UNIVERSITY TEAM PROFILE
University of Wollongong School of Creative Arts
University, a Playmates foundation team, made their first Grand Final appearance last year in 2013, narrowly conceding victory to fellow training institution The Drama Studio. This year, the University team are looking like strong opposition again, and are looking to being the first University team to be crowned Playmates champions.
Traditionally, Playmates has been a chance for Graduate Actors who have entered the industry to celebrate the quality of the School of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. This year, our team of young emerging professional, all first year Creative Arts students, are looking to fill the City Diggers Club theatre with energy and more importantly, great amounts of laughter.
2014 Playmates Team: Alexander Cuff (Captain), Arthur Tamer, Sam Sweeting and Madeleine Stewart.
If my life were a book, it would be called “A Series of Awkward Events.”
Alexander first realised he wanted to be on stage around the time his sisters were dancing outside of school hours. He knew he wanted to do something performance based in his extracurricular life. He didn’t want to dance, but fortunately for Alexander, he found a well suited alternative medium suited to his abilities. Since then, he has continued his dream at University of Wollongong’s School of Creative Arts where is currently in his first year studying Performance.
University life is an interesting experience for Alexander as he learns many new performance techniques not just from the course material but off his peers as well.
“It’s very different from high school drama. It’s fantastic studying what I love with people who share my passion.”
Alexander has hand picked his team out of current first year Creative Arts students and is enjoying his role as team captain in Playmates 2014. He has impressed his peers at his intelligence and performance ability and welcomes the challenge of a show without a script.
“It’s freeing to not have to memorise lines for a stage show for once.”
“If I had a super-hero power I’d be the ability to make inanimate objects sing about their existence.”
Arthur is currently a first-year student studying Performance in University of Wollongong’s School of Creative Arts. Arthur has done quite a few short films and some music videos, some serious and some truly hilarious. His last film shoot saw him get intimate with a skeleton and killed with a barbeque fork for Halloween. He has also acted in two plays – one as Puck in A Midsummer Night’s Dream and as a multitude of roles in 1914: It’s A Lovely War. He has more plays and films lined up in the near future and he super excited to be a part of Playmates and get knee-deep into some improvisation!
“The experience of getting up on stage, not knowing what the hell I’m going to do and then seeing what happens is an amazing prospect.. Maybe it’ll be awesome, maybe it’ll crash and burn. Finding out is the fun part.”
Arthur’s composure and stage presence is a solid anchor for his team, and his enjoyment of his craft is obvious to those who watch him work. A modest young man with a big heart and a love for the enjoyments of life, Arthur is one to watch out for in Playmates 2014.
“I’m looking forward to Playmates, just the fun and experience of it. To force myself to get creative and perform on the spot.”
“She’s going to be one of those names, in years to come, you’re going to think ‘I saw her!!’” – Adam Hills
Madeleine has been performing stand up comedy since she was 17 and is currently studying Performance at UOW’s School of Creative Arts. Having been encouraged by Adam Hills to pursue a career in Stand-up Comedy, she wasted no time in following his advice by appearing in the prestigious Melbourne International Comedy Festival Class Clowns competition and was a National Grand Finalist on her first set. She was also a state finalist and has been performing in various clubs throughout Sydney such as The Comedy Store, the Old Manly Boatshed, Oatley hotel, The laugh Stand, Jurassic Lounge and Comedy Corner.
Madeleine has taken comedy as an opportunity to reveal to her audience real issues involved with being classified as ‘disabled’, by sharing her delightfully wicked adventures and pranks. Madeleine is often daring when it comes to pranks and has been discussed by various comics, most notably on Wil Anderson’s TOFOP after ‘contributing’ to one of his shows. His respect for young Madeleine has lead to their paths crossing on many occasions, including 2013 when he invited her to open the second half of his acclaimed show ‘Happyism’. Hills has also worked along side Madeleine while filming television Program “My24” ABC3.
“I’m excited to work with a team. I’m very much a selfish performer so sharing the spotlight will be a pleasant experience. And if it all goes badly I have someone to blame. It’s never my fault.”
Set for her improvisation debut, and although she admits to being a little terrified, she is welcoming the opportunity to be a part of an energetic and witty team.
“I’ve never attempted improv. It terrifies me. in fact, I tried it once on my 19th birthday and my audience threw their chairs at me. I ended up singing Les Mis and smearing Nutella on hipster comedians. True story, I have pictures.”
When looking at the games board, one game stands out more than most for Madeleine.
“Show stopping number looks neat. I sing after most things I say anyway. It’s one of my annoying little habits. I’m glad it’s coming to some use. I also spotted Opera which made me happy, Iim opera trained. Do I get points for fabulous resonance?”
If my life were a book, it would be called “Dinosaurs Are Cool, and I Need a Girlfriend …”
Sam is a first year student studying Performance at University of Wollongong School of Creative Arts, and is enjoying his new-found love of acting and the performing arts. Sam has a great performance energy and loves to throw himself into a good comedy. In high school, Sam was involved in a couple of plays in high school and also a dance where he mimed the lyrics to ‘Don’t stop me now’ by Queen for a talent night. He also recited a slightly redacted version of everything Cave Johnson says in the entirety of Portal 2 for his HSC Drama performance.
“I never really did a huge amount of dramatic stuff in school until the later years, but I’ve always been a very theatrical person.”
Sam is looking forward to taking on many of the improvisation on offer in Playmates. He has taken a strong liking to classic Playmates games Play In The Style Of… and Character Rollercoaster as well as new games Party Quirks, Moving Bodies and Sentences From The Floor. When asked by the producer what games he is hoping he won’t get, Sam shows wisdom above his years.
“I know full well that if I mention a game I don’t want, then that’ll increase my chances of getting lumbered with it. I’m on to Luke’s tricks.”
His first Playmates appearance doesn’t daunt him in the slightest, and is expecting to have lots of fun alongside some of his fellow creative arts performance fellows and the other four companies on stage. He has been a huge fan of the TV series Whose Line Is It Anyway? – the show that originally inspired Playmates nine years ago. The unknown excites him, and his love for all things funny seem a great match for this young emerging actor.
“I think drama and theatre are one of a few things that I’m really good at, particularly anything comedic. Apparently I’m very funny, although I’m not entirely convinced myself.”
8pm Friday 28th November
City Diggers Club Wollongong
All TIckets $15 visit blackboxtheatre.org
Produced by Black Box Theatre in association with Roo Theatre Company, Stanwell Park Arts Theatre, University of Wollongong School of Creative Arts, The Drama Studio, Wollongong Comedy and the Illawarra Youth Arts Project.