Past Productions

LOVE AND INFORMATION
young people in various poses
PARTIES ARE A CRUEL KIND OF FUN
Someone sneezes. Someone can’t get a signal. Someone won’t answer the door. Someone put an elephant on the stairs. Someone’s not ready to talk. Someone is her brother’s mother. Someone hates irrational numbers. Someone told the police. Someone got a message from the traffic light. Someone’s never felt like this before. In this fast moving kaleidoscope, more than a hundred characters try to make sense of what they know. “Where hearts connect, minds collide, and data reveals the secrets of the soul." Love and Information by Caryl Churchill is a captivating and thought-provoking play that delves into the complexities of human connection in the digital age, exploring the ways in which love and information intersect and shape our lives.  With sharp wit, humour, and a keen understanding of the human experience, Churchill's play prompts us to question the nature of our connections and the impact of technology on the fabric of our relationships. The script doesn’t dictate who says what, when, or in what order. In this way, no production of this show is ever the same. Performed in the intimate setting of the Playhouse, with a colourful, modular set that reflects the kaleidoscope of emotions that the characters experience, it will speak most to audiences under 30 and should have great appeal to students of Drama and English and anyone who enjoys contemporary theatre. BOOK NOW
Where: Civic Playhouse
Performance Dates: May 22 - 25

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THE JUNGLE BOOK
 
A BRAVE HEART IS YOUR BEST WEAPON
In this action-packed adaptation of the classic adventure story, precocious Mowgli grows up believing he's as fierce a wolf as any of the members of his pack. When he learns he is actually a human, he must discover how to reconcile these very different identities, and decide whether to remain with the pack, or return to the human world from which he was born. What will he choose? And will he be trained in the Law of the Jungle in time to defeat Shere Khan, the most feared animal of all? Vacation Care/OOSH Performances: Thursday 18 April 10.30am Tuesday 23 April 10.30am Running time 60mins no interval BOOK NOW
Where: Civic Playhouse
Performance Dates: April 17 - April 27

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Wowfest: The Final Frontier!
Space: the final frontier. These are the voyages of the starship HD. Our two week mission: to explore strange new stages. To seek out new plays and new musicals. To boldly go where no drama student has gone before! Join us to celebrate the achievements and talents of all of our students cosmic mix up of comedy, drama and music. For some voyagers, it will be their first time on stage, for others, they'll be right at home in front of a crowd. For both, one thing is certain, it’s sure to be an exciting and thrilling showcase to round out the year! Scholarships will also be presented during our Wowfest season

Beam me up, Scotty.

Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle & Cessnock Performing Arts Center
Performance Dates: 30/11/23 - 10/12/23

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Disney's Finding Nemo Jr - Hunter Valley Season
TICKETS ON SALE NOW For the first time ever in Cessnock, Hunter Drama is so excited to bring Disney’s Finding Nemo Jr. to the stage. This production is a 60-minute musical adaptation of the beloved 2003 Pixar movie Finding Nemo. Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his kid Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured and taken to Sydney, Marlin faces his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the supportive Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves. Featuring memorable songs such as “Just Keep Swimming,” “Fish Are Friends Not Food,” and “Go With the Flow,” Finding Nemo JR. brings a vibrant underwater world to life on stage in a story full of family, friendship, and adventure. 
JUST KEEP SWIMMING
Where: Performance Arts Culture Cessnock
Performance Dates: 05/10/23 - 07/10/23

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War Of The Worlds
TICKETS ON SALE NOW Broadcast from New York's Mercury Theatre in 1938, this infamous radio play, based on the novel by H. G. Wells, had many terrified listeners convinced that an actual alien invasion of Earth was taking place. Adapted by Howard E. Koch, co-writer of Casablanca, and directed and narrated by Orson Welles, this original script detailing the frightening tale of an extraterrestrial takeover is now available to modern audiences to bring to life onstage and to thrill and chill audiences. Now, 85 years later, Hunter Drama's senior drama students will present a faithful recreation of the world's most famous radio event. Directed by James Chapman (She Kills Monsters)

They came to CONQUER the EARTH!

Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle
Performance Dates: 03/08/23 - 05/08/23

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Disney's Finding Nemo Jr - Newcastle
For the first time ever in Newcastle, Hunter Drama is so excited to bring Disney’s Finding Nemo Jr. to the stage. This production is a 60-minute musical adaptation of the beloved 2003 Pixar movie Finding Nemo. Marlin, an anxious and over-protective clownfish, lives in the Great Barrier Reef with his kid Nemo, who longs to explore the world beyond their anemone home. But when Nemo is captured and taken to Sydney, Marlin faces his fears and sets off on an epic adventure across the ocean. With the help of lovable characters such as optimistic Dory, laid-back sea turtle Crush, and the supportive Tank Gang, Marlin and Nemo both overcome challenges on their journey to find each other and themselves. Featuring memorable songs such as “Just Keep Swimming,” “Fish Are Friends Not Food,” and “Go With the Flow,” Finding Nemo JR. brings a vibrant underwater world to life on stage in a story full of family, friendship, and adventure.  TICKETS ON SALE NOW  - Get yours here.
JUST KEEP SWIMMING
Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle
Performance Dates: 7th-15th July 2023

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Unhinged History

A MID-YEAR WOWFEST EVENT

You think history is boring? Well think again! The history of our world is absolutely UNHINGED! Each group of students will take a look back into the past and create a short 10 minute performance to be presented as part of Unhinged History. Guided by their tutors, students will work with their classmates during term 2 and explore the world of playbuilding. With a focus on ensemble work and building the fundamentals for performing in front of an audience, our students will bring history to life! 
The past meets the present!
Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle & Cessnock Performing Arts Center
Performance Dates: 15/06/23 - 24/06/24

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The Wedding Singer

TICKET ON SALE NOW - CLICK HERE

The Wedding Singer takes us back to a time when hair was big, greed was good, collars were up and a wedding singer might just be the coolest guy in the room. Based on the hit Adam Sandler movie, The Wedding Singer's sparkling new score does for the '80s what Hairspray did for the '60s. Just say yes to the most romantic musical in twenty years. It's 1985, and rock star wannabe, Robbie Hart, is New Jersey's favorite wedding singer. He's the life of the party until his own fiancée leaves him at the altar. Shot through the heart, Robbie makes every wedding as disastrous as his own. Enter Julia, a winsome waitress who wins his affection. As luck would have it, Julia is about to be married to a Wall Street shark, and, unless Robbie can pull off the performance of a decade, the girl of his dreams will be gone forever. Hunter Drama's 2023 production of The Wedding Singer is directed by Ali Hodge and will be staged at The Civic Playhouse from April 14th-22nd.

"PARTY LIKE IT'S 1985!"

Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle
Performance Dates: 13/04/23 - 22/04/23

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WOWFEST: HEROES AND VILLAINS

AN END OF YEAR WOWFEST EVENT

Superpower?    CHECK Cape?     CHECK Disguise?     CHECK Anything else?!? What does it take to become a hero? And isn’t a villain just a victim whose story hasn’t been told? We are surrounded by a cinematic universe of heroes, but if you look closely, heroes are actually all around us. A small deed can create a hero as much as a superpower. But a superpower in the wrong hands can create a villain. People are not born heroes or villains; we’re all just ordinary people making choices that result in consequences.  Using the skills accumulated over the course of the entire year, each group of students will present a short 10-minute performance as part of WOWFEST: HEROES AND VILLAINS. Guided by their tutors, students will work closely with their classmates during terms 3 and 4, to rehearse their own unique take on heroes and villains. With a focus on assembling a team of unstoppable actors, standing side by side, working together to become something more! Together, there will be no room for Thanos - er, we mean Nervous! The Playhouse stage will become the battleground where nerves will be defeated, performance superpowers flexed and a hero made of each and every actor brave enough to get on stage! 
EVERY VILLAIN IS A HERO IN THEIR OWN MIND
Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle & Cessnock Performing Arts Centre
Performance Dates: 29th November (Cessnock Performing Arts Centre) & 3rd-11th December 2021 (Civic Playhouse)

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SHE KILLS MONSTERS

NEWCASTLE PREMIERE

A comedic romp into the world of fantasy role-playing games! In this high-octane dramatic comedy, laden with homicidal fairies, nasty ogres and 90s pop culture, acclaimed playwright Qui Nguyen offers a heart-pounding homage to the geek and warrior within us all. She Kills Monsters tells the story of Agnes Evans, a young woman grieving for her deceased sister. The Evans sisters never were especially close, but after Tilly’s death, Agnes discovers a notebook containing a game scenario created by her sister. She discovers Tilly was a well-known Dungeons and Dragons player, who was passionate about online fantasy gaming. In order to unlock more secrets about her mysterious young sibling, Agnes recruits a “dungeon master” named Chuck, to help her understand and grieve Tilly.  Chock-full of supermodel elves, dominatrix warrior women, and nasty ogres, She Kills Monsters is a surprisingly sweet tale of friendship, loss, and acceptance. This is a story in which girls wield swords, queer kids are cool and nerds rule the earth.
A STORY ABOUT KIDS WHO MAKE UP STORIES
Where: Civic Playhouse
Performance Dates: 25th-27th August 2022
Times: Matinee and evening performances.

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Seussical

BASED ON THE WORKS OF DR. SEUSS

Coming to the Civic Theatre mainstage for the very first time (at a time when we need it most), this full length production of Seussical will be a full blown musical adventure through The Jungle of Nool, perfect for the entire family.  Join us, as the most famous of Cats in the most iconic of Hats guides us into the world of Dr Seuss, where Horton, the kind hearted elephant, discovers a speck of dust on which the civilisation of Whoville exists. There JoJo lives, a Who child sent to military school for thinking too many “thinks.” Horton is thrust into an urgent battle to protect the speck of dust and the residents of Whoville, while at the same time protecting an abandoned egg left to his care by the lazy Mayzie la Bird. Unable to convince the other animals in The Jungle of the existence of the Whos, Horton is ridiculed and put on trial for insanity, with only a loyal few who never lose faith in him.  One of the most widely produced musicals in the world, Seussical weaves a story of friendship, loyalty, and love. Despite all odds, Horton and Gertrude band together to save the Whos, free Horton, and restore peace and unity to the Jungle of Nool.  For anyone who has ever felt too small to matter, or ever felt unheard, this all new production, directed by Daniel Stoddart, is sure to warm the heart, provoke a gleaming grin, and remind us of the importance of fighting for your beliefs.  For a strictly limited season in the July school holidays. DIRECTOR - DANIEL STODDART MUSICAL DIRECTOR - ALISON HODGE CHOREOGRAPHY - LAUREN HARVEY MUSIC BY - STEPHEN FLAHERTY LYRICS BY  - LYNN AHRENS
IT’S POSSIBLE! ANYTHING’S POSSIBLE!
Where: Civic Theatre Newcastle
Performance Dates: 14th-16th July 2022
Times: Matinee and evening performances.

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Normal - Actor's Company
An urban detective story in which the investigator is a teenage girl and the body is her own. Poppy has developed a tic. A twitch. A spasm. It spreads through her body, then her group of school friends and before long, the whole town. Nobody can explain it, but as the disease spreads, the community begins to fracture along lines that turn into deep fissures. Who or what is to blame? And how are they going to fix it? Inspired by the true story of ‘The Town That Caught Tourettes’, this new work by award-winning Australian playwright Katie Pollock is dark, provocative and theatrically inventive. Written by Katie Pollock, Normal is the winner of the Inscription/Edward Albee Playwriting Scholarship and the Ingenious Grant from Town Hall Theatre, MA (USA).

The town that caught Tourettes.

Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle
Performance Dates: 30th June-2nd July 2022

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The Sound Effects Show

A MID-YEAR WOWFEST EVENT

The world around us is a very noisy place. It’s full of sounds: wind, talking, chainsaws, laughter, YouTube, a running shower, message alerts, a strumming guitar, a crackling fire, car horns, barking dogs and, if you listen very carefully, you can even hear the silence. Each group of students will be given a random sound effect to use as a stimulus point to create a short 10 minute performance to be presented as part of The Sound Effects Show. Guided by their tutors, students will work with their classmates during term 2 and explore the world of playbuilding. With a focus on ensemble work and building the fundamentals for performing in front of an audience, a simple sound effect will bring the stage to life! Being on stage in front of people is one of the most nerve-racking things you can do in life, and for many of our students this will be their first time. For others more familiar with the stage, they will be nervous to try something new or to take a risk. But as we say to them all the time: if you want something, you better make some noise! 
A VISION IS A CLEAR SOUND IN A NOISY WORLD
Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle & Cessnock Performing Arts Centre
Performance Dates: 14th June (Cessnock Performing Arts Centre) & 18th-26th June 2021 (Civic Playhouse)

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Kid Frankenstein

Newcastle Premiere

When Doctor Frankenstein's ancient secret book arrives from Transylvania, science nerds Frankie and Irving are whisked into a sci-fi fantasy of time-warped, weirdly scary and lively adventure! To compete in the upcoming Science Fair, Frankie needs a brain for his new monster. To complete the creation, Frankie’s friends, Irving and Helga, sneak into the science lab to grab a monkey brain! Hilarity ensues, as they mistakenly collect the brain of poor Fluffy, a sweet little puppy dog. As a result, a surprising monster is presented to the Science Fair! As the Monster terrifies the entire village, science teacher, Mrs Newton, comes to the rescue. For only she can stop the terrible brain transference!   With a cast full of nutty characters, providing frightfully funny laughs, will the villagers be able to return Frankie’s lovable monster and restore order before it’s too late?  
It’s alive! IT’S ALIVE!!!
Where: Civic Playhouse
Performance Dates: 21st-23rd April 2022
Times: Matinee and evening performances.

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Oliver

CLICK HERE FOR  TICKETS HERE

Consider yourself part of the family, and join us for Oliver!, the Tony and Olivier Award-winning musical adaptation of the classic Charles Dickens’ novel. The streets of Victorian England will come to life on the iconic Civic Theatre stage in Hunter Drama's grand staging of this well-loved classic. Oliver, a malnourished orphan in a workhouse, becomes the neglected apprentice of an undertaker – he escapes, finding acceptance amongst a group of petty thieves and pick-pockets led by the elderly Fagin. When Oliver is captured for a robbery that he didn’t commit, the benevolent viction, Mr Brownlow, takes him in. Fearing the safety of his hideout, Fagin employes the sinister Bill Sikes, and the sympathetic Nancy, to kidnap him back – threatening Oliver’s chances of discovering the true love of a family. Featuring songs such as Food Glorious Food, Consider Yourself, Where Is Love, Oom Pa Pa, As Long As He Needs Me, and more. Oliver! is one of the few musicals to also win an Academy Award for Best Picture, and is widely hailed as a true theatrical masterpiece by actors and audience members alike.

Please sir, I want some more.

Where: Civic Theatre
Performance Dates: 10th-13th March 2022

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Alice In Wonderland JR.
Originally planned for our 2021 season, we celebrate the 10th Anniversary of Hunter Drama’s original production of Disney’s Alice in Wonderland JR. Based on Lewis Carroll’s 1865 classic novel of the same name, Alice in Wonderland invites you into a topsy-turvy musical wonderland, where nothing is as it seems and curious creatures defy logic at every turn. With method in the madness, Alice’s fantastical adventure unfolds with the discovery that no matter how “curiouser and curiouser” the world becomes, she will ultimately always be Alice!  Join Alice as she falls into the madcap world of Wonderland and meets an extraordinary carnival of characters, including Tweedledee and Tweedledum, the Mad Hatter, March Hare, Cheshire Cat, the Queen of Hearts, and the frantically late White Rabbit. Featuring updated songs from Disney’s thrilling animated motion picture, Disney’s Alice in Wonderland JR. is a fast-paced take on the classic family tale. 

BUY TICKETS HERE

We're all mad here.
Where: Cessnock Performing Arts Centre
Performance Dates: January 21st-22nd, 2022
Times: Matinee and evening performances.

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12 Days of WOWFest
On the 12th day of Christmas, my true love gave to me.... Over 500 hundred young actors from within the Hunter Dama family to get you feeling festive! Join us to celebrate the achievements and talents of all of our students in this festive variety of plays, musicals and story-telling. For some, it will be their first time treading the boards, for others, they'll be right at home in front of a crowd. For both, one thing is certain, it’s sure to be an exciting and thrilling showcase to round out the year! Scholarships will also be presented during this festival of festive-ness.

Christmas isn't a season, its a feeling.

Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle & Cessnock Performing Arts Centre
Performance Dates: 4th-11th December 2021 (Civic Playhouse) & 13th December (Cessnock Performing Arts Centre)

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The Shawshank Redemption
When Andy Dufresne is convicted of murder and sentenced to life in the notorious Shawshank prison, he must find a way to keep himself and his hope alive by using his wits and forging friendships. Based on the novella by Stephen King, The Shawshank Redemption brings the story of resilience made famous by the acclaimed film to the stage. This Australian premiere features Hunter Drama's senior students, along with some of the region's most talented professional actors, treading the boards for 4 shows only in the Civic Playhouse.

'Get busy living, or get busy dying.'

Where: Civic Playhouse
Performance Dates: July 2021

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Festival of the Fools
CIVIC PLAYHOUSE NEWCASTLE - buy tickets here CESSNOCK PERFORMING ARTS CENTRE - buy tickets here   Send in the clowns! Hunter Drama students will hit the boards with a comedy avalanche of slap-stick, jokes and gags that will have you rolling in the aisles. Showcasing their extremely dramatic and zany talents, Festival of The Fools will feature the cream of the Hunter’s most talented youth in this mid-year festival where one this is certain...your cheeks will ache!

'Comedy is simply a funny way of being serious.'

Where: Civic Playhouse
Performance Dates: June 2021

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Roald Dahl's The Witches
Based on the children's dark fantasy by the well known British writer Roald Dahl, The Witches tells the story of a brave young boy and his Norwegian grandmother as they battle England’s witches. In a world where child-hating societies of witches secretly exist in every country, the witches are ruled by the extremely vicious and powerful Grand High Witch, who has just arrived in England to organise her worst plot ever!

But an elderly former witch hunter and her young grandson find out about the evil plan and now they must do everything to stop it and defeat the witches.

With dazzling effects and creative puppetry, Hunter Drama will bring this terrifying tale to life once again.

'Children should never have baths,’ my grandmother said. ‘It's a dangerous habit.'

Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle
Performance Dates: April 2021
Times: Matinee and evening performances daily.

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The Wizarding World Of Wowfest
It's WOWFest... at the CINEMA'S!
Where: Cessnock Performing Arts Centre and Event Cinemas Kotara
Performance Dates: December 2020

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Sweet Charity - Senior Musical Theatre
HEY BIG SPENDER!
Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle
Performance Dates: 21st-24th October 2020
Times: Matinee and evening performances.

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Almost, Maine - Actor's Company
Almost, Maine is a series of loosely connected tales about love, each with a compelling couple at its centre, each with its own touch of sorcery.
Where: Civic Playhouse Newcastle
Performance Dates: 15th-17th October 2020
Times: Thurs, Fri and Sat evening 7:00pm; Sat matinee at 2:00pm

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ONCE UPON A WOWFEST
HUNTER DRAMA STUDENTS TAKE TO THE STAGE TO SHOWCASE THEIR DRAMATIC TALENTS AT THIS END OF YEAR CELEBRATION OF EVERYTHING "WOW"
Where: Playhouse & CPAC
Performance Dates: December 4 to 15

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INTO THE WOODS JR.
A NEW TAKE ON THE GROUNDBREAKING MUSICAL FAIRY TALE ABOUT WISHES AND THE CHOICES WE MAKE
Where: Civic Playhouse
Performance Dates: December

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Peter Pan JR.
FLY AWAY WITH US!
Where: Civic Theatre
Performance Dates: October 10 to 12

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Rock of Ages
NEWCASTLE’S HOT NEW ROCK MUSICAL FEATURING BIG BANDS, BIG EGOS, AND EVEN BIGGER HAIR!
Where: Civic Theatre
Performance Dates: July 19 & 20

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MADAGASCAR: A MUSICAL ADVENTURE JR.
JOIN HUNTER DRAMA: ON TOUR AND TAKE A JOURNEY OUT OF THE ZOO AND ONTO THE STAGE WITH YOUR FAVOURITE CRACK-A-LACKIN FRIENDS FRIENDS FROM THE BLOCKBUSTER DREAMWORKS FILM.
Where: Cessnock Performing Arts Centre
Performance Dates: July School Holidays

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SEUSS-FEST
OUR CRAZY MID-YEAR SUESS INSPIRED FESTIVAL FEATURING EVERY SINGLE HUNTER DRAMA STUDENT
Where: Playhouse & CPAC
Performance Dates: June 24 to July 3

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Roald Dahl's Fantastic Mr Fox
HUNTER DRAMA HAS BEEN SYNONYMOUS WITH PRESENTING DAHL'S MOST LOVED CHARACTERS ON STAGE SINCE 2007.
Where: Playhouse
Performance Dates: April 25 to 28

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CHICAGO
Fame, fortune and all that jazz! Our talented Musical Theatre Senior class bring their A game and top notch jazz hands to present this slick, fast paced musical masterpiece.
Where: The Playhouse
Performance Dates: 14th-16th December 2018

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DISNEY'S ALADDIN JR.
All your wishes come true as Hunter Drama brings a dazzling production of this Disney family favourite to Newcastle. Hope on your magic carpet and fly to the city of Agrabah!
Performance Dates: SCHOOL HOLIDAYS 2018

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Musical In A Week

Always wanted to do a musical but can't commit to the 10 week rehearsal period? Do auditions scare you? Then this is for you!

We have not one but TWO Musical in a Week's for January 2021. Join us during the January 2021 school holidays and have a blast learning performances from the delightful Mary Poppins JR. (High School) or The Jungle Book KIDS (Primary school) during our fun-filled 5 day musical theatre bootcamp, concluding with a performance for family and friends. You will be taken through engaging vocal, dance and acting masterclasses as well as learning in depth character development and the art of story telling through musical theatre. High School Students 11th-15th January 2021, 9am-4pm The 5 day bootcamp beginning on Monday 11th January 2021 concludes with a FREE performance for parents and friends at the Civic Playhouse on Friday 15th January at 6:00pm. Primary School Students 18th-22nd January 2021, 9am-12:30pm The 5 day bootcamp beginning on Monday 18th January 2021 concludes with a FREE in house performance for parents and friends on  Friday 22nd January at 1:00pm. Every student receives a production t-shirt and a musical theatre gift bag with all their resources for the week. Upon completion of the program they will also receive a certificate and a professional headshot. Creative Kids Vouchers can also be accepted!

REGISTRATIONS NOW OPEN

CLICK HERE to register a Primary School student CLICK HERE to register a High School student  

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