New Australian Music Theatre Work 2014

New Australian Music Theatre Work 2014

A Little Touch of Chaos

Written by James Millar and Peter Rutherford

Performed by Music Theatre Company 14

Details Here

National Music Theatre & Cabaret Program

New Australian Music Theatre Work 2015

Following the wonderfully successful New Australian Music Theatre Project in 2013/2014, generously supported by Creative Victoria, VCA Music Theatre is developing its next exciting batch of new musical theatre with professionals from the industry.

After reading and listening to a massive response of applicants from all over Australia – covering themes from dystopian eco-friendly love stories to a newly imagined flight for Peter Pan, and from local sagas to the life of a very rich and famous individual – the two works set to go for development are:

Stealing Picasso
Joel Paszkowski/composer; Tom Reed/writer

The New Lonely Planet
Tobias Manderson-Galvin Book, Lyrics; Ben Ely Composer; Liam Barton additional Composition

Following this selection the next stages of development are:

Stage One (February 23 - 27, 2015): This will be an intensive period of development, with dramaturgical support from Dr Zachary Dunbar (Senior Lecturer in Music Theatre, VCA) focused solely on the process and requiring no showing or presentation at its conclusion.

Following this development stage, both projects will be invited to resubmit a new draft of their work to be considered for inclusion in the next stage of development.

Stage Two (September 21 - 27, 2015): One project will be selected and offered a week of rehearsal with third year students of the BFA (Music Theatre) to be followed by a script-in-hand, moved/sung reading on Sunday 27 September. The reading will be for an audience made up of both the general public and industry professionals, with the aim of attracting commercial producers who may be able to assist in the further development of the work.

Past Projects

A Little Touch of Chaos
New Australian Music Theatre Work 2013/2014

In October 2012 VCA Music Theatre sent a call out to writers to submit new music theatre works, which could be developed into a major stage hit.Works selected will be put through a three-stage development process that will end with a “main stage” showcase for the general public and industry producers.

We received 97 application of which six works where chosen by a panel of industry experts and each given a $2,000 Development and Mentoring Award.  The chosen works to go through to Stage 1 where:

  • A Little Touch of Chaos by Neil Gooding, Peter Rutherford and James Millar
  • Big Bad & Riding Hood by Jem Sherwill
  • Bim Bom by Gary Young & Paul Keelan
  • Just Desserts by Jamie Burgess
  • Same Time, Next Year by Anthony Costanzo
  • Showtrain by Andrew Worboys

From the six works, three where awarded $6,000 each and moved forward to a two-week workshop process.The chosen works to go through to Stage 2 where:

  • A Little Touch of Chaos by Neil Gooding, Peter Rutherford and James Millar
  • Bim Bom by Gary Young & Paul Keelan
  • Same Time, Next Year by Anthony Costanzo

The final stage saw one of the works chosen and received a $30,000 award, as determined by an industry selection panel.  The successful final production was awarded to A Little Touch of Chaos by Peter Rutherford and James Millar. The show was performed by the VCA Music Theatre Company 2014  in July 2014 in a fully funded and produced season.

  • The VCA New Work Music Theatre Project is made possible with the support of the State Government through Arts Victoria.  
  • Read the full media release (3 October, 2012)
  • Music theatre work A Little Touch of Chaos by award-winning team of writer, actor and singer James Millar and composer Peter Rutherford has won the Victorian College of the Arts’ New Work Music Theatre Project to develop the musical further. Read the full media release (18 October, 2013).
  • The premiere season of A Little Touch of Chaos in the newly refurbished Grant Street Theatre. Read the full media release (July 2014)

The Production Company Project

In 2013 Music Theatre 2nd year students, under the direction of Nancye Hayes and the musical direction of James Simpson, the work of Nick Enright and Terence Clarke – Summer Rain. This project had a public viewing of three performances.


Music Theatre Conference: Rodgers & Hammerstein

Internationally renowned music theatre expert, Oscar Hammerstein III, headlined a major Music Theatre Symposium at the VCA on 13 August 2012.  Mr Hammerstein — the grandson of Oscar Hammerstein of Rodgers and Hammerstein fame — is a distinguished author and Adjunct Professor at New York's Columbia University.

The day-long symposium examined the phenomenon of Rodgers and Hammerstein and included performances by VCA music theatre students and graduates. Dr Peter Wyllie Johnston presented at the symposium alongside Global President of Rodgers and Hammerstein Ted Chapin, librettist Peter Fitzpatrick, composer Peter Pinne, author Frank Van Straten OAM, musical director Ian Nisbet and director Matthew Lockett.


Masterclass Series

Some of the biggest names in local and international music theatre imparted their knowledge and skills to VCA students through a series of master-classes as part of the new National Music Theatre Cabaret Program, supported by the State Government through Arts Victoria.

Reg Livermore, Eddie Perfect, Rhonda Burchmore, Moira Finucane, Lynne Ruthven, Luke Hunter Jo-Anne Robinson, Ben Vereen, Nancye Hayes and Adam Guettel were among the teachers, performers, directors, musical directors, casting agents and choreographers who shared their industry expertise with students.


Music Theatre Intensives

This program has been designed to give students a broader experience of what a career in Music Theatre might represent. It’s hoped the program will expand student perceptions of what the form can be and encourage them to continue to explore these avenues of performance and theatre making.  In 2012 the students worked with Polyglot Puppetry Company, The National Institute of Circus Arts (NICA), Bollywood dancers and Penny McDonald (Alexander Technique). 

Alex Gibson-Giorgio as Marryin Sam in 'Li'l Abner' 2014


Mitchell Ralston as Li'l Abner and Imogen Moore as Daisy Mae in Li'l Abner 2014