Illawarra theatre productions set for 2017

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TALENT: Stars of the upcoming production of 'Beauty and the Beast' Kimmie Jonceski as Belle and Scott Radburn as Maurice. Picture: Robert Peet

TALENT: Stars of the upcoming production of 'Beauty and the Beast' Kimmie Jonceski as Belle and Scott Radburn as Maurice. Picture: Robert Peet

Fairy tales, American dramas, nostalgic musicals and quirky comedies many can relate to are all part of Illawarra theatre productions set for 2017.

The region’s leading community theatre companies have released their programs for next year’s season with plenty to entertain, as well as offer opportunities for budding performers to jump on stage – or behind it.

Shrek the Musical, produced by Shellharbour’s Roo Theatre Company, kicks off the performance year on January 7 and is one of several shows aimed at young audiences.

So Popera Productions, run by Albion Park family the Copelands, has another charm for the summer holidays with Disney’s Beauty and the Beast.

Running at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre from January 20 to 28 it showcases a raft of established and up-and-coming local performers such as Scott Radburn, Kimmie Jonceski, Danny Condon and Craig Scott.

Producer Mal Copeland was also pleased to announced they’ve acquired the rights to the cabaret hit Chicago which will be calling for auditions in February.

The Wollongong Workshop Theatre will present a variety of works including the Tony Award-winning Doubt – A Parable and SignAL which is written and directed by locals Damian Ryan and Dylan Horvat.

“Although the show has a comedic intent, there is also strong underlying themes about personal development and relationships,” said spokesman Troy Lester.

Phoenix Theatre director Steen said next year will see “familiar” shows on the Coniston stage like Shakespeare, Oscar Wilde and some twisted tales from the brothers Grimm.

Slacky Flat by Wendy Richardson also features on the bill, set in 1930s Bulli and follows the formation of unions and the first social security payout.

The Arcadians will host some stage favourites and funny shows at the Miner’s Lamp Theatre like First Date in June, “a comedy based on the disastrous happenings in the modern dating world”.

In August the troupe will step outside of their Corrimal comfort zone for the larger production of Wicked, set for the stage at IPAC.

“We are offering diverse and contemporary theatre with a splash of extravagance with Wicked,” said spokesman Phil Harris. 

The Workshop Theatre, Gwynnville:

  • Doubt – A Parable by John Patrick Stanley, February
  • Timing is Everything by David Ives, March/April
  • SignAL, by Damian Ryan and Dylan Horvat, May
  • The Removalists by David Williamson, July/August
  • WWTCabaret, Megan Harding and Curtis Paz at the helm, October/November
  • Speaking In Tongues by Andrew Bovell, November/December

The Arcadians, Corrimal and Wollongong:

  • The Drowsy Chaperone, March
  • First Date, June
  • Wicked, August
  • Dogfight, November

The Phoenix, Coniston:

  • Grimm Tales, March
  • You’re a Good Man Charlie Brown by Charles M Shultz, April
  • The Importance of Being Earnest by Oscar Wilde, May
  • Jour d Lamour by local playwrights, June
  • Cannibal the Musical by Trey Parker and Matt Stone, July
  • Slacky Flat by Wendy Richardson, September
  • The Tempest by William Shakespeare plus original score by Jeremy Bolton

So Popera Productions, Wollongong:

  • Disney’s Beauty and the Beast, January
  • Chicago by Bob Fosse and Fred Ebb, May

Roo Theatre, Shellharbour:

  • Shrek the Musical, January
  • Chess: in Concert, February
  • Farndale Murder Mystery, March/April
  • Our Country’s Good, May
  • Chitty Chitty Bang Bang, July/August
  • One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, September