High Country Theatre group is fluid team, including the following people, many of whom are involved in the development of our production of The Little Prince.
Barbara Albury – Artistic Director
For details, click here.
Benjamin Thorn – Musical Director
Benjamin is Artistic Director of the New England Bach Festival and teaches Music Education at the University of New England, Australia. Benjamin’s music has been published in Australia, Germany, USA and Canada and is performed around the world including at the 2012 World Music Days. He has written and performed music for Stage One School of Drama, Armidale Playhouse, Saturday Magic Theatre, Armidale Drama and Musical Society and High Country Theatre. Benjamin also acts and directs when the opportunity arises. He and Gordon Cope created Out of the Frame (2014) – a series of dramatic vignettes based on paintings from the notable New England Regional Art Museum collection in Armidale.
Bernd U Kusch – Creative Collaboration
Born in West Germany and educated in Europe and the UK, Bernd is a qualified Transpersonal Creativity-Psychotherapy practitioner and published author and poet. He holds degrees in Arts and Theatre Studies from University of New England and is passionate about professionally presented community theatre. He has collaborated on four inspirational shows by the Saturday Magic Theatre Troupe, in a variety of creative roles: A Kind of Cinderella (2010), Rockin’ Robin and the Hoods (2011-2012), Ned Kelly (2012) and The Last Supper (2013) at the Uniting Church, Armidale. These were followed by the historically informed Armidale Dumaresq Civic Precinct Fundraiser Armidale – Our Town (2013). After A Streetcar Named Desire (2014) and A Woolf at the door (2015), The Little Prince (2016), is Bernd’s third major project with High Country Theatre.
Garry Slocombe – Management and Administration; actor
Garry’s enthusiasm for community theatre began as a Munchkin in the Wizard of Oz with the Armidale Drama and Musical Society. He has sung in many choirs, performed in musicals (including The Pirates of Penzance, The Producers, The Wedding Singer) and acted in Favourite Shorts, an annual season of short plays in Armidale. Garry played the leading role in The Emperor’s New Clothes, which won second place in the People’s Choice competition of that year’s season. Garry also played a number of characters in Armidale – Our Town (2013) which celebrated 150 years of local history.
Gordon Cope – Can-do Man; Director and actor
Gordon, a founding member of High Country Theatre, is passionate about theatre’s ability to tell the stories of humanity. ‘Actors can experience the best and worst of human behaviour from the safety of the stage. Directors can think through the complexity of character and plot and technicians can provide the audience with visual and aural clues to make sense of it all.’
He became involved with theatre at the age of five playing Doctor Sunshine and has loved it ever since. In 2014, he directed High Country Theatre’s inaugural production of A Streetcar Named Desire by Tennessee Williams and wrote and directed Out of the Frame, a series of dramatic vignettes based on artworks in the New England Regional Art Museum’s collection, with Benjamin Thorn. In early 2016 he acted in the ninth ADMS sponsored program of Favourite Shorts, playing Russell to Jan Wyles’ Alice in the comedy/drama Circles and Tangents.
Gordon managed the lighting design and operations of High Country Theatre’s second production A Woolf at the Door (The Armidale School’s Hoskins Centre, 2015). He has ‘been doing lighting all my life – you want mood, I’ll create it.’ Gordon loves every aspect of theatre – acting, writing, directing, building, rigging and special effects.
Jan Wyles – Actor and publicity support
Jan has been in love with the magic of theatre since childhood and has played many roles, large and small, over an acting career of many years. In 2013, she played the Narrator in Armidale – Our Town which celebrated 150 years of local government; Eunice Hubbel, the tough talking neighbour with a heart of gold in A Streetcar Named Desire (2014); the unhappy, freshly retrenched employee in Exiting by Alex Broun (Favourite Shorts, 2015); Irene Ruddock in Alan Bennett’s A Lady of Letters (part of the three-part show A Woolf at the Door, 2015) and Alice in Circles and Tangents by Greg Tome (Favourite Shorts, 2016).
Jenni Ford – Assistant Producer
Jenni directed Stolen Heart by Val Malnar as one of three plays in A Woolf at the Door in 2015. She believes that her early years as a ballet dancer and later as a lecturer, entertaining students with the intricacies of taxation law, gave her the necessary skills to become a director.
Enjoyable experiences with The Gang Show and Tax Revues performed by Tax Office staff in Brisbane whet her appetite for work in the performing arts which, she says, she has always been mad about.
Mari Grantun – Stage Management and Creative Collaboration
Mari is a founding member of High Country Theatre, both organising workshops for the group as well as being the stage manager for both A Streetcar Named Desire (2014) and A Woolf at the Door (2015). She is a singer, a stand-up comedienne and first class cook and creator of delicious Swedish pastries, a business woman and a fire-twirler. She has acted in dramatic plays including the lead role of Marie in Georg Buchner’s Woyzeck (2005), the Nurse in A Streetcar Named Desire (2014) and was ‘bjorn again’ in University of New England’s A Midsummer Night’s Dream (2014) as a cheeky ‘non-speaking’ fire-twirling fairy.