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Letter from Lee

A fortnightly letter with love from our Artistic Director.

Lee Lewis BBT Theatre 2020 Stephen Henry 2

Thursday 6 May 2021

Full tilt. I love it. Upwards of 60 artists in the building every day. Twenty in the Taming of the Shrew team, over 20 young artists each night in the Ensembles (92 each week), 18 Griffith University students in rehearsals, and all the talented new hands on deck in Wardrobe and Workshop building imaginary worlds for you. The Scene Project has begun in schools, with teaching artists now out on the road connecting with teachers and students around the state. The buzz is electric. A lot of coffee is being drunk, and not a lot of sleep is being had. Hats off to the team who got up at 4am yesterday to film a Tiger Moth plane for Shrew.... you are just going to have to come and see it to make sense of that sentence. We are getting ready for our first preview on Saturday night! Kimberley and the team are stocking up the bar and I am sure the whole Company is looking forward to cracking open a cold Newstead (one of our great sponsors!) late on Saturday night to celebrate the beginning of the season. But there is a lot to do before then.

I know it is the same for everyone — we are all in the thick of the year. I got to visit St Patrick’s College in Shorncliffe on Tuesday to present an award for the Performing Arts Student of the Year to Jackson Hughesman in Year 11. The Australian Performing Arts Teachers Association selected him for their national awards program from nominations are the country. He had time to accept it before going onstage to perform the role of Gomez in their production of The Addams Family musical. I was able to see the opening number and I was blown away by all the work, creative energy and talent up on that stage... to say nothing of the extraordinary makeup! In schools around the state, teachers are putting in so many extra hours to give their students the opportunity to come together and make shows. I just want to say thank you to all of the teachers who make theatre in schools possible. You are laying the foundations for a lifelong love of the arts for all your students. I know Term 2 is impossibly busy for you, but after no school shows last year I think we all appreciate the joy you bring a lot more. (OK my Mum is a teacher so I I have big love for teachers especially this close to Mother's Day. Speaking of, have you considered a digital ticket to Taming of the Shrew for your Mum as a last minute Mother's Day gift? She can be anywhere in Australia and enjoy a night in the Bille Brown.... yes Mum, your ticket is in your inbox! Happy Mother's Day.)

So a big shout out to everyone getting a show onstage this week! Stay safe, keep washing your hands, you can catch up on sleep when the show closes, and I hope to see you in the foyer!

Love, Lee.