Despite the current challenges faced by the musical theatre industry due to COVID-19, a number of performers are set to make their debut with Blue Mountains Musical Society (BMMS) on November 28
Following the success of the society's first online production in August, BMMS will use a similar format for BMMS Online 2.0 - a live-streamed concert of popular musical theatre songs.
Winmalee High School Year 12 student Jorja Harrison was due to make her BMMS debut in Mamma Mia this year, but rehearsals for the production were halted in March as a result of COVID-19 restrictions. Innovation born out of unprecedented challenges now means that Harrison's first BMMS performance will be in front of an online audience rather than a traditional in-house audience.
Harrison has previously performed in The Addams Family and Little Shop of Horrors for her school, and in BMMS Online 2.0 she will be joined by fellow Winmalee High students, Lily Clark and Belle Hirst, to perform the title song from Little Shop of Horrors.
"Performing is addictive and makes me feel on top of the world. I couldn't pass up the opportunity to perform, especially during this period," she said.
The high school student dreams of one day performing as Eponine in Les Miserables on the West End, and she is excited to provide the public with the opportunity to briefly escape the difficulties of the pandemic.
"Live performance is a time when people can forget their troubles for an hour or two and engross themselves in someone else's world," she said.
Dylan Hayley Rosenthal is also preparing for her first BMMS performance. She was thoroughly impressed by the first BMMS Online when she watched it from the comfort of her own home.
"When I saw BMMS Online, I was flabbergasted by the professionalism and talent of the entire production," she said.
"I thought it was a brilliant idea to bring the best of musical theatre into the COVID-safe lounge rooms of fellow performance lovers. So as soon as the opportunity presented itself to be a part of BMMS Online 2.0, I knew I had to jump at it."
Rosenthal has appeared in shows such as Chicago, Phantom of the Opera, and Wicked, in which she played Elphaba. For her performance in BMMS Online 2.0 she is delighted to once again be belting out Defying Gravity from Wicked.
Samantha Taylor is also thrilled to be joining BMMS in their latest online production. The cake decorator's decade of musical theatre experience includes starring roles in Annie, The Wizard of Oz, and Oliver. She has also choreographed productions of Wicked and Mary Poppins.
Taylor, who aspires to become a professional theatre performer, will commence a Diploma of Musical Theatre at Brent Street in January. In BMMS Online 2.0 she will sing The World Will Remember Us from Bonnie and Clyde with BMMS regular Peter Gollop. She describes the song as a "fun, upbeat, and completely underrated showstopper".
While Taylor is eager to return to a conventional performance setting, she is delighted to be part of BMMS Online 2.0. Through modern technology a global audience will have the ability to witness an incredible night of performances. They will also be able to interact with the show and provide live feedback through Facebook comments and reactions.
"With productions like this, theatre has never been more accessible," she said.