Perform! Educational Musicals is a multi award winning producer of educational theatre for Primary Schools. The company and its writers have been creating specialty educational musicals for primary schools for over 15 years and in this time have performed for nearly one million students across several countries including Australia, New Zealand, Singapore, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Papua New Guinea and Kenya.
Our annual Book Week Musicals celebrate Children’s Book Week and promote literacy by inspiring students with the limitless fun and possibilities offered by books and reading. Each production also deals with a specific Personal Development issue such as Self-Esteem, Bullying, Anger Management and Co-operation. The performances, which take place within Primary Schools, are highly interactive for the students and feature action packed narratives, appealing, identifiable characters, loads of comedy, irresistible songs and high energy dancing that captivate and engage all audiences from Prep to Grade 6 (as well as their teachers). Question time at the conclusion of the performance reinforces the learning outcomes, and a specially designed Teacher’s Activity Pack sent prior to the performance offers a comprehensive selection of classroom exercises for both before and after the show.
Amanda Levy BA English, BA Musical Theatre (WAAPA)
Amanda is a professionally trained musical theatre performer and teacher. Her professional performance experience is wide and includes 2 Victorian Green Room Award Nominations for Best Actress in a Musical (2001, 1999). Other performing credits include the Australian Premiere of Sunset Boulevard with Hugh Jackman, Fiddler on the Roof with Topol, Annie with Anthony Warlow as well as Blue Heelers , Stingers and Neighbours . Teaching credits include 7 years of performing arts tuition to children of all ages in Melbourne 's most established performing arts schools (Children's Performing Company of Australia , Young Australian Broadway Chorus and the Johnny Young Talent School ). Amanda has 5 years experience in educational children's theatre, both as a performer within Australia and overseas, and as a Director with Echelon.
Tobias Benn CA, B Bus
A chartered accountant, Tobias brings a wide range of professional business, finance and systems expertise to Echelon. Tobias has worked with a number of large organisations in the financial services and mining industries, including the National Australia Bank, Perpetual Trustees, Ernst & Young, Western Mining Corporation and Mayne Group. Tobias has also worked extensively in the professional Arts & Entertainment Industry as a financial consultant, production accountant and producer with several independent theatre and film production companies both in Australia and overseas. Tobias also acts as Honorary Treasurer for the Victorian Green Room Awards Association Inc.
We only employ professional music theatre performers who have trained at such institutes as the West Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), National Institute of Dramatic Arts (NIDA) and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). All our highly skilled performers have professional experience performing in major commercial musicals (Priscilla, Titanic, Lion King, Mamma Mia, Fiddler on the Roof with Topol, Dirty Dancing, Dusty, Shout and many more).
CRAIG CHRISTIE B Ed - NO MATES DRAMA IN ACTION
WRITER and COMPOSER
For the past twelve years Craig has worked as an independent producer in the area of theatre for schools. Under the banner of his company No Mates Productions with programs which both entertain and educate, these innovative productions have toured extensively throughout Australia and internationally. More than twenty have been produced since 1991 playing to a total audience of over 750,000 including the Frater Award winning primary school productions Shiver Me Timbers and Knock Knock! Who's There?
Craig's work as a playwright for young people has resulted in the publication of ten of his plays which have been used extensively in primary and secondary schools. His most recent publication ‘Where’s Tom?’ is part of the Voiceworks series which won the Drama Victoria award for The Best New Australian Series for Teachers and Students 2001 and has recently been released in Canada. Other publications have included feature articles in Drama journals in Australia, the UK and Kenya, an early primary school textbook linking literacy and basic maths concepts and a book of humorous children’s verse.
As a composer Craig has created or co-composed several musicals. His show Crusade has the distinction of being the largest concert production of an original Australian musical when it premiered at the Melbourne Concert Hall in 1998. This show has since gone on to be produced in Edinburgh in 2000 where it was reviewed as ‘…the next Les Miserables’ and is currently in pre-production for a major commercial season. He composes all of the original music for his theatre for school productions as well and has had works commissioned by the Singapore Science Centre, LaTrobe University and a number of other organisations. He completed a major new musical The White Rose for Monash University which premiered in Melbourne in September 2003 and subsequently toured Singapore. Other works include the cabaret musical After The Beep and a new show entitled The Sum Of Life. The new comedy EUROBEAT – the Eurovision Musical became the first Australian musical with an original score to be given a national tour in twenty years when it undertook the 2006 tour and has excited a lot of attention internationally.
Craig has developed, written and produced a number of exciting community performance projects both in Australia and overseas including the acclaimed musical Right Where We Are for LaTrobe University in 2002 and Water Into Wine for the Sunrise 21 Artist in Industry project in 2000. He has also been artist in residence at a number of schools some of which have resulted in international tours for the students involved. He has been involved as artist in residence and later artistic coordinator for the George Fairfax Memorial Drama Festival involving young people throughout the North West of Victoria since 1998.
He has lectured and run workshops in Drama in Education, community theatre and creative writing throughout Australia and in Singapore, Papua New Guinea, New Zealand, U.K., U.S.A., Brunei and Kenya. He was invited to present papers at the UNESCO World Summit of Arts and Education in Portugal in March 2006 and at th eInternation Conference on Arts and Culture in Edinburgh August 2006.
The People in Your Pocket
DEAN BRYANT (Book/Lyrics) and MATHEW FRANK (Composer)
Dean and Mathew are both graduates of the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (1999 and 1997, respectively), where they originally workshopped their musical, Prodigal . Since then the musical has played in Melbourne, the Arts Academy, Perth Institute of Contemporary Arts, Westside Theatre and became the first Australian musical produced in New York City in March 2002, with its off-Broadway mounting at the York Theatre Company. The cast recording of this production was released by JAY Records.
Other productions include The People in Your Pocket (Centenary of Federation tour, 2001, Echelon), The Virgin Wars (Next Wave Festival and Arts Academy) and Jumpin' the Q (Naked Theatre Company, Top Shorts, Old Fitz, 2003). Currently they are developing Once We Lived Here for Playbox Theatre Company (reading at the York Theatre Company and Playbox) and a new piece for the Melbourne Theatre Company. Mathew's other compositions include Jack The Ripper (WAAPA, 1998) and Dean has written a screenplay of The Virgin Wars .
Mathew is Head of Music at the Children's Performing Company of Australia and has musically directed in Melbourne, Perth, Sydney and New York City and Dean directed the Australian premiere of The Last Five Years at fortyfivedownstairs, Melbourne and The Stables, Sydney (Green Room and Helpmann award nominee, Best Director of a Musical). The pair were Assistant Director and Assistant Musical Director on the MTC production of Urinetown . They received the inaugural Green Room Award for “Best Original Score – Prodigal” in 2001 and were winners of the 2003 Write Now! competition for Jumpin' the Q .