Musical Theatre Panel
Will Conyers - Panel Chair
WILL CONYERS has worked extensively in all branches of the entertainment industry since the age of 6 - from piano bars to opera, cabaret to opera and rock opera and from the theatre to film and T.V soap opera. A graduate of the National Theatre Drama School (1980), he returned there to be the founding Director of the Musical Theatre Course (1996-1998). He also studied with esteemed NY Acting and Music Theatre teacher, Carol-Fox Prescott.
KIM BISHOP was nominated for a 2016 Green Room Award (along side Kinky Boots and Matilda) for his costume design on The Light In The Piazza. (Life Like Company). He was also Costume Designer for Jesus Christ Superstar (The Production Company) City Of Angels (Life Like Company), Doubt, A Parable (RL Productions), CrossXRoads (Chapel Off Chapel), The 39 Steps and They’re Playing Our Song (HIT Productions), Barassi – The Stage Show (Athenaeum Theatre), Singin’ In The Rain, The Producers, Kismet, The Boy From Oz, The King & I, The Boyfriend, Crazy For You, Mame, Damn Yankees, 42nd Street and Sweet Charity (The Production Company). He has also toured as Head of Wardrobe on many large scale shows including Dusty, The King & I, Joseph and The Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat, South Pacific, The Rocky Horror Show, Aida – The Spectacular, The Boy From Oz, Singin’ In The Rain, Shout and Moonshadow. Kim also toured the world for some years as Wardrobe Manager with ice dancers Torvill and Dean, playing everywhere from his home town Melbourne to Las Vegas, Madison Square Garden and Wembley. Visit his website at kimbishop.com.au
JAMIE HENSON is a lecturer in Live Production and Technical Services, Specialist Make-up and Circus Arts at Melbourne Polytechnic. Jamie's expansive career has included roles such as Lighting Designer, Production Manager, Tour Manager, Properties Master and Technical Services Manager for productions Australia wide. His career highlights include lighting design for The Right (Performing Lines), Bijous Secret (16th Street Studios), Wonderland Spiegel Tent (Melbourne Comedy Festival), SEEKERS 50th Reunion Tour Australia (for two National Tours), COSI and Driving Miss Daisy (HIT Productions), The Impresario, Prima La Musica, Poi Le Parole (Lyric Opera) and SING SING in Townsville (Queensland Music Festival). Jamie has also spent many decades working in Production Management for companies such as The Entertainment Store, HIT Productions, Dance North, David Atkins Enterprises, International Concert Attractions and Sydney Theatre Company.
REBECCA MOORE trained in Music Theatre at the VCA, and in New York at The Open Jar Institute. Rebecca’s Musical Theatre credits include; 'Motherhood the Musical' ‘Calvin Berger’, ’Children of Eden’, 'The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee' and 'NINE: The Musical in Concert.' Rebecca has been in a number of cabarets including; 'Like Love' and 'Things that Don’t Belong to Me' and is a member of 4-part female a cappella group, Ginger and Tonic. Her musical workshops include; 'Pink', 'Just Deserts', 'The White Mouse', 'NED', 'Lawson's Women' and ‘Housewarming'. Rebecca is a trustee board member for the Ron and Margaret Dobell Foundation and is passionate about the cultivation of diversity within Melbourne’s music theatre scene, the training of young performers and the development of new works.
PRASHANTI MIDDLING graduated from the Australian Institute of Music with a B.Mus. in Music Theatre in 2018. She is also a recent graduate of the Music Theatre program at Associated Studios Australia (2019). She is thrilled to be the “recent graduate” representative of the GRA Music Theatre Panel and is excited to bring her youthful energy, diversity and a fresh perspective to the role.
SONYA SUARES is an actor, director, theatre-maker and activist who has worked consistently across a variety of disciplines since her screen debut in Ocean Girl at 16. Feature films include Wil, Knowing, My Year Without Sex and The Last Ride; television highlights are Rush, Very Small Business, East West 101, Lowdown, It’s A Date, Legally Brown, Five Bedrooms and With Intent. In 2012, she founded Watch This, Australia's first and only Sondheim repertory company (18 GRA nominations/ 2 wins, including her own nod for Best Director for Sunday in the Park With George, 2019). Recent theatre highlights include Elbow Room’s acclaimed We Get It (MTC Neon and Brisbane Powerhouse); Polyglot and Papermoon Puppet Theatre's Helpmann and GRA-nominated Cerita Anak (Child’s Story); MTC's premiere of Melbourne Talam (GRA nomination, Best Ensemble), Emilie Collyer’s ‘netball fantasia’ Contest and Fleur Kilpatrick’s Max Afford award-winning, Whale (Darebin Speakeasy 2018/19). In 2020, Sonya tours to the Lincoln Centre with Cerita Anak, performs Kill Climate Deniers at Canberra's inaugural Elsewhere Festival and co-directs Into the Woods with Dean Drieberg for Watch This, in amongst her advocacy/ work within government and adjacent organisations to effect structural change. She also juggles the primary care of Daniel and Naiya, her all time favourite productions.
In a diverse theatre career, JACKIE REES has played principal roles in the Australian premieres of Rocky Horror Show, Me and My Girl, Nine, Stepping Out, Man of La Mancha, Light in the Piazza, and Phantom of the Opera, playing Madame Giry, for which she was nominated for a Helpmann Award for Best Supporting Actress in a musical. With the Mo Award winning cabaret trio The Ritz Company, Jackie toured Europe and Asia, and also performed Side By Side By Sondheim out of London, and Starting Here Starting Now. Jackie’s other stage work include roles in Gypsy, Pirates of Penzance, Stepping out, Follies, Into the Woods, Great Expectations, Dear World, Pippin, Call Me Madam, A Swell Party, and The Glitter Sisters. The plays The Importance of being Ernest, O’Flaherty V.C., and Sundowner. Also the first arena production of the opera Aida, and Threepenny Opera for the Sydney Theatre Company. Film and television work includes Neighbours, Call of the Wild, She'll be Sweet, Hunted, The Alternative, The Mike Walsh show and Hey Hey It's Saturday, and hosted the children’s TV show Waterloo Street. Jackie has featured on two Ritz Company albums, and on the Aria award-winning cast recordings of the musicals Nine and Jesus Christ Superstar. Most recently Jackie had featured roles in My Fair Lady at the Sydney Opera House directed by Dame Julie Andrews, Old Lady and Blair Daniels in Sunday in the Park with George and Madame Armfeldt in A Little Night Music for which she was nominated for a Green Room Award. Jackie has been a proud member of Actors’ Equity since 1974.
THERN REYNOLDS has had an extensive and varied career in Musical Theatre. He was cast in his first professional show in 1989 while still in high school – it was the original Australian production of 42nd Street. Thern has barely stopped since. His career has taken him all over Australia, Europe, Asia & the Middle East and has seen him take on many challenges, as an ensemble member, an understudy, a Dance Captain, a swing, minor roles, major roles, Resident Director and Resident Choreographer.
Thern’s most recent performance credits include General Lord Glossop in Jekyll & Hyde 25th Anniversary Concert; understudy Che and Magaldi in Evita for Opera Australia; Funny Girl for Sydney Symphony Orchestra; Dream Lover for Gordon Frost Organisation; Brit in We Will Rock You for GFO and The Production Company's Jesus Christ Superstar.
Kellie Rode (On Leave)
KELLIE RODE graduated from WAAPA in 2000. In 2001 she performed in the original Australian cast of Mamma Mia! She took over the leading role of Sophie at the Sydney premiere, throughout Australia, New Zealand and Asia from 2002-2005. In 2006 Kellie performed in the critically acclaimed musical Virgins (Dean Bryant & Matthew Frank) at the Malthouse earning her a Green Rom Award nomination, also touring to New York City for the NY Musical Theatre Festival. In 2006 she was invited to perform in Mandy Patinkin's Masterclass at the Adelaide Cabaret Festival. In 2012 Kellie performed the leading role in Matthew Robinson's workshop of Atlantis in New York City which she also performed in Melbourne in 2014. She was twice invited to perform excerpts of Atlantis at the Australian Embassy in Washington DC. Since 2010 Kellie has produced and performed in her own corporate act, The Divine Sisters, based on the 1940's trio The Andrew Sisters. She appeared on screen as Catriona in House Husbands before studying with Craig Carnelia in New York City throughout 2013. Kellie is thrilled to be performing the role of Lora Lee in Nick Enright and Max Lambert's Miracle City in 2017 & 2018.