Triple threat training in summer
If you love acting, singing or dancing then the newly formed Jam Productions has a summer school activity right up your alley.
Combining the talents of Maria Slape, from MJ Dance Studio, vocal teacher Jodi Swiggs, from Phoenix Music Studios and St Martins Lutheran College drama teacher Andy Ahrens, the week long musical theatre program will culminate in a one-off performance.
Maria and Jodi ran a similar course in 2019 when they followed the same format, working on an original musical, and once COVID saw a hold on the performing arts, the concept was shelved until this year with Andy adding his talents to the program that will run January next year.
A special junior version of Legally Blonde is the production that will see participants rehearse for five days from Monday, January 15, to Friday, January 19, ahead of the January 20 performance at one of Mount Gambier’s theatres.
The cost is $350 per student with auditions for the main roles on December 17 from 1-5pm with more details to follow regarding the audition process.
The cost of the summer school program covers skill development, daily rehearsals, the majority of costumes and make up.
Given Maria can lay claim to two current stars of the Australian musical theatre scene in Euan Doidge and Cristina d’Agostino and a swag of students who have carved out successful cruise ship careers, she comes to the summer school with plenty of experience in the space and is always encouraging students to try and develop as a triple threat.
“There is no course like this on offer in this region so we really wanted to get it up and going again,” Maria said.
“It was really successful in 2019 and we can’t wait to see how this one works out. It is not just for students who are looking for a career in the industry. It is for anyone who wants to give it a go and is looking for something different to get involved in during the school holidays.”
All three of the Jam Productions team are experts in their field.
Maria founded MJ Dance Studio 35 years ago and has a swag of State and national awards to her credit over the almost four decades she has been developing local performers.
Jodi brings a wealth of experience to the team as a musician and vocal coach. She has worked as vocal coach for many community and high school productions including Chicago, Rent, Seussical, Nobody’s Home, Shrek and most recently The Addams Family.
Jodi holds a Licentiate Diploma in Vocal Performance and is certified in the globally renowned vocal training platform ‘Estill Voice Training’.
Production director Andy brings a wealth of directing experience from Adelaide where his productions won numerous awards including Best Musical for Sweeney Todd, Les Miserables, Jesus Christ Superstar, Seussical and Urinetown.
Arriving in Mount Gambier as a drama teacher, Andy has continued his love for musical theatre working in school productions, his most recent being Shrek and The Addams Family at the Sir Robert Helpmann Theatre.
Jam Productions is targeting young people in the 9-21 age group with the rehearsal days starting at 9am. They are hoping for 20-30 performers to sign up for the summer holiday opportunity.
“It is a great opportunity to have some fun in the holidays,” Maria said. “And if you are interested in a career in the performing arts developing all three skills is really important.”