cabaret will be a massive success and will be supported well by locals who wish to see a stronger theatrical presence in their part of Melbourne.
Above: The poster advertising Western Arts Theatre's first performance as a company.
Ms. Wright tells Theatre People that the goal of WAT is to produce up to four productions each year, and that they are in the process of considering a number of venues to be their official home.
The Good, The Bad & The Ugly of Musicals will be held at the Essendon Masonic Centre on February 21st at 7:30 and will feature food sales, raffles and other fundraising incentives. You can show your support for WAT by liking their page on Facebook, and tickets are available through trybooking at the following link: http://www.trybooking.com/GONV