Excitement is amping up as opening night nears for Blue Mountains Musical Society’s upcoming production, We Will Rock You.
The sensational rock musical, featuring the legendary music of Queen with a book by Ben Elton, is set to dazzle Blue Mountains audiences, and sees four cast members take the stage for the first time since becoming parents.
“I think it means more in a way,” said Tash Wouters of her return to community theatre. “I am more grateful for the experience – to be creative, connected and work with likeminded people.”
Wouters made the move to the Mountains to start her family in 2015, joining BMMS earlier this year as the assistant director for Urinetown. She’s keen to step out onstage in the ensemble of We Will Rock You after having her son Phoenix, now two-and-a-half.
“Phoenix loves to dance and sing along to all the songs from We Will Rock You – and by singing and dancing I mean howling like a wolf and rolling on the floor – so yeah - I’d say he's destined for Broadway!”
Kelly Cox last performed with BMMS in 2004, in the ensemble of Little Shop of Horrors. She’s back to tread the boards as part of the featured ensemble after having her daughter Emily four years ago, having taken the cue from her supportive family in making the decision to return to theatre.
“It’s all about timing,” she said. “My husband’s work changed and he was no longer doing shift work which freed up some nights for me to look at getting involved in something. I saw We Will Rock You advertised at Springwood Foundation Day and the desire returned. Although it took me to the last day to build up the nerve to audition, I did it and here we are. I couldn’t be happier.”
Joining Cox in the featured ensemble is Sonya Pascolini, who’s returning for We Will Rock You after having baby Elias last year.
“My husband and I had Elias in a good sleep routine and my husband was excited to see me perform again. I thought it seemed like a fun musical to be a part of with a great production team, most of which are parents themselves! So I knew I'd be in encouraging company.”
Amy Stoakes is also stepping back into the limelight in the role of featured dancer after having Henry just nine months ago.
“Overall, everything feels mostly as it did before, but one of the great things about this cast is that my friend Sonya, who I’ve done shows with in the past, is in it and her son is four months older than Henry, so I’ve got another new mama there for support.”
Despite juggling busy schedules and family life, the returning cast members recommend getting involved in community theatre to other parents.
Wouters said “it gives us a chance to take risks and dream big; to be brave and vulnerable; share our hidden talents; learn a few new tricks and, sometimes, find a home. Being involved with BMMS has enriched my life in immeasurable ways and best of all – it has helped me to get to know, and love, my community.”
Blue Mountains Musical Society performs We Will Rock You from October 20 to November 4 at the Blue Mountains Theatre. Tickets available www.bmms.org.au or by calling 4723 5050.