Tuggeranong Arts Centre and Australian Musical Theatre Academy
performance on 28th August reviewed by Bill Stephens
initiative by the Tuggeranong Arts Centre provided the opportunity for 17
Canberra performing artists to attend two weeks of intensive workshops concentrating
on the complexities of creating a career in cabaret.
workshops were conducted by former Canberran, Queenie Van de Zandt, who has
established herself as an innovative performing arts trainer in addition to
maintaining her own impressive career in musical theatre and cabaret.
workshops not only covered the performing aspects of cabaret but also included
a series of zoom masterclasses from cabaret luminaries including Trevor Ashley,
Maude Davey, Catherine Alcorn, Ali McGregor, Matt Gilbertson and Sara Ward (better
known as Yana Alana) who provided insights into such nitty gritty aspects as
writing and putting together a show, then marketing and pitching it to
culmination of the workshops was two performances featuring all the
participants in a self-devised showcase demonstrating their new-found skills.
For the duration of the workshops and for both performances of the showcase,
the participants were accompanied on piano by one of the country’s most
accomplished Musical Directors and accompanists, Robyn Womersley, who has just
returned to Australia having completed three years teaching in a major American
workshops attracted accomplished artists with already established performing
arts careers in various genres eager to access the possibilities offered by the
workshops, together with hopeful beginners seeking to gain a toehold for a
performing arts career. Therefore the standard of the performances was always
going to be variable given the time restraints imposed by the intense workload
explained in her introduction, the object at the end of the workshops was not
necessarily to provide a polished performance, but rather for each participant
to experience the various aspects involved in creating and performing their own
the participants scored well on the marketing, as between them they managed to
attract capacity houses for both performances.
Image: Cassidy Richens