Each year we dedicate a Session to a music theatre writer. Over the last three years we’ve celebrated the music of Stephen Schwartz, Jason Robert Brown, and Andrew Lloyd Webber.
We thought it was high time we showcased a female writer. Problem is (and what a good problem to have) there are so many amazing female composers and lyricists to choose from (many whose names aren’t in the mainstream). Think Jeanine Tesori, Lynn Ahrens, Lucy Simon, Amanda Green, Georgia Stitt, Brenda Russell, Kait Kerrigan, Marcy Heisler, Zina Goldrich, Nell Benjamin, Allee Willis, Mindi Dickstein.
With all these amazing names, how do you pick just one? We couldn’t. So, we are asking YOU to pick two songs by a female writer and head to our registration page to express your interest. Registrations are open Sunday 30 June until Sunday 14 July.
Your Session Hosts
Casmira Hambledon loves stories, diverse and supportive communities, wigs, glitter, and belting as a way of dealing with too many emotions. Luckily, she found theatre!
Highlights have included performing the role of ‘Violet’ in Davine Productions’ Violet (for which she won the TASA award for Best Female Performance 2017) and 'Fantine' in the G&S Society's production of Les Misérables (for which she was nominated for a Curtain Call: Best Female Performance 2018).
In 2018 she performed in Edges with Irregular Productions for the Adelaide Fringe, ‘Shelby’ in Steel Magnolias with IpSkip,'The Lady of the Lake' in Spamalot with Marie Clark (winner of Best Ensemble Curtain Call 2018), and the ‘Sour Kangaroo’ in Seussical with Northern Light. In 2019 Casmira played nine characters in Judge Jackie: Disorder in the Court with Davine Productions (which won Best Ensemble and Best Musical at the 2019 Curtain Call Awards) and Lynette ‘Squeaky’ Fromme in Assassins for Hills Musical Company.
Casmira’s professional credits include performing in The Teddy Bears Picnic for The Garden of Unearthly Delights, directing and performing in several children’s theatre productions for the Something On Saturday Program with Adelaide Festival Centre, and providing the voice for ‘Poppy Platypus’ in Lupa Entertainment’s popular app for children: Hip Hop Kangaroo and Friends.
Millicent Sarre is a singer-songwriter, musical theatre performer, cabaret artist, singing teacher, and all-round vocal nerd. Having studied music and theatre at Graceland University in the United States, she can now be found on the Adelaide musical theatre scene, having worked with Irregular Productions, Hills Musical Company, The Gemini Collective, Segue Productions and many more. Her favourite roles to date include Veronica Sawyer in Heathers (Segue 2019), Wendla Bergmann in Spring Awakening (Hills Musical Company 2017 – ATG Award for Best Musical), Ivy in Ivy + Bean: The Musical (The Gemini Collective 2018 – Australian Premiere), Sally Brown in You’re a Good Man, Charlie Brown (HMC 2015) and Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors (Graceland University 2013).
In June 2019 she debuted her self-devised and self-produced cabaret show Friendly Feminism for the Mild Mannered in a sell-out season in the Adelaide Cabaret Fringe Festival. She is currently Artist in Residence at Slingsby Theatre Company where she is writing her next show.
Mim is a singing and performing arts teacher at Theatre Bugs and Adelaide Theatre Academy, and has musically directed their productions of Little Shop of Horrors (2018), Xanadu Jr (2018) and Porridge (for ‘Something on Saturday’ at the Dunstan Playhouse, 2019), and co-musically directed 13 The Musical (2019).
Aimee is an avid music lover and an aunty. She currently attends Tutti Arts and participates in their music program 3 days a week. Aimee loves performing and will take each opportunity to do so, participating in the performing arts group No Strings Attached, sings with the Tutti Choir and Poco Choir, and is also a member of the worlds first all girl disability music group The Sisters of Invention. The Sisters of Invention, have seen Aimee perform at numerous events such as The Special Olympics Closing Ceremony, Womad and The Fringe Festival. Aimee and her music group The Sisters of Invention are recording their new album which should be released later this year. Aimee and her music group recently appeared on ABC iView Get Crackin.
In addition, she is in a new group called TGIF (Thank God It's Friday), and will be performing at the Highway Hotel on the 3rd of November. She is also performing in the Adelaide Christmas Pageant with TGIF, and performing in a show with No Strings Attached on 7th & 8th of November.
Alicia is 13 years old and made her stage debut with the G&S Society playing the role of Marta in The Sound of Music in 2014. It was here that Alicia discovered her love for Musical Theatre and she has been actively involved since. Alicia made her professional debut in 2016 playing the role of Brigitta von Trapp in the Adelaide season of The Sound of Music with the Gordon Frost Organisation. Alicia has performed in several musicals with Pelican Productions, Adelaide Youth Theatre, Shane Davidson Presents, TB Arts and Emma Knights Productions. Alicia has also performed with the Adelaide Rep Theatre, Promise Adelaide, Spark of Inspiration and Peter Combe.
Apart from Brigitta, her favourite roles have been Mayzie in Seussical Jr, and Little Cosette in Les Misérables, and Elle Woods (her dream role) in Pelican Productions Music Theatre Camp. Alicia is a dance student at RSDS and a voice student of Kirsty Roberts and Amelie Peters, and previously Katrina Ryan. Alicia loves performing and is grateful for all of the friendships she has made through Music Theatre.
In her spare time, Alicia enjoys spending time at home with her family and two dogs, Benji & Tilly. She enjoys watching Musical Theatre, Movies, playing Netball, Cooking and spending time with her friends.
Andrew James Crispe
Andrew is an established freelance performer and vocal coach who has performed professionally in and around Adelaide. He has been a member of the State Opera of SA’s Chorus since 2009. Andrew‘s first foray into the world of Music Theatre was in 2000, when he was encouraged to audition for the Gilbert & Sullivan Society’s back-to-back production of HMS Pinafore and Trial By Jury, and since then he has not looked back!
Andrew won his first leading role in 2006, and has gone on to play a large number of leading and supporting roles throughout Adelaide’s community theatre. Andrew has been nominated for Best Male Performance by the Critics Circle Awards for his role as Don Lockwood in Singin’ In The Rain, and by the Adelaide Theatre Guide for the same role, as well as his portrayal of The Beast in Disney's Beauty And The Beast. For one of his most recent productions Andrew won the TASA Best Male Performance Award for his portrayal of Edward Bloom in BIG FISH – a show which also won the TASA MusiCal Award. Andrew co-wrote and performed in the sold-out season of Villain-Ville: A Musical Exploration of Villainy and Evil in the 2015 Fringe Festival. His most recent appearances this year include a return to the role of Curly McLain (for the third time) in an outdoor production of Oklahoma (On A Farm) with Emma Knights Productions, The Preacher in Davine Interventionz production of Violet, a return to the role of the Major General in Emma Knights Productions’ fourth season of Pirates On The Popeye, and lastly as Pontius Pilate in Jesus Christ Superstar.
Andrew played the role of Marius in both seasons of Les Misérables with the Gilbert & Sullivan’s Society in 2008 and 2009, and he is overjoyed to be coming back for yet another season with them only this time as the infamous Javert – a role he has coveted since he was little!
Claire is a child sized adult who likes hats, op shops and short walks along the beach. You might remember her for her classic work as the face of KFC Zinger Burgers back in 1993.
Danielle started performing at age 5 within her school and also in the Australian Girls Choir. She landed her first lead role in a musical at age 6 starring as Henny Penny in the year 1 & 2 production of The Sky is Falling, where she was seen pulling actors into their correct spots and mouthing everyone's lines. In High School (Norwood Morialta High School) Danielle played leads across multiple musicals, 2008 - Rizzo in Grease, 2010 - Lumiere in Beauty and the Beast and 2011 - Anna in The King and I. Additionally, in 2010 Danielle was part of the High School Cabaret Show, directed by David Campbell during the Adelaide Cabaret Festival.
Since high school, Danielle pursued a basketball career playing Premier League basketball for 8 years, which prevented her from performing. Since retiring in late 2017, she has been trying to crack back into musical theatre, auditioning for musicals. Last year Danielle was lucky enough to play Scaramouche in Matt Byrne Media's We Will Rock You.
Growing up performing in the Scouts’ Gang Show: Comedy Capers, David developed a love for musical theatre from a young age. Trained at the Centre for the Performing Arts; David has enjoyed performing Shakespeare with the State Theatre, Lightning Strike and Chopt Logic Theatre Companies and has toured in the past with Splash Theatre Company. Turning from professional acting to focus his energy on his family and work for the Anglican Church as a priest, David chooses to do shows that he loves.
It was in Marie Clark's production of Paris in the titular role that David hit the Adelaide scene in musical theatre. David has since performed with with Marie Clark Musical Theatre in Miss Saigon (John) and as Carl Hanratty in the 2016 production of Catch Me if You Can. He has worked with Northern Light Theatre Company as Frederick in Pirates of Penzance and Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors. David also performed at the Adelaide Fringe 2015 with Lazy Saturday Productions' Australian premiere of Darkle. 2017 is a big year of theatre for David starting with Pale Ale Tales, a new work by local writer, Jason Hendy in the 2017 Fringe, Jekyll and Hyde with Marie Clark and finishing with Les Misérables as Enjolras with G&S Society.
David is thankful to his wife for her love and support, and for letting him play.
Eilish Webb is 18 years of age and is a soprano singer and a character actress from Strathalbyn. She has been singing for about 8 years and has played leading roles with Hannah Catherine Productions in Murray Bridge, Adelaide Theatre Academy and school productions. Her roles include Wendy in Peter Pan, Sarah Brown in Guys and Dolls, Little Red Riding Hood in Into the Woods and Mr Bumble in Oliver!. She has recently finished performing in the 2019 Adelaide Fringe Festival production of Oliver.
She is currently directing a full community amateur production of the musical The Pajama Game with her company SAM (South Australian Musicals) and is playing Miss Hannigan in Annie JR. She has also been a regular performer at Centrestage in Victor Harbor.
Em is a 24-year old teacher back down under on a break from Ye Olde Englande. She began performing at age five but didn't enter the magical land of musical theatre until the age of 12. She enjoys reading, history, piña coladas, getting caught in the rain, and obviously, musicals.
She has performed and crewed for many shows. The highlights of her time treading the boards include playing Annie Oakley in Annie Get Your Gun (UHS), Bet in Oliver! (G&S), and possibly her favourite role at the tender age of 12 - the Pirate King (Pelican Productions). Other credits include Les Misérables (G&S), Thoroughly Modern Millie (G&S), Cinderfella the Pantomime (Royal Holloway), Young Frankenstein (MCMT), Calamity Jane (MCMT), Music Theatre Camp 2008 - 2013 (Pelican Productions).
Emily Smith lives in rural South Australia and loves to perform. When not on stage she is a mum to three boys, university student, and instrumental music teacher.
Born into a family with a background in the performing arts, Emma has been immersed in the world of theatre ever since she can remember. Her introduction to Adelaide amateur theatre came when she joined the ensemble of G&S’s Oliver! in both 2013 and 2014, and was involved in the society’s production of Thoroughly Modern Millie in 2016. In 2017, Emma fulfilled her lifelong dream to perform the role of Cosette in Les Misérables, also with G&S, and in 2019 joined the cast of Therry's The Pirates of Penzance as Edith. She is a regular performer at Broadway Sessions. After completing high school in 2015, Emma is currently undertaking a Bachelor of Arts at Adelaide University.
At 22, Georgia is still exploring Adelaide's theatre community with wide eyes. With a later start than some, Georgia began performing with Pelican Productions at 14, and continued to do so for six years. Her most recent feat with the company was in 2017 in Bring it On: The Musical, where she played the part of Bridget. In high school, Georgia was an avid performer, participating in every musical and vocal group she could be a part of.
In 2014, she was rewarded for her efforts when she received the C E Wattchow Music shield and the Adelaide Festival Award at her graduation. Since graduating, Georgia has spread her love of the performing arts overseas, by working as a drama instructor in a summer camp in Arizona. She is now currently studying a Bachelor of International Tourism at Flinders University and most recently starred in the MET's production of High Society as the precocious Dinah Lord.
Hannah has been performing in musicals, cabarets and concerts since a young age and she is constantly looking for more experience and loves learning new styles. She has had singing and piano tuition for four years and is currently in Adelaide Youth Theatre's Glee Club where they perform items at a monthly concert.
Hayley is 19 and has been passionate about theatre since joining Adelaide Theatre Academy (formerly Theatre Bugs) in 2007. In 2017 she was in their elite Showstoppers class after six years of their previous top class, Performance Troupe. She performed with Peter Combe for 6 years, joining him on his Australian Tour, soloing, and assisting in choreography. She was in the Festival of Music’s Performance Troupe, soloing in 2011 and 2012. She was in Fagin’s Gang in Gilbert and Sullivan’s Oliver productions in both 2013 and 2014, and sung in the Australian Youth Ballet’s production of Nutcracker in 2015.
Hayley was in Adelaide Youth Theatre’s Hairspray in 2014 and was a Boylan Sister in Annie in 2015. In 2017 she was a featured soloist for Shane Davidson’s Wicked. Her highlights for Adelaide Theatre Academy include soloing in annual Cabarets, the Mirror in Snow White, Tweedle Dum in Alice in Wonderland, Mrs Mayor in Seussical, and Corey Senior in Back to the ’80s. In high school, she danced in the Special Interest Dance Program for 3 years and gained top marks in her drama class in The Black Raven Inn. She has taken vocal lessons for 10 years, the last six being with Randall Boscoe.
As well as performing, Hayley has also stage managed three productions and designed the lighting, visuals, and sound for many other school and charity productions. After a year hiatus to focus on studying Cognitive Neuroscience at UniSA, Hayley is eager to return to the stage at Broadway Sessions.
Jaxon is 14 years old and is currently receiving vocal coaching from David Gauci along with being a member of the Showstoppers class with Adelaide Theatre Academy. Jaxon has recently been involved in Adelaide Theatre Academy's 2019 October production of 13:The Musical playing the lead role of Evan Goldman and was also involved in the Adelaide Fringe Festival production of Oliver playing the lead role of Fagin. Jaxon found his love of music when he was 4 years old when he began lessons with Theatre Bugs, after a small break he joined Deborah Kaye Dance Studio's where he took part in theatre, hip hop and singing classes. This sparked his love for musical theatre which led him to audition for Singing in the Rain Jr. in 2017 where he was part of the ensemble. His love for theatre and singing grew and he became a singing student with Theatre Bugs and in 2018 successfully auditioned for the part of Mr Bernstein in Little Shop of Horrors.
As well as his love for theatre he has a love of scouting and will soon be taking part in Adelaide Gang Show which is part of Scouts SA Performing Arts Section. Jaxon is currently a year 9 student at Gleeson College, after recently moving from St. Pauls. He has been a member of the cast for the St Pauls and Kildare musicals since 2016 playing a leading role in the 2018 production of Sheerluck Holmes and recently featured in Gleeson College's production of Footloose. Jaxon's favourite musician is Elton John, however, he enjoys most genres of music. His favourite Broadway musicals are The Book of Mormon, Hamilton, Falsettos and Beetlejuice.
John is a performer from Perth who has moved to Adelaide to study at the new Bachelor of Musical Theatre at the Elder Conservatorium. Previously he completed a Bachelor of Classical Voice at the University of Western Australia, a Certificate in Musical Theatre at WAAPA, and was accepted to the prestigious Stella Adler Studio in NYC for their Musical Theatre Intensive.
Kiera Turner has been a part of the musical theatre scene since 2015 after graduating with meritorious achievement from Brighton Secondary School's Special Interest Music program. Since then she has participated in Forbidden Broadway (Blackwood Players, 2015), The Little Mermaid (AYT, 2016), Into the Woods (AYT, 2016).
She played her first supporting role as Johanna in Sweeney Todd (SCCAS, 2017) and then as Cosette in Les Misérables (SCCAS, 2018). She has since done Phantom of the Opera (G&S Society, 2018), Miss Saigon (The Met, 2019), as well as playing violin in the orchestra for a number of other shows. Kiera is extremely excited to be playing Princess Ida as her first lead role as she particularly connected to the character. Ida is a kickass young lady who truly believes in the power and intelligence of women and Kiera hopes to bring this to the stage.
Meg has loved performing since she was 4 years old. She has been a committed member of the Australian Girls Choir for 13 years, singing solos in front of 60,000 spectators at sporting events and performing with celebrities such as Hugh Jackman. Meg has also been a part of the Pelican Productions Musical Theatre Camp for 6 summers, playing roles such as Sylvia in Finding Neverland and Peggy in Hamilton.
Since diving into his passion for drama and musical theatre in high school, Nick hasn't stopped! He's performed in a number of plays and through he enjoys traditional theatre, his heart rests with singing. He will never forget his first musical Legally Blonde and has since performed twice at the Adelaide Fringe Festival. He never lets his studies get in the way of strengthening his skills and he enjoys pushing his limits. His 2019 highlights include a radio play of It's a Wonderful Life with Wings2Fly Theatre where he performed several roles, and Heathers The Musical with Segue Productions in the ensemble role of Preppy Stud.
Nicky Tsz Tung Li
Nicky is originally from Hong Kong. She is currently studying a Bachelor of Arts (Major in Performing Arts and Screen Studies) at UniSA. Nicky has had a passion for stage performance from a very young age. She participated in productions at the Hong Kong School Drama Festival from 2008 to 2014. In 2017, she was cast as an ensemble member in the Norwood Morialta High School’s production of Chicago The Musical.
Early in 2019, Nicky was cast as an ensemble member in Miss Saigon, produced by The Metropolitan Musical Theatre Company of SA inc. In June 2019, she performed her original songs at both the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and the Cabaret Fringe Festival with her University fellows. Recently, Nicky portrayed Miss Lark in Shane Davidson Presents' Mary Poppins.
Pilates Instructor by day, Performer by night! A passion for Music Theatre, Oriana is no stranger to stage literally having grown up on it since the age of 8 Singing, and partaking in Jazz, Ballet and Tap and Acting with The Johnny Young Talent School and under tuition of Adelaide's renowned mentors Malcolm Harslett, Sue Scott, Rachel Symons, Tina Pollard (nee Casper), Bec Schembri, Debra Krizak, Kim Spargo and Gwen Mackay (OAM).
Her first professional performance was at age 10 with Mighty Good Productions Pty Ltd in Humphrey B. Bear and his Magic Lamp with many other pantomimes to follow. Theatre Credits include the role of July in The Metropolitan Theatre Company's production of Annie when she was 12; followed by the role of Brigitta in The Sound of Music also by The Met; and the role of Helene in Sweet Charity by Mayfair Theatre Company. Performing as a young teen at various shopping malls for holiday entertainment and as numerous Suit Character roles for Conrad & Co Pty Ltd.
Oriana has competed in numerous Adelaide Eisteddfods and completed Classical Ballet, Tap and Student Teachers' Examinations under the Commonwealth Society of Dancing. Oriana is a part of a Cabaret group called The Three Chillies having performed for numerous corporate functions and events and at the Adelaide Fringe Festival in 2010, 2011 and 2012 where they received a 5 Star review for Hot Chillie Box in the famous Spiegeltent accompanied by one of Adelaide's renowned pianists Matthew Carey. The Three Chillies have also performed in the Edinburgh Fringe Festival in 2009 and Out of the Square along with a fortnightly residency at Tongue Thai'd Restaurant from 2006-2010. Other Adelaide Fringe Festival credits include the lead Female vocalist alongside Darren Mullen in But I Won't Do That for Swamp Fairy under the direction of Jo Casson (DING Productions) and Sharon Angove.
Other Swamp Fairy appearances include, A Night on Broadway, Destination Broadway and Encore featuring special guest Doug Parkinson. Excerpts for Swamp Fairy include; Hunyak - Chicago, Carmen - Fame, Rumpleteazer - Cats. For the past 3 years Oriana has been on board with Australia's Elvis Tribute Artist Mark Anthony as a backing vocalist for his National Tours for the past 4 years and has also supported International feature Elvis Tribute Artists for the Parkes Elvis Festival in 2018 and 2019 and American Trilogy 2018 for Abstract Entertainment.
Sarah is a devoted theatre wife to her touring husband, who is currently performing in The Book of Mormon, and she is loving the chance to see Australia with her family. She has been singing since the age of 7 and has performed in several community theatres in the South Eastern suburbs of Melbourne, as well as a career performing in Kuwait, where she met her husband at an audition. She has performed as a professional vocalist at royal galas in the Middle East and is delighted to be back in Australia where she has worked as a high school English and German teacher before going on maternity leave recently.
Her most notable roles include Aladdin in the pantomime Aladdin, Audrey in Little Shop of Horrors, Fantine in Les Misérables, Dynamite in Hairspray, and Aquata alongside her husband who was King Triton in The Little Mermaid. Her musical inspiration is Eva Cassidy and she adores Motown and one day hopes to watch a broadway production live in New York. She is delighted to once again have the opportunity to perform onstage and leave her two adorable children Daphne and Lucas in good hands for the evening.
Since beginning his amateur theatre journey in Sideshow with Hills Musical Company in 2018, Simon has been making up for lost time. He most recently performed the role of Kurt Kelly in Heathers with Segue Productions, and as a Pirate/Policeman/Daughter in Therry's Pirates of Penzance. When he's not busy with theatre, Simon is a trail runner, west coast swing dancer and economics student.
Sophie graduated from WAAPA in 2014 where she had the great opportunity and honour to work with such names as Tayna Mitford, Jason Langley, Lisa O'Dea and the head of Performing Arts at WAAPA Andrew Lewis. Throughout her time there she was featured in roles such as Sheila in Hair, Mae Colman in Reefer Madness and Consuela in West Side Story. After moving to Melbourne she took a contract as the lead vocalist on one of Royal Caribbeans newest ships – The Quantum of the Seas. She returns to Australia excited to continue pursuing her dreams of working in musical theatre.
Zachary is 19 years old and he is aiming to become an entertainer in the performing arts (mainly acting and singing). He has been performing since the age of seven with his earliest memory being in Di Mason’s youth theatre troupe called Stars on Stage.
He regularly had performances with various performing arts schools such as Theatrebugs, Mighty Good Productions and on-going training with Actors Ink. (to which he was referred to go and train with by Australian television and radio personality Anne "Willsy" Wills).
Through Actors Ink., Zachary performed in his first musical theatre show with The Parks Youth Theatre in their first Broadway Bootcamp showcase in January 2017 and continued to perform in their later productions of Grease (April 2017) as ensemble, Footloose the Musical (October 2017) as Garvin, Seussical (April 2018) as The Grinch, Legally Blonde The Musical JR (April 2019) as Professor Callahan and most recently, Alice in Wonderland (October 2019) as The Mock Turtle (which he says is the best role he’s ever done so far in his musical theatre journey).
After performing in The Parks Youth Theatre’s production of Seussical, Zachary got cast as The Grinch in the Northern Light Theatre Company’s October 2018 production of Seussical. Whilst rehearsing for that production, Zachary starred in his first film created by students of Flinders University in a short film called Plastic Aeroplane. This year, he appeared in two other short films still in the making called To Arnold’s Daughter (by Joshua Tse) and Rock, Paper, Scissors (by Melanie Čubelić and team).
Most recently, Zachary has been offered his first paid job in a production as the only male role in a comedy musical about a theatre troupe trying to put on their production of A Christmas Carol but failing miserably by Anthony Kennard of Valley Productions.