There’s been a lot of concern raised in recent days over the announcement that a number of key roles in major musicals being produced in Australia have gone to overseas artists. A lot of performers are rightfully concerned as to why Australian producers would opt to import their talent from overseas when there is a plethora of talent right here in our own back yard. The President of Equity Australia, Chloe Dallimore, wrote a great post that summed up the concern, and plenty of comments from the arts community followed (you can read it all by clicking here)
Chloe’s post suggests that change will only come when artists and performers rally together to make their voices and concerns heard, but in the end, for meaningful change to occur, it’s the producers of musical theatre in this country who need to make a stand against unnecessarily giving away Aussie roles to overseas talent.
I love Australia. And I love musical theatre. I believe our country churns out some of the best performers in the world and I count it an absolute privilege to be able to provide employment and exposure for talented Australian musical theatre performers through the work we produce at Harvest Rain. I want to stand up and say to all the talented musical theatre performers across Australia on behalf of all the other fiercely patriotic Australian theatre producers like myself - we believe in you.
I know I’m not the only producer in this country who is committed to providing work and opportunity for Australian performers. I’m not the only producer who believes that the talent here in our own country is just as good as (if not better than) anywhere else in the world.
I stand in solidarity with all those who have voiced their concerns this week, and commit as a producer to putting Aussie talent first.
I know I don’t stand alone. Who’s standing with me?