Kookaburra launches new season

Kookaburra: The National Musical Theatre Company launched its 2008 - 2009 subscription season, announcing a three musical program about Life, Love and Family.

“I’m excited and proud at the vibrancy and diversity of our program and the quality of our Australian artists and directors,” said Peter Cousens, CEO and Artistic Director of Kookaburra.   

Kookaburra was established in 2006 as a not-for-profit arts organisation to develop and promote musical theatre and make it accessible and affordable for all Australians.

Kookaburra’s 2008-09 season includes Andrew Lloyd Webber’s Tell Me on A Sunday about a single girl in New York looking for love; Little Women, a heartfelt musical for the whole family; and I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change, the hilarious smash-hit musical about sex, dating, marriage and infidelity.

Jolene Anderson, nurse Erica Templeton in All Saints and winner of last year’s It Takes Two, is the star performer in Tell Me on A Sunday.

“Jolene has that wonderful ‘real’ quality to her performance. When Jolene sings she truly connects with the lyrics and the audience, and that’s critical in a one-woman show,” said Cousens.

Up Close and Musical, the cabaret event presented each Friday night after a Kookaburra show, is back again this year, having been a highlight of Kookaburra’s inaugural season.

As a special extra event Kookaburra will also present The Noël Coward Letters, starring Barrie Ingham, one of England’s most versatile actors.

Cousens emphasised the importance of Kookaburra’s offstage activities, which he says really differentiate Kookaburra from commercial musical theatre companies.

“As an arts company, Kookaburra’s goal is to develop a meaningful and on-going relationship with Australian audiences. We’re working hard to engage and educate new audiences about musical theatre, and develop the art form itself,” he said.

The Nest, Kookaburra’s creative development wing, has commissioned James Millar and Peter Rutherford, the creative team behind the The Hatpin, to write a new Australian musical.

Kookaburra Kids is conducting workshops and behind-the-scenes tours for disadvantaged students and students who are interested in musical theatre.  Successful workshops have been held at Company (2007) and The Hatpin, with plans in progress for workshops with other musicals.

Kookaburra Touring is kicking off 2008 in regional NSW, with plans to tour interstate in 2009. Kookaburra will present I Love You, You’re Perfect, Now Change in five regional centres, with a musical program for primary and secondary students too.

Kookaburra also announced a new partnership with The Seymour Centre for its 2008-09 season. The Centre was primarily chosen because of its great location and its three different performance spaces, which allows Kookaburra to present a variety of musical theatre styles.   

“It’s been over 15 years since a major performing arts company was founded in Australia,” said Cousens. “Now in our second year Kookaburra is in full flight. Our future is looking great!”

Visit www.kookaburra.org.au

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