We have made 10 shows over the years and we focus on classic stories, myths and legends / fairtytales. Our Hercules is definitely our super hero show! Unfortunately we cannot do things like Spiderman or Superman as they are owned by DC or Marvel.
Yes! Many of our casts have gone to to university to study acting or musical theatre. After doing it in high school, they then apply and audition for various courses. The main one that this cast all went to is called Federation University, previously called BAPA and it’s in Ballarat. It’s a Arts Degree and they study all about theatre and performance and hone their skills in acting, singing and dancing. There’s also NIDA in Sydney and WAAPA in WA that’s very highly regarded. There’s lots of options for training but we definitely look for casts that have studied and practiced lots as it means they have the skills and resilience to do our shows every day. Someone who hasn’t practiced might not be able to adapt to our different audiences every day, or they might lose their voice from all the loud singing and speaking on stage. You don’t HAVE to go to university either, we have had people audition for us who have just worked on themselves using the methods we teach in our shows to make choices that are in alignment with what they want to do. So they come and audition and impress us with their fun energy and enthusiasm, perhaps they’ve more worked on doing comedy which is not as much something you go to university for – perhaps that’s something like making funny videos on TikTok or YouTube and practicing there, or it might be doing performances to groups of people to practice being funny (eg. stand up comedy).
So there’s lots of paths to joining Alpha Shows, the most common however is from people who have chosen it as a career and studied it at university.
No, there are never more than 6 performers in our show. In addition to playing extra characters (in Sleeping Beauty there were 10) the cast also do all the setups and packups, and run the show backstage which is normally something done by backstage crew staff. We want to put on a full show but we want to keep the shows as cheap as possible for students/schools so we cannot afford to hire the crew that would normally do that job, so we came up with clever ways to make it possible for even new actors who haven’t worked with us before to be abel to setup the show in 60-70 minutes.
We are so glad you enjoyed the show! Thanks for playing full out and being part of the story!
What was the purpose of Katoka the Dragon? (Saif, Jai, Milena, Mohammad)
For silliness, jokes and comedy, and because dragons were part of the old legends – slaying dragons and the legends of dragons in many stories from the same era as King Arthur. We wanted to create an original character that would be a fun break from some of the more serious storylines and themes in King Arthur, so everyone can enjoy the show no matter what.
How did you learn the whole show in just 7 days? (Mohamed, Laura)
We practice and learn our lines BEFORE the 7 day rehearsal period. But it’s very hard work to learn it all that fast. Sometimes the earlier shows can be dicey and we only get the show as close to perfect after we do lots and lots of shows. But the show is always ready to go on the road by the end of rehearsals! We don’t stop working until it’s ready for you!
Why did you use real swords and where did they come from? (Sophia, Mohamed, Saif and Daren)
We use real swords because fake ones would break and hurt people. Only real ones are strong enough to be safe (and they are blunted). They come from a special workshop that makes swords for stage work, and we are trained by a professional named Kyle who is involved in Australian stage combat and ran a school for stage combat in Sydney. He also worked on teaching and coming up with light saber fights in a few Star Wars movies!
How did you change the backgrounds so quickly? (Ayathi)
Practice! And because they are designed in a clever way to be quick to change by the actors, rather than most shows that need extra crew to do that part of it. Alpha Shows can’t afford to have extra crew and help on tour, so we have to be clever to make the sets in a way that actors can easily change it all quickly!
Who makes the backgrounds and how long does it take? (Laura, Milena, Saif, Avleen)
Lots of people worked on the sets and backgrounds. Ben, who started the company, designed it all, his dad helped make them and paint them, and some other people like Lachlan also have worked on sets. It takes 3-6 months to make a new set for a new show.
How did you make the castle and how long did it take? (Daren)
It takes about 3-6 months to fully make all the sets and backdrops. The castle and the ability to ‘close’ off the set was a newer invention with our later shows, and it enabled us to do bigger and better scene changes behind the castle than otherwise was possible before.
Was the sword really stuck in the stone? (Levi)
It was! There was a hole through it and we put a pin through it to stop it coming out.
How did the sword stab someone without them getting hurt? (Cihan)
We don’t really stab anyone, and nobody should ever do that ever, not even if you’re playing. So no sword is ever really stabbing someone. It just looks that way because we practice it to look that way from where you are sitting in the audience, like most theatre shows there are always tricks like that. If you were to come around to the side of the stage you would see that the sword is nowhere near anyone’s body, especially when we do a scene where the character needs to be in that situation and ‘lose’ the fight. It’s always important to be super safe not only with swords but with every aspect of performing and creating stories or just doing a dance for our parents or friends!
How did you make the costumes? (Harris)
A costume designer makes them, just like other clothes, but much more hard to make and it is very intricate work. She works for months on them and has to customize them every tour for each different actor. It’s a lot of work and they normally do the updates during rehearsals, but for a new show, it’s about 3-6 months work to get them all ready.
Morgana (Katie) what is your real hair colour? (Rachel)
Why did you choose to make the show of King Arthur? (Rehann)
It was our 7th show and was originally intended to be the final show we ever produced, because there are 7 years of primary school and we felt we needed 7 shows so that everyone would only see each show once and then that group will have moved on and we could go back to our first show and nobody would see a show twice. We have since made 10 shows, but when it came to make what we thought was going to be the final one, we asked ourselves, what is the final important message everyone needs to learn and is a real struggle for many people? For us, the answer was equality and oneness. And since we made the show in 2009 you can see that the world has only gotten worse in this regard. There is more division and divisiveness than ever, one group against another, many struggling to compromise or work together. The other part of the problem with a lack of equality is that certain groups get looked over and get a bad deal in society. And then on a personal level, if a person feels like they are not good enough or less worthy than someone else – or even if one person thinks they are BETTER than others – that causes a lot of problems. The truth is, everyone has value and worth – equally. Nobody, no matter their background, wealth, parents, friends or talents, is better or worse than anybody else. We felt it was incredibly important to tell a story about this, and there is no better story that’s always been about equality, with the roundtable physically representing this, than King Arthur. It’s a classic mythical tale that is actually derived from some real events, and we felt it was the perfect story to try to show the importance of equality and oneness, working together, being friends, not being mean to others because you think you’re better than someone, and also not placing yourself below others allowing others to treat you badly because they think you’re not good enough. Everyone is equal, and we should come together as one in the world to work together and make things great for everyone, equally.
How did you become actors and actresses? (Laura)
That question is different for everybody, but many people choose to become actors because they love to sing and act and perform, and perhaps were inspired by seeing a theatre show when they were young. I know that’s how it was for me and many of the Alpha Shows actors, and we even have students who saw our shows 10 or 15 years ago who are now coming to audition for us, and they tell us Alpha was one of the main reasons they became an actor! After apologizing to them for the potential life of auditions and rejections and hardships, we gladly audition them and try to find them a part if they would be suitable for one of our characters. Not every actor is suitable for our shows, but there’s very likely a role with some company for anyone with some talent out there. You just have to find it – or make the story yourself!
We would love to see another Alpha Shows performance and we hope you can come back to Aitken Hill Primary School next year.
Thank you again for coming to our performance and we will definitely see you again next year! We loved your school!
Hey 1/2 Patton class!
We’re so glad you guys enjoyed the show!
Thank you so much for your great questions and here are all of our answers for you:
Could you please remind us of your names?
Kyle (Quasimodo), Georgie (Esmerelda), Nicola (Hugo and Jiacomo), Dan (Phoebus and Father Tourangeau), Lydia (Mamma Frill and Djali) and Lachie (Frollo)
Who were the people moving the stage displays behind the stage?
That was all of the actors, when we’re not on stage we’re helping out with changing the set or doing the sound and lighting cues.
Are you going to make a new show for next year?
We’ll be doing Sleeping Beauty next year!
What show are you going to do next?
We are performing Hunchback of Notre Dame until May and then we will perform Cinderella with a few different actors
Was your show inspired by a movie?
Our show is inspired by a very old story written by Victor Hugo, who wanted to tell a story about the beauty and the magic of the Notre Dame cathedral.
Where did you get your costumes from?
We have a costume designer, Rachel, who makes all of our costumes for us.
How do you do multiple performances in one day without getting tired?
We get lots of energy in the shows from performing to you guys, but other than that we just try to look after ourselves by getting enough sleep, drinking lots of water and getting an energy boost from a good snack like a banana!
How do you get changed into different costumes so quickly?
We practice it a lot and we have zips and velcro that make it as easy as possible to get in and out of costumes quickly.
What was in the chalice?
There’s not really any liquid in there, just some lights and batteries so it can glow.
How did the chalice glow?
2 ways – when someone is holding it there was a little button at the back that they can push to turn the lights on, and when nobody was holding it, it was sitting on a little board that gets plugged in and then the people at the lighting desk can turn it on and off.
Who played the part of the crocodile and the goat?
The crocodile was played by Dan who also played Father Tourangeau and Djali, the goat, was played by Lydia, who also played Mamma Frollo.
What did you do when you were behind stage?
We’re often doing things backstage, such as changing for another character, operating the sound and lighting, changing the set or getting a bit of a water break!
How did you know what to say and when to go on stage?
We have a script that tells us all of those things, then we practice/rehearse the show for a week and learn everything that needs to happen in the show, such as when to come onstage or leave, our choreography for the dances and all of the sound and lighting steps to do. After a week of rehearsing the show we know what to say and where to go 🙂
Do you like strawberries?
We LOVE them!
Thank you for your great questions!
Looking forward to seeing you again next year!
Hello! I’m Keira I asked you a question today it was ‘what inspired you to be an actor’ I got half an answer due to my friend pulling me away to go back to our class I don’t know if you remember but please let me
Yeah I remember! Lots of different things have inspired us to perform. Watching other people doing what they love is very inspiring. It’s also a pretty special feeling when you perform for people for the first time. For me personally, I loved that I could use my voice or performing to help people feel something! I especially love making people laugh.
I’m Matilda- grade 6
And my little sisters are Bridget- grade 5, and Georgie- grade 3. We wanted to ask you guys a question about the performance ‘King Arthur’. How do you guys decide your roles?