Tales of Foveaux at the Australian Institute of Music
Reprise Theatre Co presents its inaugural production, 'Tales of Foveaux.'
Featuring an ensemble cast of ex-students and alumni from the Australian Institute of Music's Bachelor of Music (Musical Theatre).
'Tales of Foveaux' is a cabaret which presents the many tales of those who've graced Foveaux Street, who they are, what they've learnt and who they've become.
Carly spoke with Director/Producer Maddison Maie Epthorp and performer Elizabeth Evans about the inaugural production and what they learned at AIM. Read the full interview below:
Maddison Maie Epthorp
As the inaugural production of Reprise Theatre tell us a bit about what we can expect from this company and from this cast of AIM graduates. How did you guys decide to band together as a company and what is in store for audiences?
Maddie - We decided to recreate an alumni company as a part of AIM as we were so excited seeing what all of our fellow AIM grads were doing in the industry. We were seeing not just AIM grads, but any musical theatre graduate across Sydney grasping every performance opportunity they could and as we all know that pool can be quite small at times. We essentially wanted to create another platform for AIM grads to perform and create more of a community between AIM’s past, present and potential students.
I would say that audiences will get to see the many arrays of talent amongst our cast. There are 14 of them and I think they are very diverse, something we are very proud of and something AIM is also. In my biased opinion they’re some of the most talented storytellers in Sydney.
Tales of Foveaux certainly draws us to the conclusion that we may be sharing in some of your personal experiences from your times at the AIM campus on Foveaux street. How have you chosen what anecdotes and songs will make it into the show and what has the creative process been like? How did this production take shape? Were you all cast first and then decisions about content made or were you cast to fit particular roles ?
Maddie - The creative process has been both challenging and extremely fun. They balance each other out very well. With such an amazing cast it has been a real challenge for us to figure out how we could best showcase 14 cast members in the greatest way possible, as well as utilize the very best of what they have to offer. Zach Goldfinch our music director and I have worked very closely to craft this two act cabaret which we feel showcases each and every cast member and their skills beautifully. We asked auditionees to present ideas to us during the audition process as myself and Zach believe that collaboration is the key for success. Some of the ideas presented you will find in the show, however, we did have a good idea of the group numbers from the get go. A lot of the partnerings for duet numbers came about during the rehearsal process.
As past alumni from AIM had you all worked together previously or was this a collection across various years of graduates? What is the best part of working with fellow like minded and similarly trained people?
Liz - I have not worked with anyone previously to this show. There’s definitely a few faces I’d seen at auditions and knew of through AIM, but I think I’m the oldest alumni in the group. It’s really great to work with people who have all had a shared experience. It’s been great to reminisce about teachers and subjects and graduating recitals and to come together and create a sense of family. I think everyone is just so passionate to put on a good show, which is so important, especially as this is a new work and a new company. No one is letting the ball down and everyone is so passionate about what their singing and speaking about. The rehearsal space is respectful and everyone is so helpful and I think that is such a positive thing to have nurtured together. Being kind and treating people with the same kindness in a creative space is so important and AIM helped us foster that.
Do you have a particular favourite moment in the show ? Are there any songs that you don’t sing that you would have liked to try or will try in the future.
Liz - Can I be really selfish and say that my favourite moment in the show has been mine and Jake (Tyler)’s moment? I think working with Jake has been my favourite moment. Some of the other female songs too, like I love the all female number we’re doing from SMASH. I think a lot of the female numbers are empowering and fantastic. I might even sneaky sing them in my shower.
What do you hope your audiences will take away from this production?
Liz- I hope audiences take away a bit of insight, particularly the “muggle” friends and family coming to the show that may not realise what goes on in our days, weeks and years as an artist. Even more so as an artist who is producing their own work whilst auditioning for other’s work, making an income and everything else. I hope it gives them a bit of clarity and insight into what we do. We put our heart and souls on the lines every day and face judgement and criticism and I hope they see what we do. I hope they’re proud of it and love us more for it.
Maddie - On the contrary, I hope that those who are within our industry can look at ‘Tales of Foveaux’ as a truthful and accurate representation of what it’s like in the industry. That has been my main goal as a director to replicate this truthfully. How we are feeling every day and how might the next day be different? And yeah, it may even be a generalisation for even 14 people to feel similar things every day but I really hope that audiences can relate to even just 1 out of the 14 bodies on stage. I hope that they can resonate with the situations and ideas we’re presenting on stage.
RAPID FIRE QUESTIONS
Favourite production you have ever seen?
Maddie - I loved Little Triangle’s production of ‘Merrily We Roll Along’
Liz- In Sydney, Squabbalogic’s production of ‘The Drowsy Chaperone’
You’re getting on a plane tomorrow and you can go anywhere in the world, where do you Go?
Maddie - New York City
Liz- New York City
Dream show to perform in?
Maddie - Trina in Falsettos
Liz- It’s a tie between Elle Woods in Legally Blonde and Dawn in Waitress.
Plays or musicals?
Maddie - Musicals
A hobby you have beyond the theatre?
Maddie - I do a lot of writing both writing scripts and also journaling but also watching Stranger Things.
Liz - I really love making Harry Potter lego.
What’s next for you after this show?
Maddie - More shows with Reprise Theatre Co!
Liz- Hopefully more gigs with Mini Marilyn my alter ego!
Tales of Foveaux is on at the Australian Institute of Music on Monday September 23, 2019. You can get your tickets here.