‘Coffee With’ continues with WAAPA graduates Stephanie Wall, Jens Radda and Matthew Manahan

AussieTheatre.com is thrilled to confirm the return of our regular ‘Coffee With’ column this year, featuring weekly updates from three graduates of WAAPA’s musical theatre course.

The much loved ‘Coffee With…’ column, initially ran from 2007-2009 and featured WAAPA graduates Lucy Maunder (2007), Gemma-Ashley Kaplan (2008) and Kate Walder (2009) writing about their first experiences in the Australian theatre industry. The column made a triumphant return in 2015-16 with Joel Granger and Matilda Moran and will continue with THREE new writers in 2017.

Jens Radda, Stephanie Wall and Matthew Manahan all completed their Bachelor of Arts (Music Theatre) at the end of 2016 and will each share their first experiences in the Australian music theatre industry with AussieTheatre.com readers, commencing next week.

South African born Jens Radda, will begin the blog next Wednesday 3 May and is looking forward to contributing to the artistic conversation in Australia.

“I was an avid reader of AussieTheatre all through WAAPA. On many lunchtime occasions I found myself discussing the latest article with my classmates on the WAAPA lawn. The write-ups would often stir an entertaining debate and forge conversations about the industry and the work. This is the kind of dynamic conversation every creative artist should be engaging in.”

Likewise, Stephanie Wall is keen to share her insights and experiences with AussieTheatre readers.

“I’m thrilled to be a part of the AussieTheatre team, and I’m looking forward to exploring the exciting (and sometimes daunting) ‘transition’ period that can often be a roller coaster for any fresh grad leaving the bubble of their training institution. In the two months since moving to Melbourne I have met wonderful people and have received invaluable industry advice at the most unexpected times. I want to share what I’ve learned so far in the hopes to make the transition from student to graduate as exciting and fun as it can be.”

Matthew Manahan was inspired by his predecessors’ – Matilda Moran and Joel Granger – weekly columns and hopes to similarly assist graduates to come.

“One of my favourite parts of uni was jumping online and reading the articles that Tilly and Joel would write. In fact all of the articles from AussieTheatre.com. They proved to be invaluable during my time at WAAPA – I still refer to some of them now.”

“I’ve had a very exciting few months since graduating, riddled with many ‘firsts,’ – things they don’t perhaps teach you at drama school. I’d like to write about these experiences for new grads.”


Jens Radda

Jens Radda

Before moving to Australia in 2007, Jens Radda grew up in South Africa to a Danish speaking family. His cross-cultural upbringing played a big part in growing him as a performer, writer and producer. He is a graduate of the Music Theatre course at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts (WAAPA), class of 2016. While at WAAPA Jens hosted a variety of events including the Julie Michael Cabaret Awards and often acted as a Vocal Captain, Emcee and Pianist for the academy. Jens has written and produced numerous shows in the Fringe circuits including his own solo work, Frankly Hank. He is currently performing as Billy Flynn in Mad About Theatre’s touring production of Chicago.

Follow Jens on Instagram: @jensradda

Stephanie Wall

Stephanie Wall

A small town girl now in the big city (cue ‘Don’t Stop Believin’), Wagga Wagga born Stephanie Wall is experiencing ‘real life’ in Melbourne for the first time after studying Music Theatre at WAAPA straight after completing high school. Stephanie graduated WAAPA in 2016, and while she was there had the opportunity to be a high kicking, juggling, ribbon-twirling Janet Van De Graaff in The Drowsy Chaperone, a street-talking, hip-hopping cheerleader called Nautica in Bring It On: The Musical and got to live her Liza Minnelli dreams in And The World Goes Round.

Follow Stephanie on instagram: @stephaniewall

Matthew Manahan

Matthew Manahan

Raised in rural Queensland, Matthew would use his three minutes of shower time to rehearse a wide variety of audition material. After multiple fights over water usage and noise complaints, Matt made the move to Perth to undertake WAAPA’s Music Theatre course. Time off for him means hitting the beach with friends, a glass of wine or perhaps the combination of both. Matt is currently playing Rudy in the Australian tour of Cabaret and will play Paris in Jon English’s Rock Opera, Paris: a Rock Odyssey in July.

Follow Matthew on Instagram: @matt_manahan

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Erin James is AussieTheatre.com's Editor in Chief and a performer on both stage and screen. Credits include My Fair Lady, South Pacific and The King and I (Opera Australia), Love Never Dies and Cats (Really Useful Group), Blood Brothers (Enda Markey Presents), A Place To Call Home (Foxtel/Channel 7) and the feature film The Little Death (written and directed by Josh Lawson).

Erin has written 1,549 articles on AussieTheatre | Read more articles by

Follow Erin: @ErinEJames

‘Coffee With’ continues with WAAPA graduates Stephanie Wall, Jens Radda and Matthew Manahan