This year’s Playmates Illawarra is heating up, with six well balanced and talented teams of actors from six theatre and entertainment groups in the Illawarra sharing the stage together for one night only in the name of fun and friendship. This Saturday night will see teams from Roo Theatre, Stanwell Park Arts Theatre (SPAT), University of Wollongong Faculty of Creative Arts, Wollongong Comedy, and 2012 Grand Finalists The Drama Studio return for another shot of the trophy won last year by Roo Theatre. Playmates welcomes Moonburn Productions to their first Playmates hit-out, and they are looking to steal the trophy from their seasoned Playmates rivals in their inaugural hit-out.
The teams will face four rounds of improvisation challenges with the audience dictating what the actors will perform for them. Each scene will be scored by our panel of judges, and the two teams with the highest scores will go head to head in the Grand Final round, the winner taking home the Golden Gong trophy which has lived in Shellharbour for the last two years.
This year’s audience can expect to see our actors creating original operas, improvise wacky scenes stolen from SBS world movies, play out scenes in mime or gibberish, slow motion commentaries (eg world championship nappy changing), original poems and scenes where the actors must change their emotions up to twenty times! (and many more!)
The energetic and gifted Jim Fishwick returns to host the evening and is joined by Sarah Knight who will be this year’s timekeeper and co-host.
Read more about this year’s hosts
The well loved and respected local actor, director and advocate for community theatre in the Illawarra Olav Lehmann returns again as Judge for the seventh year. This year he will be joined by award winning playwright Maree Teychenne and one of the Illawarra’s most loved and energetic local performers Trent Bowater who is best known for his Robbee Williams showcase.
Roo Theatre are again fielding another all-boys team and are hungry to equal the Playmates record of three years consecutive Playmates victories set by Arcadians 2007-2009. Led by captain Daniel Stevanovski with the energetic and committed David Rienits, the talented and charming Adam O’Brien and James Poole who is ready to impress in his first Playmates.
From the north of the Illawarra, a new generation of actors make the trip to the gong to enter possibly their greatest theatre challenge ever. The warriors from Stanwell Park Arts Theatre are hungry to take home their first Playmates trophy. This team of fresh faces is captained by Kelly-Maree Michael with Adam Wade, Sophie Mathieson and Reece Mathieson.
Fired up and ready for victory is the young and energetic team of academic thespians representing University of Wollongong’s Faculty of Creative Arts. Team captain Rebecca Hurd is expecting nothing less than high distinction performance by her team which stars Billie Scott, Lisa Omodei and Kate Cameron.
Wollongong’s longest running troupe of stand up comedians return after their brave theatrical debut last year with a strong and balanced team starring team captain, professional comedian and the main man of Wollongong Comedy – Stu Macpherson. Young upcoming comedian Adam Armitt returns after impressing last year’s audience, and is joined by explosive seasoned actors and comedians Will Thomas and Craig ‘Gnarly’ Gregory. This team may pose the greatest threat of stealing Roo’s crown.
Team captain, freelance composer, conductor, and university lecturer Dr Houston Dunleavy teams up with daughter Margaret Dunleavy in Moonburn Productions. These musical masters will be looking to titillate the ears and hearts of the Playmates audience, and will be a strong chance of making this year’s Grand Final round. Sydney actress Jen Jackson, who recently moved into the Illawarra gets to tread the Wollongong boards for the first time, while the composed and witty Matt Sandford rounds out what is an exciting team.
Last but certainly not least are last year’s Grand Finalists who on their Playmates debut fell just short of taking home the trophy. The team of local emerging talent coming out of one the regions leading independent drama schools The Drama Studio will be looking to go one step further in 2013. Captained by the amazing Even Kerr, who was a standout in 2012 will be joined by promising young actor Martin Field, the bold and hilarious Madeleine Diggins and youngster Matt Latham.
Tickets for this year’s comedy spectacular are selling quickly, so book now to make sure you don’t miss out on the hottest seats in town. Show starts at 8pm Saturday 9th November and will be lighting up the Owen Theatre at City Diggers Club, Burelli street Wollongong.