The Wedding Singer – Additional performance!

Due to an incredible audience turn out, the cast and crew for The Wedding Singer have decided to put on an additional performance!
Wednesday, the 6th of December, is open for bookings, so get in quick as all other shows are now sold out!

Spotlight on Jen Edwards

Each month we like to spotlight one of
the members of the Limelight Theatre
community. This month, meet Jen Edwards,
Member of Many Hats – committee member,
performer, choreographer, poster designer
and now co-director of the final show of the
year, ‘The Wedding Singer’!

Originally from the UK, Jen moved to Perth in 2009 after meeting her now husband Daniel whilst travelling South East Asia. She found him under a waterfall in Thailand and he convinced her never to go back to Blighty again! They now have three wonderful kids – Cooper (6), Georgia (4) and Billy (1) and all run hectic lives. Jen runs her own graphic design business ‘Chick & Egg’ (which designs all of the Limelight season posters) and also last year launched herself as a face painter under the name ‘Wonderland Arts’. Jen’s ability to be a part of the committee and shows at the Limelight Theatre is down to Daniel and his acceptance that he is a theatre widower (and single parent) for a large amount of the time!

Jen has been on stage since she was 3 when she played a bunny in Alice In Wonderland and her tail fell off. ‘The audience laughed and that was it, I was smitten!’ says Jen. The following thirty-something years have been filled with pantomimes and musicals, plays and recitals where Jen has enjoyed many memorable roles such as Nora in ‘A Dolls House’, Miss Mona in ‘The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas’, Mrs Lovett in ‘Sweeney Todd’, Jackie in ‘My Mother Said I Never Should’ and Red Riding Hood in ‘Into The Woods’. Jen studied Theatre at university in London and following graduation toured the UK and Ireland as a professional actress for two years in ‘Macbeth’ and ‘Accidental Death of An Anarchist’. Jen is honoured to say that she has performed in the West End, in two showcase musicals at The London Palladium and Her Majesty’s Theatre London.

In 2009 Jen played Michelle in ‘‘Allo ‘Allo’ at the The Regal Theatre and there met some members of Wanneroo Rep (Bob & Sue Mainwaring, Alan Brock, Ros Guye, Colleen Hopkins). ‘They talked about this theatre in Wanneroo where they had the luxury of 5 week long, on stage rehearsals and a multitude of facilities at their fingertips and I was intrigued,’ says Jen. ‘Being new to Perth, I first had to find out where Wanneroo was then rocked up to audition for the next Wanneroo Rep musical. I was fortunate to land a role which has become my all-time favourite, the forgetful, country singing, ventriloquist Sister Mary Amnesia in ‘Nunsense’!’ Amnesia won Jen nominations for Best Actress Finley awards twice and Best Actress in a Musical awards at Limelight.

At Limelight, Jen’s most notable roles include Sister Mary Amnesia in ‘Nunsense!’ (2009) and ‘Nunsense II The Second Coming’ (2014), Julia in ‘Kindly Keep It Covered’ (2010) & Reno Sweeney in ‘Anything Goes’ (2014). In 2015 Jen directed and produced ‘Snoopy The Musical’, a sweet musical for children of all ages. ‘I had the pleasure of working with an inspiring team of amazing individuals who brought to life some memorable characters from my childhood,’ says Jen. ‘The musical was “small but perfectly formed” in my opinion, and we happily received recognition from The Finleys and several Limelight awards including Best Set’.

Jen became a committee member this year, and amongst her achievements she has introduced the EFTPOS machine to the venue! She also previously initiated the installation of a high-profile projector. She has also designed and produced the posters and programmes for each show since 2015 and strives to maintain a smart, effective marketing presence for each show.

Yet another role that Jen is currently fulfilling at the Limelight is that of co-director of ‘The Wedding Singer’, the final production for 2017. ‘I ‘inherited’ the director’s chair (or should we say two-seater couch) for ‘The Wedding Singer’ and I am excited to bring such an upbeat musical to the stage, top full of 80s kitsch and retro cliché!’ says Jen. ‘We have a cast of over 30 extraordinarily talented performers who are working tirelessly, many who are newcomers to the Limelight stage and some who return after a long sabbatical! It is great to welcome so many boys to our stage too, all of who are fabulously talented and hard working.’

Jen feels that ‘The Wedding Singer’ crew is second to none. ‘Maddy Innes heads a band of funky musicians who flocked to play for her. Maddy’s calm, intelligent approach to her first musical direction role has earned her respect and admiration,’ explains Jen. ‘Our stage manager, the highly-organised Elinor King, brings her knowledge of professional theatre to her role and keeps us all in touch. It was Elinor’s idea to put on ‘The Wedding Singer’ and her input in this production is fundamental, especially when dealing with 80’s references!’ [this newsletter editor can vouch for Elinor’s love of 80s references]. ‘We have welcomed many new volunteers to Limelight, in the form of new seamstresses, back stage crew and set builders. This show has forged a partnership also with The Men’s Shed in Wangara as they bring set pieces to life. People have flocked to work with us and for that I am very thankful.’ ‘Primarily though I am grateful to be working alongside David Nelson, my friend, a stalwart of the theatre. David has an abundance of theatrical experience and he shares my artistic vision. He is paramount to this production and keeps my feet on the ground when I dream up crazy ideas!’

Directing always comes with challenges and a largescale musical like ‘The Wedding Singer’ brings many challenges. ‘The rehearsal period is long and often takes its toll on the company in the form of sickness
and other commitments, but it is necessary to produce a tight, confident performance,’ says Jen. ‘The logistics of producing many sets and remaining within budget is no mean feat, as we start to build I will no doubt be challenged by new obstacles! The hardest challenge though is finding that effective family-work-theatre balance and although I am constantly riddled with mumguilt and often wish I could wave a magic wand and claw back another 12 hours in each day, I will strive to produce an excellent production and have you all partying like it’s 1985!’.

Spotlight on Jacob Turner

Each month we like to spotlight one of the members of the Limelight Theatre community. This month, meet the director of ‘Pygmalion’, Jacob Turner!

 

Jacob has been interested in theatre since he was very young. As he got older that interest evolved and he started studying theatre at school, followed by university, where he recently completed a Bachelor of Education majoring in Drama Teaching. Over the past six years, Jacob has been involved in eight full scale theatre productions including an entirely original ensemble creation, which possibly the biggest project he has been a part of to date.

 

Jacob first became involved at the Wanneroo Rep. in 2012, when he was asked to join the cast of Sunset Boulevard. ‘It was an enormously positive experience for me,’ says Jacob, ‘and I’ve been involved here ever since’. This is very true. Since Sunset Boulevard, Jacob has also been involved in at least one show a year at Limelight, including Hairspray (2013), Pride and Prejudice (2014), The Darling Buds of May (2015) and Skylight (2016). His favourite role so far has been playing Mr. Darcy in Pride and Prejudice. ‘Not only did I have the chance to work with a fantastic group of people, but it was a dream role in a classic and very well realized play,’ says Jacob. ‘I committed more to that production than I think I’ve ever given to another production which resulted in a set of performances I was (and still am) very proud of’.

 

This year, Jacob will have his directorial debut with George Bernard Shaw’s classic play, Pygmalion. ‘I’ve spent a lot of time being directed during my time in theatre and I wanted the opportunity to try it for myself,’ Jacob explains. ‘I always want some new experience that will challenge me and directing seemed like the next big step I could have taken’.

 

So why did Jacob decide to take on directing such a famous play as his debut? ‘When I first read the play a few years ago I absolutely fell in love with the combination of sharp wit and a genuine understanding of the human condition that George Bernard Shaw incorporated into a captivating story,’ says Jacob.

So far, the experience has been positive. ‘Directing has been a fantastic experience! I have been very lucky to work with a team of very talented people both on stage and behind the scenes who have dedicated enormous amounts of time and energy to working on this production,’ says Jacob.

And after it’s all over? ‘Well at this point I will be working on the production of The Wedding Singer directly after Pygmalion finishes. After that I would like to go back to acting until I make up my mind about what to direct next!’.

ITA Sundowner

Limelight is very excited to be hosting the ITA Sundowner in October…. and we will have EFTPOS facilities then as well!

President’s Spot – June

Hi Everyone,

Have you noticed how quickly time seems to pass these days – or is it just me? No, I didn’t think so! It seems no time since I sat down to write something for the newsletter last month!

As always the theatre has been very busy getting ready for the next production, “Greenwicks!” – an odd name for a musical indeed, but it is the name of the supermarket in which the play is set. I’ve been fortunate enough to look in on a couple of rehearsals, and to say I’ve been impressed is an understatement. The band alone is worth the price of admission! I do hope you have all booked to see this excellent locally-written production. Your committee is constantly working towards making the Limelight Theatre the best theatre in Perth, and we have been lucky enough to be granted some funds as promised by your newly- elected MLA for Wanneroo, Sabine Winton. This will go towards replacing our stage curtains and upgrading the furnishings and décor in the foyer, so expect to see a ‘face lift’ very soon.
Another group in the theatre work tirelessly each Tuesday morning to help keep the theatre in good working order. We call them the “Tuesday Task Force” and, if any of you would like to join in on Tuesday morning, from around 9am to 12 noon, you’d be very, very welcome….
Coffee and chat around 10am!
See you at the theatre….

Kind regards

Shelley McGinn

Audition Notice – Pygmalion

Professor of phonetics Henry Higgins makes a bet that he can train a bedraggled Cockney flower girl, Eliza Doolittle, to pass for a duchess at an ambassador’s garden party by teaching her to assume a veneer of gentility, the most important element of which, he believes, is impeccable speech.
The play is a sharp lampoon of the rigid British class system of the day and a commentary on women’s independence.

Information night: 16th July, 2pm
Audition Dates: July 29-30
Rehearsals begin: August 28th
Performance Dates: October 12 – 15, 18 – 21

* All prospective actors will be required to prepare a short monologue, which they believe showcases appropriate performance skills. They must also be prepared to perform a short excerpt (chosen on the day) from the show.

For more information please contact Jacob Turner using the box below.

Contact the Director