The Merchant of Venice “is being put on by Ian Zammit and the fantastic Emu Heights Theatre Company – we went to their production of The Crucible last year and it was as good as any City production!” High praise in a recent Facebook post, echoing many earlier comments, for the company’s productions. The Merchant opens November 7, at The Joan, Penrith, and continues to November 15.
Artistic director Ian Zammit grew up locally. Inspired by Doreen Warburton’s Q Theatre, he developed a commitment to high quality theatre productions that were meaningful and stimulating to other residents like himself. He was a driving force behind the 2010 establishment of the independent Emu Heights Theatre Company. Such a company relies for its success on being embedded in its local community. EHTC made an excellent start when a group of artists, teachers and local business people got together to promote access for students in the western Sydney region to professional & entertaining theatrical productions in their own backyard. They continue to form the backbone of fundraising and promotional initiatives by the company. The Merchant of Venice actor, David Attrill, left, limbers up for his part in the five kilometre Western Sydney Marathon at Penrith International Regatta Centre, earlier this month. Cast members helped celebrate healthy lifestyles and conducted a fundraising stall there.
Emu Heights Theatre Company now has a series of successful productions under its belt and a well-developed educational program delivered to schools, which also brings students into the theatre. This year alone, they have presented a Shakespeare Seminar Series for western Sydney high schools. A team of six presenters created three teams of two, with each pair of presenters leading one of the following seminars: Romeo & Juliet (Years 8-11), Macbeth (Years 9-11), and Hamlet (Years 11-12). In its full stage productions, the company gives emerging theatre practitioners the chance to collaborate with respected and experienced professionals. Sophie Cook and Ian Zammit are seen here demonstrating Romeo and Juliet to students at St Mark’s School, Doonside (photo by teacher, Julia Audova).
Augusta Supple, theatre director and creative producer says ,”These productions, whilst supporting local artists, provide an example for local students that high-quality thought-provoking theatre is not something that is strictly reserved for metropolitan audiences but which is closer to home.”
Love. Take a gamble.
Superstar Bassanio risks his close friendship with the merchant, Antonio, to win the hand of the fabled lady of Belmont, Portia… cash-strapped Antonio takes a chance with his enemy, the Jewish refugee Shylock, to get the money for Bassanio… the vilified Shylock takes no risks to ensure Antonio pays him either his money or a pound of flesh… and the lady Portia, who must marry to keep her royal estate, tries everything in her power to snag the perfect bachelor.
Emu Heights Theatre Company proudly presents Shakespeare’s satirical comedy as a biting commentary of money, bigotry, and the masks we wear for love.
Directed by Ian Zammit.
Click here for booking details.