Francine Cain, Will Ewing, David Irvine, Kirby Lunn, Vidya Makan, Lucy Maunder, Benjamin Maza, Noni McCallum, Natalie O'Donnell, Brent Trotter and Alex Woodward.
"Congratulations to the 6 musicals taking part in the inaugural Grassroots Initiative Readings. Bradley McCaw's 'The Oasis', Steven Kreamer & Alex Giles' 'In Stitches", Nicole Melloy & Derek Rowe's 'Bettie', Jess Newman's 'Einstein: Master of the Universe, Amity Dry's 'Famous', and Joel Paszkowski and Tom Reed's 'Stealing Picasso'. Further info on the initiative at bit.ly/GRoots1 #homegrownaus #GrassrootsInitiative#AustralianMusicalTheatre"
(Taken from Home Grown's Facebook)
Francine Cain is a Helpmann Award-nominated musical theatre star. She graduated from WAAPA Music Theatre in 2009 and soon after she landed her fist professional Musical Theatre show. Francine was the winner of the 2010 Rob Guest Endowment Scholarship, which took her to New York where she worked with some of Broadway’s greatest performing arts tutors. Francine’s credits include Regina in the Tony Award winner Rock of Ages (Helpmann and Green Room Award nominations), and understudying Truly Scrumptious in the Australian tour of Chitty Chitty Bang Bang. Francine Cain embarked in an 18-month national tour playing Frenchy, one of her dream roles since a young girl, in Grease The Musical for GFO. Proving she is an excellent character actress next came Everybody Loves Lucy, where Francine, looking remarkably like Lucille Ball, got to play the Hollywood icon come Television queen of comedy to rave reviews in a one woman show directed by Helen Dallimore. Francine wishes to thank David, her family and Sue Barnett and associates for their constant love and support.
Will Ewing is a Melbourne based actor musician, Renaissance man and recent graduate of the National Theatre. Whilst at the National, Will was awarded three scholarships; the Basin Theatre group scholarship and the G&E Jones scholarship consecutively over two years. After graduating from the National Theatre in 2011 and obtaining his Advanced Diploma in Acting, Will was cast in a number of television roles, including the recurring role of Griffin O’Donohue Neighbours, Oliver Armatage in Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysterieson ABC1. Kevin in The Chocolate Frog Directed by Malcolm Robertson and playing the humours Role of the 'Time Traveller’ for an RACQ campaign. William has also worked prolifically during his time as a stage actor, appearing and starring in a number of dramatic and musical productions. His theatre credits include The Laramie Project, Orpheus, Kissing And F*&^$#% Up, The McNeil Project, Holy Ship, Cruising Paradise, A Chekhov Triptychand Patient 12. Most recently, Will has written and produced a show entitled 'Hamilton Highway', an engaging and one-man production drawing on both humorous and sombre experiences from the youngest of ten from a small farming community. Will has just came off his second Tour of the concert Drama Rolling thunder Vietnam and is currently shooting Newtons Law on the ABC.
David studied Musical Theatre at University of Ballarat Arts Academy. At Ballarat David performed such roles as Vittorio Vidal in Sweet Charity and The Mason in Working and Guido Contini in Nine. Upon graduating David joined the award winning Brainstorm Productions Company touring Australia with the innovative shows Buddies 2 (Charlie) and Cyberia (Tim and Alex). In 2014 David performed in the national China tour of Four Seasons In One Night. Since then David has been seen role of Chris Scott in Footlight Productions’ Miss Saigon and most recently Ben inConnect Four a new Australian Musical. David is excited to be touring alongside Bobby Fox in his Australian tour Four Seasons In One Night. In July 2016 David was seen in StageArts Titanic as leading man Frederick Barrett.
Kirby Lunn made her professional Australian Theatre Debut at the tender age of 18 in the hit musical ‘Eurobeat- Almost Eurovision.’ She then continued on to understudy the ever charming Tracy Turnblad’s in the Australian Original cast of ‘Hairspray The Musical.’ Kirby then travelled to London where she won the coveted role of ‘Maureen’ in ‘Rent.’ Following rave reviews successful season in RENT she performed as one of the 6 West End leading ladies in ‘Divas;Unplugged.’
While overseas Kirby studied Method Acting intensively with New York acting coach Roberta Wallach at the Giles Foreman Institute. Since returning to Australian shores Kirby has performed as the Lead role ‘Penny’ in the workshop of a new Australian work ‘Oasis.’ Kirby is very humbled to be returning to the Australian stage and can’t wait to share this powerful story with everyone.
Since graduating from WAAPA in 2006, Lucy has cemented a reputation as one of Australia’s leading ladies of musical theatre. Most recently Lucy starred as Georgia Hendricks in Curtains for The Production Company after finishing a return season to the Arts Centre and the Sydney Opera House of the critically acclaimed Australian Premiere of Heathers: the Musical, playing Heather Chandler. Prior to this she originated the role of Patty in Tim Finn’s new Australian musical Ladies in Black, (QTC/MTC). She played Rizzo in Grease (GFO), earning Helpmann, Glug and Sydney Theatre Award nominations for the show’s Australian and Asian tour. Lucy created the role of Lara in the world première of Doctor Zhivago (GFO; Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Award nominations for Best Actress in a Musical). Other career highlights include: Cinderella in Into the Woods (Victorian Opera; Helpmann and Green Room Award nominations for Best Supporting Actress in a Musical); Gertrude Lawrence in Noël and Gertie (CDP; Glugs Award for Best Actress in a Musical); Polly Peachum in The Threepenny Opera (STC/Malthouse/Victorian Opera); Janet in The Rocky Horror Show (TML Enterprises); Emma Carew in Jekyll & Hyde (TML Enterprises); Anne Egerman in A Little Night Music (Opera Australia); Carly in Neil LaBute’s Reasons to be Pretty (Darlinghurst Theatre); Young Mary O’Hara in Harp on the Willow (Malcolm Cooke & Associates), and Gale Edwards’ New Rocky Horror Show (Newtheatricals/Dainty). Lucy’s one-woman show Irving Berlin: Songs in the Key of Black toured Australia receiving rave reviews. Her album is available at www.lucymaunder.com
Benjamin Maza is a Brisbane based singer/songwriter, dancer and actor. A graduate from the Aboriginal Centre for the Performing Arts, he has been apart of many ACPA shows, such as ‘Stolen’ directed by Leah Purcell, ‘Black Rock’ directed by Sue Rider and ‘Fused’ a collaboration with students of Griffith University. In 2012 he toured with Queensland Theatre Company’s production ‘Stradbroke Dreamtime’ directed by Sue Rider. Benjamin has also been apart of numerous creative developments, in 2013 he worked on a musical titled ‘The New Black’ directed by Stephen Helper and has been apart of ‘The Oasis’ since 2014. Benjamin also does various gig’s with Brisbane based artist - Alinta, performing original compositions and covers. Benjamin is currently apart of an Indigenous Fusion dance group called ‘eXcelsior’, performing at various events such as; the NRL’s All Stars, Sydney Opera House’s ‘Homeground’, Woodford Folk Festival and Boomerang Festival in association with Byron Bay Blues Fest.
Vidya is a talented singer, actor, musician and composer, having recently graduated from the Queensland Conservatorium with a Bachelor of Music (Musical Theatre). During her time at the Conservatorium, she had the opportunity of playing multiple lead roles in shows such as Oklahoma!, Hair, Godspell, Working and A Chorus Line.
Earlier this year, Vidya made her professional theatre debut in the Australian touring production of 'Hairspray: The Arena Spectacular' as 'Little Inez'. She was also very fortunate to make her screen debut this year in the feature film 'The Colour of Darkness', which held its world premiere at Melbourne Central Hoyts. Later this year, Vidya is set to appear in Manila Productions' concert version of 'Nine' at the Melbourne Recital Centre. Vidya is extremely excited to be getting back in touch with her Queensland roots and to be working on 'Oasis' with Bradley.
Noni McCallum studied Music Theatre at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (2004) and more recently Improvisational Comedy at the Upright Citizens Brigade in New York. Noni travelled the world as understudy to children's pop group Hi-5 and can be seen in Series 9 and 10 as Chatterbox and Jup Jup. Other credits include Sunday In The Park With George (Victorian Opera, 2013), Pacific Overtures (Watch This/Manilla Street Productions), Into The Woods (Victorian Opera 2014), Peppa Pig Treasure Hunt (Life Like Touring), Sydney Theatre award winning cabaret Love and Death and an American Guitar (Highway Run Productions) and Sweeney Todd (Victorian Opera, 2015). In 2015, she won the Your Theatrics International Cabaret Competition and made her solo cabaret debut at the 2015 Melbourne Cabaret Festival with Tinderella. Noni has just returned from Europe, where she performed in Priscilla, Queen of the Desert aboard the Norwegian Epic.
Since graduating from Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts Natalie has appeared in many musical & theatre productions both here and internationally. hilights include Next to Normal (Diana) Hayes Theatre/Doorstep Arts, Murderous Instincts (Lauren) Savoy Theatre, West End, Mamma Mia (Sophie) Little Star Services, The Sunshine Club (Rose) Sydney Theatre Co, Les Miserables Cameron Mackintosh, The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (Olive) - for which she was nominated ‘Best Female Artist in a featured role in Musical Theatre’ at the 2006 Green Room Awards - Melbourne Theatre Co, Jerry’s Girls and Crazy For You (Polly) for The Production Company. Most recently she was seen in Songs for a New World for Blue Saint Productions
Her television credits include: Mako: Island of Secrets, Mr & Mrs Murder, Rush, Satisfaction, All Saints and the made for television movie of South Pacific, starring Glenn Close. She has also appeared alongside Nia Vardalos and Richard Dreyfuss in the romantic comedy ‘My Life in Ruins’ and in the independent Australian film 'Taj'.
Brent is thrilled to be performing the part of RAY in this presentation of The Oasis, He has been singing since the age of 8 and he has been a professional performer for the better part of a decade getting his first job at the age of 19. Since then Brent has gone on to perform in numerous productions locally and overseas. Previous theatre credits include Ned (Steve Hart), Next to Normal (Gabe) performed at the Hayes Theatre in Sydney, the Australasian tour of Jersey Boys (Joe Pesci/Frankie Valli Understudy), My Grandma Lived in Gooligulch (Regional Australian Tour) and Walt Disney Cruise Line where he performed famous Disney Characters Such as Aladdin, Peter Pan and Quasimodo. Corporate performances include Four Seasons in One Night (China) and Motown Boys. As well as an appreciation for the stage Brent has a large passion for screen work his television credits include roles in Rush (Channel 10), Miss Fisher’s Murder Mysteries (ABC), The Stamp of Australia (History Channel), and Neighbours (Channel 10), Brent is represented by Ian White Management.
Alexander Woodward Graduated from Queensland's Conservatorium of Music in 2015 with a Bachelor of Music Theatre. Prior to this Alex spent three years honing his musicianship writing and recording in Sweden, America, and Australia with international pop band “Streamer Bendy”. Alex made his musical theatre debut in Sydney Theatre Companies “Spring Awakening” and some of his other credits include Eddie Bridlace, Dogfight (Doorstep Arts) Tommy Ross, Carrie The Musical (Wax Lyrical) Mickey Johnstone, Blood Brothers (QLD Con) Jesus, Godspell (QLD Con) Will Parker, Oklahoma! (QLD Con) Soloist, Recall (Joymas Creative). Alongside various other performances at Adelaide Fringe festival and QLD Cabaret festival. To see more check www.mralexwoodward.com or follow him on instagram @alexwoodward