Hoskins Centre Manager, Emma Buzo, tells us about the dynamic season of touring and local shows to be staged this year; while TAS student, Tom Henderson, talks about his title role in the upcoming production of Joseph and his Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat.
Emma, how did the plan for a season of diverse productions and events come about?
I came to Armidale, having been a theatre producer, actor, educator and a passionate advocate for the arts as a crucial element of a flourishing, open-minded community. I love building new initiatives and was attracted to TAS, as there seemed to be such a progressive spirit about the place. My vision for the Hoskins Centre’s new public arts program was embraced by Headmaster Murray Guest, and so work began on the centre’s inaugural artistic season in 2012.
What have you got planned so far?
Late last year we had a public launch of the Hoskins Centre’s 2012 season, which includes professional touring productions, lectures, schools performances, musicals and play readings.
Sydney Theatre Company’s New England Project sounds like a fascinating production which will engage young people from across the region … what this will involve?
This project epitomises the Hoskins Centre’s place in the region as a conduit for high quality, community based arts events. A team of theatre professionals from the STC will create an original theatre work premiering at the Hoskins Centre in October. The play will be created through community consultation and workshops with students across the region, with the result being a public production that sees young people from the New England area sharing the stage with professional actors.
The Hoskins Centre at TAS is an asset of the whole Armidale community. Who are some of the diverse groups that use it?
As an independent arts producer in Sydney, I remember how hard it was to find affordable and suitable venues for events, so I am committed to make the Hoskins Centre a welcoming venue for local organisations such as the Armidale Business Chamber, Armidale’s newest theatre company Felt Tip, Armidale Drama and Musical Society (ADMS) and the Armidale branch of the Australian Decorative and Fine Arts Society (ADFAS).
Why do you think it is the ideal venue for these groups and events?
Not only is the theatre equipped with state-of-the-art sound and lighting equipment, it seats a large number of people (up to 240), but still has an ‘intimate’ feel to it. And as for our stunning light-filled foyer – people never seem to want to leave!
How can people find out more about what’s happening at Hoskins?
Details on the 2012 season and all that goes on at Hoskins can be found at http://hoskins.as.edu.au
We’re also on Facebook and Twitter.
Tom, tell us about Joseph.
It’s an extravagant production, with so much colour and wonderful music that can go from a Jazz number to a ballad. It is an ideal musical, because the number of roles give a lot of people the opportunity to shine. There is a committed cast and crew headed up by Ms Buzo and Mr (Nik) Glass, who are committed to helping us all put on what promises to be an amazing production.
And your role?
Joseph starts off very positively, then is sold as a slave and faces many challenges and adversities, but what underpins him is his hope and faith.
As a boarder who is studying drama for his HSC, what does the Hoskins Centre mean to you?
As someone who wants to make a career in theatre, particularly musical theatre, I find it amazing I can be at school and then watch a full-on professional production right next door to my boarding house. Just by watching the actors and crew, I’ve learnt different techniques. To have access to that would have to be pretty unique for a school.
Thank you Emma and Tom.