A Chorus Line’s up at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre

So Popera Productions’ latest show is art imitating life imitating art, as the plot examines a day in the life of Broadway dancers.

Marvin Hamlisch’s A Chorus Line opens at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre on Friday with a limited run of eight shows, giving much opportunity to up-and-coming performers – and crew members – keen to leap into professional show business.

“We started it because we really wanted to give people an opportunity in doing what we love to do, but also allow them to extend themselves,” So Popera co-founder Peter Copeland said.

The production company is still very much a Copeland family affair, with Peter spending Mothers’ Day with his sister Amy, plus parents Mal and Donna doing final preparations for this week’s opening.

“What it’s ended up doing is drawing a whole bunch of people together who have extended the company itself, I guess, into something much bigger than we expected it to be,” Mr Copeland said.

So Popera has now evolved into a “pre-professional” company offering valuable experience to people on and off stage.

Mr Copeland said they have had the pleasure of working with Daniel Downing who is now performing on Kinky Boots in the UK, while one of their first lighting designers Pat Smithers is now touring the world with Cirque du Soleil.

This show will see former X Factor contestant Jayden Sierra step into the role of Paul.

A Chorus Line centres around seventeen Broadway dancers auditioning for spots in the chorus – the musical is set on the bare stage of a theatre during an audition for a musical. The show provides a glimpse into the personalities of the performers and the choreographer as they describe the events that have shaped their lives and their decisions to become dancers.

A Chorus Line, IPAC, May 18 to 26. Tickets from $54. Details at www.merrigong.com.au