In The Heights comes to The Hayes

In March 2018, The Hayes Theatre Co will transform into the play space for New York’s vibrant Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican community as a brand new, authentic production of In The Heights drums into town.

The NSW professional debut production of Lin Manuel-Miranda’s Tony Award winning musical will play the March-April slot at Sydney’s favourite independent musical theatre venue, produced by the multi award-winning team at Blue Saint Productions.

Josh Robson and Damien Bermingham, who founded Blue Saint Productions during their time as cast members in the musical King Kong, are excited to be bringing Lin Manuel-Miranda’s (of Hamilton fame) music and unique style to The Hayes, in this new production directed by Luke Joslin, choreographed by Amy Campbell and musically directed by Lucy Bermingham.

“The music – in particular, this style of music hasn’t been produced in The Hayes before and this size band hasn’t been explored in this space. We have a big percussion section and will be featuring the band during show” Producer Josh Robson said.

“It’s also the first really big dance show for the Hayes and it’s also the first dance show that we have produced. We’ve worked with our choreographer, Amy Campbell, before, but this is a great opportunity for her to sink her teeth into something vibrant and exciting from a dance perspective.”

In The Heights will be the 4th main stage offering produced by the team at Blue Saint, a production company borne out of the desire to showcase fellow artists and their work. Previous productions – Guilty Pleasures, Violet, and Songs for A New World – have already put them on the map as a leading independent musical theatre production house over the last few years and in doing so, Blue Saint have brought some of Australia’s most exciting new performers and directors to the fore. Samantha Dodemaide, who will soon star as Dorothy in GFO’s The Wizard of Oz, played her first leading role in Blue Saint’s three time Sydney Theatre Award winning production of Violet. In-demand actor and director Mitchell Butel made his professional directorial debut with the same show

“For me, it’s about giving opportunities to people who haven’t had a chance to explore different areas in the industry. Providing opportunity to people who might not otherwise get it is a driving factor, as well as bringing shows here which haven’t been seen in a long time, or haven’t been seen at all”, he said.

With a host of Sydney Theatre Award nominations (and wins) for their previous productions at The Hayes Theatre Co, it’s an exciting time for Robson and Bermingham, who are keen to uncover some vibrant new talent for this ethnically diverse musical. The casting process for In The Heights begins in earnest tomorrow when the audition brief will be distributed to agents across the country.

“We have been in contact with Lin and his team and know what they require from a casting perspective”, Robson told AussieTheatre.

“We want to cast it as ethnically appropriately as possible. Blue Saint will be sending out the audition brief tomorrow morning and will be encouraging people from the appropriate ethnicities to submit for an audition time.”

With a cast of between 14-16 actors who need to tell predominantly Puerto Rican, Cuban and Dominican stories, Robson doesn’t want to dissuade actors from other ethnicities from applying.

In The Heights was announced tonight in The Hayes Theatre Co’s latest program launch which also included a new production of American Psycho.

Stay tuned for more information on the full 2018 Hayes Season.

“Hayes in the best theatre in Sydney for this independent scale production. It’s the right fit for this show and we can’t wait to be back there,” said Robson.

In The Heights will play from 16 March 2018. Bookings at hayestheatre.com.au

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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).

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