Harvest Rain Theatre Company
|Years active||1985 - present|
Since its inception in 1985, Harvest Rain has produced theatre productions at a range of venues throughout Brisbane. From 1985 to 2008 the company operated out of the Sydney Street Theatre in New Farm. Now, Harvest Rain presents most of its major productions at the Queensland Performing Arts Centre at South Bank.
Harvest Rain's CEO and Artistic Director is Tim O'Connor.
Harvest Rain began in 1985 as a small drama group in New Farm, Queensland, Australia. The founding members of the company were the brothers Robbie Parkin and David Parkin and the husband and wife team Chris Crooks and Judy Crooks. The name "Harvest Rain" was chosen because Chris Crooks liked the word "harvest" and the team felt that the word "rain" softened it. The company initially staged a range of amateur productions and the shows featured a small ensemble of dedicated actors.
For 23 years the company operated out of the Sydney Street Theatre in New Farm. In 2008 the company moved to the Mina Parade Warehouse in Alderley and began presenting all its mainhouse productions at QPAC.
In 2012, the company announced that it was in the final stages of transitioning into becoming a fully professional musical theatre company, the first of its kind in Queensland.
In 2014, the company moved its training, rehearsals, and administration to a building on the north side of Brisbane known as the Hayward Street Studios. It continues to produce musicals, mostly at QPAC but also at other venues throughout Queensland.
In 2014, the company's first fully professional season included Guys and Dolls starring Ian Stenlake and Daryl Somers, Spamalot starring Jon English, Simon Gallaher, Frank Woodley and Julie Anthony, and an arena production of Cats starring Marina Prior and featuring over 500 performers on stage, making it the largest production of Cats ever staged in the southern hemisphere.
In 2015, the company produced The Pirates of Penzance to celebrate QPAC's 30th birthday. The show starred Andrew O'Keefe, John Wood and Nancye Hayes and featured Billy Bourchier as Frederic and Georgina Hopson as Mabel, in their professional debut. The production was directed by Simon Gallaher.
In 2016, Harvest Rain presented an arena production of Hairspray in Brisbane, Adelaide and Newcastle, with a cast featuring Lauren McKenna, Simon Burke, Christine Anu, Tim Campbell, Wayne Scott Kermond and Amanda Muggleton. An arena production of Grease followed, performed in Brisbane, Newcastle and Adelaide in 2017, Sydney, Melbourne, Canberra and Brisbane again, in 2018. In 2019, an arena production of the Wizard of Oz toured Brisbane, Adelaide and Newcastle in 2019 and Sydney in 2020.
Notable people associated with the company include:
Crew and staffEdit
- Jack Bradford, 1995, 1999, 2001, 2004, 2007, roles in multiple productions
- Tim Campbell, 2017, Johnny Casino in Grease the Arena Experience
- Mark Conaghan, 1999, 2005, roles in multiple productions
- Julie Eckersley, 1999, in Much Ado About Nothing
- Jon English, 2014, King Arthur in Spamalot
- Michael Falzon, 2009, in Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat
- Simon Gallaher, 2012 in Hairspray, 2014, in Spamalot
- Luke Kennedy, 2002, 2006-2007, 2011, roles in multiple productions
- David Knijnenburg, 1999-2001, 2005, 2007, roles in multiple productions
- Erika Naddei, 2011-2012, roles in multiple productions
- Naomi Price, 2010-2011, Mary and Mary Magdalene in Jesus Christ Superstar
- Tod Strike, 2000, Joseph in Joseph And The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat
- Daryl Somers, 2014, Nicely Nicely Johnson in Guys and Dolls.
- Steven Tandy, 2010, 2012, roles in multiple productions
- John Wood, 2019, The Wizard in "The Wizard of Oz"
- "Divas Harvest Rain". Australian Stage. March 2010. Retrieved 10 March 2010.
- "New dawn for Harvest Rain Theatre". Performing Arts Hub. Retrieved 19 November 2013.
- Tonya Turner (28 November 2009). "New home and new life for theatre company". Retrieved 9 October 2009.
- "Reaping the Harvest : Harvest Rain". Theatre People. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- "Harvest Rain plans bountiful theatre year". Bmag. 7 October 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- "Harvest Rain 25 interview". Scene Magazine. 24 March 2010. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- "On Centre Stage". Hush Hush Biz. 11 December 2013. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- "Professional musical theatre for Brisbane : Harvest Rain's 2014 Season". Aussie Theatre. 1 January 2014. Retrieved 10 July 2017.
- "Hey Hey it's Harvest Rain's first professional season". The Sydney Morning Herald. 9 November 2013. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- "Queensland theatre excellence at Matilda Awards". Brisbane Times. 10 March 2015. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- "The Pirates are Aboard for QPAC's 30th birthday". Aussie Theatre. 12 December 2014. Retrieved 11 July 2017.
- Bartle, Delia (29 January 2016). "Record-breaking 'Hairspray' in search of performers". Limelight Magazine. Retrieved 3 May 2016.
- Longworth, Ken (16 July 2017). "Grease's massive cast deserves applause". Newcastle Herald. Retrieved 28 September 2017.
- "Wizard of Oz reimagined in arena spectacular". The Star. 25 March 2019. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
- "The Wizard of Oz – Arena Spectacular | Harvest Rain". www.australianstage.com.au. Retrieved 7 January 2020.
- "Simon Gallaher to star in Harvest Rain's Production of Hairspray". Stage Whispers. Retrieved 3 January 2017.
- "Hey Hey it's Harvest Rain's first professional season". The Sydney Morning Herald. 19 November 2013.