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Home > News > Music Theatre Alumni in the Industry
Music Theatre Alumni in the Industry

Under Jennifer Murphy the head of Music Theatre at AIM, the AIM Musical Theatre Department has become the home of the ‘Quadruple-Threat’, creating artists who not only sing, dance and act, but also create.


This has never been more evident than the first half of 2016 where alumni students are not only starring in both independent and major commercial musical theatre, but also creating their own work both for themselves and others.
 
The first thing that an alumni of Musical Theatre experiences upon leaving AIM is automatic membership of Exclaim Theatre Company. Established in 2014, Exclaim aims (pun intended) to provide opportunities to alumni to continue performing in between gigs or to return to the stage after following different career paths. In two years, the company have performed five full scale musicals: The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee, Glory Days, Hair: The American Tribal Love-Rock Musical, The Fantasticks and most recently, In The Heights. Alumni fill every role in Exclaim shows; from producing, to designing, to lighting and costume design and of course, performing, allowing members to experiment and experience roles that they are interested in pursuing with the support and assistance of their peers. Notably, after designing Spelling Bee Brendan Hay was asked to design the costumes for Squabbalogic’s Man of La Mancha received a nomination for Best Costume Design of an Independent Production, highlighting the company’s ability to get graduates seen and involved in the greater industry. Since then, Brendan has continued with design, including more work for Squabbalogic (The Original Grease and Wonderful Town, produced in collaboration with Sydney Philharmonia Choirs) and for the event scene while still enjoying a performance career focused around a series of self devised characters, one of whom, Valere, appeared on Australia’s Got Talent in 2013.
 
Other graduates and past students are also enjoying successes across the industry. Elisa Colla, Daniel Belle and Monique Salle have been seen regularly on the Australian Main Stage since 2010. Elisa has played Nessarose in Wicked, was seen in Les Miserables over 2014 and 2015 and is about to start work on My Fair Lady with none other than Mary Poppins herself, Julie Andrews directing. Monique enjoyed her debut as Bebe in A Chorus Line before recently featuring in Ghost, covering the role of Molly and making several appearances as the character over the course of a six month run. Daniel has featured in several shows over the past eight years including Jerry Springer: The Opera and as first cover for Jean Valjean in Les Miserables. Past student Toby Francis will make his main stage debut this year in Kinky Boots as lead role, Charlie after finding success on the Australian Cabaret circuit and then founding Highway Run Productions who’s production of RENT enjoyed two sold out seasons at the Hayes Theatre. Mark Vincent recently finished with the Australian production of Dirty Dancing and is set to star in My Fair Lady under the direction of Julie Andrews.

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Independent Theatre is an area where AIM alumni have enjoyed particular success. Aaron Robuck, Caroline Oayda, Jason Mobbs-Green, Coral Mercer-Jones, Doron Chester,  Daniella Mirels Gareth Isaac and Brendan Xavier, all current students or alumni, featured in the cast of The Original Grease for Squabbalogic. Jaime Hadwen and Catty Hamilton have recently featured in Xanadu at The Hayes Theatre, with Jaime set to star in Bonnie Lythgoe’s Cinderella at Sydney’s State Theatre this July. Following his Directorial debut for Exclaim, Simeon Yialeloglou will direct Flame Trees for Tunks Productions at the Depot Theatre this month and Ylaria Rogers will launch her new theatre company, Freewill Productions with David Auburn’s Proof in July.
 
Off the stage, and out of the country, Christina Paterno continues to find success in the film world. A short film concept created by Paterno and Director, Eduardo Rios, turned into Sarah Is Not Her Name. Christina took an early production role, assembling the team that was to work on the project and securing investment both online and from liquor brand, Fernet Branca but later turned to focus on starring as the lead character. Sarah Is Not Her Name was recently featured as part of the Short Film Corner at Cannes Film Festival. Paterno says, “We watched films all day, and went to events every night. We met so many incredible artists…which is very exciting!” The team have also been asked to participate in the film market at Palm Springs Short Film Festival so make sure you keep an eye out!

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This is but a snapshot into the world of Alumni and past students of the Musical Theatre Department at AIM. There are many also featuring as lead singers for bands, in exciting corporate entertainment, performing at special events and also several teaching their art to the next generation. It’s an exciting time to be a part of this school and this industry and there is undoubtedly more to come!
 
Make sure you keep en eye on the website for further stories on our Alumni as we celebrate their success!

Written by Julian Kuo, Singer, Actor and Producer | Music Theatre Alumni

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