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LIVE LOCAL THEATRE ©2019 BY THE VERY POPULAR THEATRE CO. PROUDLY CREATED WITH LOCAL PEOPLE.

BEHIND THE SCENES

MEET THE CAST AND CREATIVE TEAM OF CHESS

DIRECTOR

Erin James

Erin James

Born and raised in Lake Macquarie, Erin James graduated from the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in 2005 with a Bachelor of Arts in Music Theatre and also holds a Diploma of Education (Music). 

A winner of the 2007 Bound For Broadway TDP Scholarship, Erin has performed in New York, New Zealand, Europe and Southeast Asia, as well as various tours in Australia.

 

Erin’s theatre credits include Australian and international productions of Fiddler on the Roof and CATS as well as touring Australian productions of Love Never Dies,

South Pacific, The King and I, Me and My Girl, Blood Brothers and My Fair Lady.

 

Her work in the feature film The Little Death earned her Best Supporting Actress nominations for both AACTA Awards and Film Critics Circle of Australia Awards. She also starred opposite Tom Ward (Please Like Me) in My Best Friend is Stuck on the Ceiling - a short film by Matt Vesely.

 

Most recently, Erin made her directorial debut at Hayes Theratre Co with the acclaimed production of She Loves Me.

 

Erin was Assistant Director for Stalking The Bogeyman at The Old Fitz (2018) Associate Director for the workshop of Vernon God Little (2012) featuring the cast of Love Never Dies, Resident Director for The Australian Voices’ national tour of Moon (2013), Dance Captain for Opera Australia’s South Pacific (2013-2014) and Dance/Staging Supervisor for Julie Andrews’ My Fair Lady (2016-2017). Erin is a proud member of Actor’s Equity.

MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Dan Wilson

With a Bachelor of Music Education, Dan is currently the Head Teacher of Creative & Performing Arts at Lambton High School and has received an award in the National Excellence In Teaching Award Scheme.

He has performed the roles of Jack in “Into The Woods”, Tobias Ragg in “Sweeney Todd”, Dickon in “The Secret Garden”, Billy Crocker in “Anything Goes”, Bobby Strong in “Urinetown”, Cain in “Children Of Eden”, Tony and Action “West Side Story”, “Abelard and Heloise”, “Songs For A New World” and has also appeared on three separate occasions as Jamie in "The Last Five Years" and Mark Cohen in “Rent”.

Dan has served as Musical Director for “The Witches Of Eastwick”, “Disney’s High School Musical”, “Grease”, “Annie”, “Wuthering Heights”, “Jesus Christ Superstar”, “You Oughta Know: The Songs of Alanis Morrisette”.  He has also had the awesome privilege to play in the orchestra for Original Australian productions of “Beauty And The Beast”, "The Phantom Of The Opera", "Wicked", “The Lion King” and "Side By Side By Sondheim" with Ruthie Henshall in Sydney.  In 2013 he was the Music Producer and Assistant to John Foreman for the Special Olympics Opening Ceremony.  As an arranger he regularly works with the “Schools Spectacular” and has also written arrangements for the Hunter Singers, Silvie Paladino, Erin James, Tyran Parke, Avagail Herman, Lucy Durack, Marina Prior, Debra Byrne and the casts of “Wicked” and “Love Never Dies”.  He is most well known around the Hunter as the Musical Director and Conductor of “Star Struck” at the Newcastle Entertainment Centre, a role he has held since 2008.

ANATOLY

David Harris

FLORENCE

Silvie Paladino

With a celebrated and highly acclaimed career in his native country Australia, David now divides his time living and working in New York, London and Australia.

 

In the USA, David received critical praise for his performance of Dan in TheaterWork’s Next To Normal (BroadwayWorld and Connecticut Critics Circle Award nominations for Best Actor), starred as Jean Valjean in Connecticut Repertory Theater’s production of Les Misérables – which co-starred and was directed by Tony Award winner Terrence Mann – starred as Billy Crocker in Goodspeed’s production of Anything Goes and as Father in Barrington Stage Company’s Ragtime. He recently originated the role of Max Bronfman in Stephen Schwartz’s new production of Rags at Goodspeed and performed at 92Y Lyrics and Lyricists celebrating the career of Lynn Ahrens in May 2018.

 

In Australia, David was awarded a Green Room Award for Best Actor as well as Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Award nominations for his portrayal of Emmett Forrest in Legally Blonde (directed by Jerry Mitchell) and was awarded Theatre People’s Award for Best Actor for the role of The Baker in Victorian Opera’s production of Into The Woods. David gained critical acclaim as Chris in Cameron Mackintosh’s new production of Miss Saigon which earned him Helpmann and Sydney Theatre Award nominations for what the Sydney Morning Herald described as “the year’s most truthful and moving stage portrayals” and received a further Helpmann Award nomination for his performance as Fiyero in the Australian, Singapore and Korean productions of Wicked. In 2018 David starred as Tick in the 10th-anniversary production of Priscilla Queen of the Desert, winning BroadwayWorld’s Best Actor in a Musical award along with earning his 4th Helpmann Award nomination, a Green Room and Glug Award nominations for Best Actor in a Musical. 

 

David began his professional career in the original Australian productions of The Boy From Oz and Mamma Mia and was awarded a MO Award for Best New Talent in 1997.

 

On television, David has been seen in many TV commercial campaigns spanning the last 20 years and has appeared in guest roles on Australian television dramas including Neighbours, Blue Heelers and Rescue: Special Ops. Film credits include The Eye of the Storm starring Geoffrey Rush and Judy Davis and South Pacific starring Glenn Close and Harry Connick Jnr.

 

David has performed in concert and released two solo albums.

Silvie Paladino is one of Australia’s most versatile and talented entertainers.

Her first theatrical role was Eponine in the Australasian tour of Les Misérables at the age of eighteen. She was then invited to perform the same role in the London production on the West End. In 1997, Silvie returned to London where she performed the role of Fantine in Les Miserables for a successful two-year season.

Silvie’s other Australian credits include her one-woman show Silvie Paladino Sings Streisand (Green Room Award nomination), and the roles of: Jeannie in Hair, Grizabella in the Australian and Asian tour of Cats, Ellen in Cameron Mackintosh’s Australian premiere of Miss Saigon, Donna in the smash hit Mamma Mia!, Rita in the world premiere of Sideshow Alley, Clara in Passion and for The Production Company: Lady Thiang in The King And I, Florence in Chess (Green Room and Helpmann Award nominations) and Jerry’s Girls.

She has also featured at many special events such as the world-wide telecast of the Rugby League Grand Final, the Australian Football League Grand Final, Boxing Day Cricket Test and a concert in Beijing, as part of the 2008 Olympics.

Silvie’s concert performances include lead artist with symphony orchestras throughout Australia. She has toured with international singer Patrizio Buanne and performed for celebrated theatre composers Stephen Sondheim and Stephen Schwartz. Silvie has performed with the Salvation Army at the O2 Arena London, as part of the Salvation Army’s 150th Anniversary celebrations, in the United States of America and, once again, toured England. She has most recently completed a solo concert tour of China.

Apart from her theatrical credits, she is well known to Australian audiences through her regular television appearances including Carols by Candlelight for the Nine Network.

Her recordings include Silvie Paladino Sings Streisand, Silvie Paladino - Christmas List, On My Own and, recorded with The Melbourne Staff Band of The Salvation Army, When You Believe, I Give You My Heart and O Holy Night.

Most recently, Silvie performed with Michael Bolton on his Australian and New Zealand tour.

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