DYLAN HORVAT (Team Captain)
Dylan returns for his third successive Playmates as Roo Theatre’s team captain. Dylan who was Playmate’s most enthusiastic and fanatical audience member has fast become a crowd favourite. This will be Dylan’s 5th overall improv comedy show having also performed with local improv groups The Improverts and The Gullibles (2009). He’s mostly an actor, performing with Phoenix, Workshop, IYAP and mostly Roo over the past 11 years, in shows such as One Flew Over the Cuckoo’s Nest, Red vs Blue, Get Smart and The Wedding Singer. He’s directed SignAL, assistant directed Peter Pan and written for the shows Virus, Lost Along the Way and Tales From the Wasteland. He’s performed as a stand-up comedian many times since 2008.
“I am really looking forward to working with a team with this much chemistry and receiving much completely fair and unbribed praise from each judge. Playmates is the only way I’ll ever have mates to play with.”
When asked about which other team he is worried about, Dylan says latecomers Black Box pose a particular threat.
“Black Box. Definitely Black Box. I hear the judges have to give them the most points cause they’re running the show.”
Dylan is currently writing a one act play called Teacher Strike which will be performed at Roo Theatre in September 2018, alongside Safe written by University team member David Rienits. Both plays make up the show called Wild.
James returns for his second crack at Playmates, returning yet again on the Roo Theatre team.
“They said you should learn from your mistakes but evidently I haven’t listened. But this time we’re back funnier, stronger and handsomer.”
James has been in the theatre scene for almost ten years now and he has enjoyed every minute of it. He is a frequent crew member / actor at many theatres throughout the Illawarra, and the stage is a big part of his life. But he is very excited to return to the Playmates arena for another crack at the title.
“Playmates feels like going on a first date, but instead of a cute girl, it’s a large group of people, and instead of a nice candlelit dinner it’s a stunning arrangement of some of the Illawarra’s most talented comedians, actors and theatre professionals. But at least with Playmates this year, I an equally talented and funny team to c̶a̶r̶r̶y̶ support through the wild process. So yeah, I’m pretty keen.”
When asked if there are any improv games he hopes Roo doesn’t have to play, he replies:
“My Slow Brain™ makes Show Stopping Number a real hassle, as both coming up with comedy and coherent lyrics that rhyme requires a level of mental finesse that I’m not sure I’m capable of. I just hope we don’t have to go up against the University team. We all know those uni boys and girls absorb the comedic talents of all the great comedians just before the show like the guys in Space Jam, that’s how they’re so consistently funny 24/7. But other than that it’s fair game. We’ve got some exciting new talent and some amazing Playmates regulars coming back for more.”
Berman: You’ve been given an elephant. You can’t give it away or sell it. What would you do with the elephant?
James: Challenge it in a fight to the death, if I die, so be it, if it dies I claim my dominance over the animal kingdom.
James is currently rehearsing for his Sydney acting debut, with Black Box Theatre’s Wildcard submission to Short+Sweet Sydney 2018 in Tom Peach’s Badda Bing Badda Bang directed by young emerging director, and Roo Theatre team member Jarrod Sleiman.
Alex has been performing since she was 11, starting out as a musician. In 2014 she, on an impulse, signed up to do Jesus Christ Superstar in Campbelltown, and fell in love with theatre.
Since then she has been consistently acting in theatre (and an Australian film) when I can and, this year, performed in the Gala Finals of Short +Sweet in the play Time Squad written by fellow play-mate Alexander Cuff and directed by Luke Berman for Black Box Theatre. She has also been a regular actor for Black Box’s 24 Hour Theatre Illawarra.
This will be Alex’s first ever Playmates, and admits to feeling both excited and a little nervous.
“I’m working alongside some hilarious people, which can be a bit intimidating, but I’m proud of the team I’m in and I know we’re going to have a great time. 2017 has been the year I’ve really been able to challenge myself as a performer, and Playmates seemed like the next logical step. Every year I’ve seen it, I’ve wanted to be a part of it and this year it felt right to go ahead and put my hand up to participate.”
Alex had her first taste of the Playmates games that are played at the recent training day, and has taken a liking to a couple of games in particular, but admits to having nightmares about getting others…
“I hope we get Slideshow because it will really test how well our team knows each other, and I love how absurd some of the scenes can get. Also Emotional Rollercoaster, because I absolutely revel in having to change and justify how my character is reacting, at the drop of a hat (that one is easily my favourite). But I’ll murder our captain Dylan if he chooses any game that requires singing. Despite being a musician, I’ve always been garbage at coming up with lyrics.”
Berman: What do you want to be when you grow up?
Alex: I’m never growing up! But if I do, I want to rule over my own micronation, like a principality or something. I’ll sell noble titles, wear a crown, the national animal will be the graceful pigeon, and I’ll only communicate with people via parchment and fountain pen. People far and wide will come to the principality to see the mysterious and eccentric Alex Groombridge, and I will say to the people “Oh man! What’s the haps?”
Alex is soon to be a special guest star violinist on Devil Went Down to Georgia, with the School of Rock band, playing at Campbelltown Theatre on December 9th and 10th.
Jarrod has been an actor for pretty much his entire life, and has made many positive impressions on those who have worked with him, showing glimpses of brilliance rarely seen in other eighteen year-old theatre makers. Some of his stage credits include The King & I, The Pirates of Penzance, Macbeth, Red Vs Blue, Peter Pan, Cannibal! The Musical, 13, and Shrek. Earlier this year Jarrod directed his first show Tales from the Wasteland, a show written by 7 local writers, including himself.
Jarrod returns to Playmates after making his debut on the Roo Theatre team last year.
“I had a great time last year, I learnt a lot and I think our team are a chance this year. It’s going to be a good night, I get to be around some of my closest friends, and make some new ones. I’m a little nervous, but that’s just because Berman threatened to whip me if i’m not funny.”
Jarrod was recently selected to direct a ten minute play in Short+Sweet Sydney under Black Box Theatre as recognition for his ambitious directing debut, and is being mentored by the hardened Black Box Artistic Director. He has a electric cast at his disposal and a wonderful script written by Tom Peach. He is also currently writing a sequel to Hamlet which he hopes will be his Magnum Opus.