The Fame Reporter interviewed Australian performer, Alex Woodward about his performance in QPAC’s ‘True North’ Online Concert celebrating Queensland Day on Saturday 6 June at 7pm live from QPAC’s Concert Hall.
True North is a special concert event to celebrate Queensland Day, with performances from a range of leading Queensland arts companies and independent artists.
You can watch the concert for free this Saturday from 7pm via YouTube. More details via qpac.com.au/event/true-north/
Alex Woodward is a performer from Brisbane, Australia who has recently performed in the Australian Tour of THE BOOK OF MORMON as Elder White/Elder Price Understudy. Alex started his career after high school in bands and made his musical theatre debut in Sydney Theatre Company’s production of “Spring Awakening”.
We talked to Alex about his involvement in the ‘True North’ concert, the ‘new normal’ for the theatre community, his favourite ‘Book of Mormon’ memories, how he wants to help Queensland artists in the future and more.
See our interview below!
What enticed you to want to be apart of ‘True North’ Queensland Day concert at QPAC and are you excited to be inside a theatre again?
‘True North’ was an event that QPAC put together to celebrate Queensland Day. They asked me to be apart of it and I was very keen to do it because it has been so long since I had performed. I believe the last performance I did was 13th March when The Book of Mormon Musical was in Auckland, New Zealand. It has been about 12 or 13 weeks since I have been on a stage.
It was actually really interesting when I sang a song with Shubshri Kandiah at rehearsals we did a duet, I almost felt anxious because I hadn’t sung with someone in so long.
It was quite exciting and I had a warm feeling of happiness go through me, it was so nice to sing with someone again.
Also the space is so beautiful, I have never had a sing at the Concert Hall, QPAC stage before and they recorded it and the acoustics are so incredible. It felt really good to do something and perform.
Are you able to reveal anything about your performance?
I am performing a song from The Book of Mormon and am doing a song with Shubshri from the musical Aladdin.
It was really exciting in rehearsal, not many people can say they sung with Princess Jasmine.
Are there any other ways you are staying creative during this time?
It was interesting I came back from Auckland doing The Book of Mormon Musical and the first few weeks it was a bit disheartening as the virus was getting worse and worse. I got into Queensland after the 14 day quarantine period and was stuck at home for 2 weeks and it was very difficult.
About a month after I had a conversation with a friend of mine who is also in the arts industry and he said it is so common for us as artists and creatives to inherently be busy all the time and never stop. Whenever an opportunity comes up you would sacrifice every other part of your life for your passion and the arts. You could have a birthday planned or any event and all of a sudden you could have an audition or a callback the following day and you would have to cancel everything you wanted to do.
We were discussing that this is the first time in our lives that it is acceptable to not do anything and to take the time to connect with your loved ones/friends and family.
I took that to heart and since then I have found peace with spending time with my partner and family and that it’s okay to be doing less, especially because I had been on tour with ‘Book of Mormon’ for a year so it was a good time to reset.
What do you love about Queensland theatre in particular?
Queensland has a very unique theatre community. We create things in ways that are different to other states.
Queenslanders have a really strong passion for theatre and we are a very accepting community. Everyone wants to see other people succeed and see the arts succeed here.
We have so many beautiful home companies like Circa – one of the biggest circus companies in the world, Opera Queensland, we have Queensland Theatre which is getting bigger and bigger and QPAC is about to be one of the biggest performing arts precincts. Queensland also has Brisbane Powerhouse which is such a thriving hub, they have MELT Festival which is the biggest Queer culture festival at one venue in the country.
It is a very diverse, exciting and accepting theatre city. It is thrilling to be part of that and help grow it.
What are you most passionate about right now?
At the moment I am passionate about finding ways to form and create performance opportunities for others over the coming 6 months.
I am in the middle of figuring out how we can get not necessarily back to what we were doing, but find a new normal and a way we can all connect, perform and have a career in this new world and situation.
What was one of your favourite memories from the Book of Mormon?
My favourite memories are all about people rallying around others. During the Adelaide season when one of the boys who had been in the show since day one got to play Elder Cunningham for the first time it was magical. Seeing a group of 30-50 people in the cast get so excited that one of their cast mates got this opportunity and has been rehearsing for 3 years, that was a really special experience.
I also got to experience that feeling myself when we were in Perth when I got to play Elder Price and I had been understudying for 9 months and have this beautiful support network all be so genuinely excited and there for you was just really special.
One of the biggest things about the arts community is how much people can take care of you and there is a lot of love for other people.
What are you most looking forward to when you can be part of the Arts world again with an audience?
I am just excited to see shows again and just be in a rehearsal room and see a group of people performing. Having a sing with Shubshri at rehearsals for the ‘True North’ QPAC Concert was just the best and so good to hear other people sing live again.
Thank-you Alex for joining us at The Fame Reporter.
Queensland Performing Arts Centre (QPAC) will celebrate Queensland Day by welcoming artists back to the Concert Hall stage for the first time in nearly three months as it presents an online concert for Queensland Day.
The Centre will present a special concert event via Youtube called True North, 7.00pm this Saturday 6 June featuring performances from a range of leading Queensland arts companies and independent artists streamed from QPAC’s Concert Hall stage.
The True North Queensland Day concert performance line-up includes:
- MC (and performer) – Amy Lehpamer (musical theatre singer)
- Queensland Ballet – with introduction by Li Cunxin
- Queensland Symphony Orchestra – Brass Ensemble
- Opera Queensland –Rosario La Spina & Rebecca Cassidy with Alex Raineri (piano)
- Camerata – Queensland’s Chamber Orchestra
- Alex Woodward (musical theatre singer)
- Katie Noonan (vocals and piano) and Zac Hurren (saxophone)
- Robbie Miller (contemporary music singer)
- Sasta – Irish folk instrumental quartet
- Shubshri Kandiah (musical theatre singer)
- Steven Oliver (writer, actor and singer)
- Tim Sherlock and the QPAC Chamber Choir
- Tom Thum (contemporary music artist)
QPAC Chief Executive John Kotzas said the Centre was thrilled to bring together some of Queensland’s best performing artists to present a concert celebrating Queensland performers in a variety of artforms.
“We chose the name True North as we felt its meaning of ‘a fixed point in a spinning world’ was apt for the challenging environment we are living in and the vital role art can play in helping us move forward,” Mr Kotzas said.
“For many people, experiencing and participating in art and creative activity is centering and calming and even while only being able to access it online while theatres are closed, we know it has been a significant source of comfort for so many over the last few months.
“Perhaps even more importantly, art is a catalyst in helping us collectively reimagine a future.
“I encourage as many people as possible to tune in to this special Queensland Day concert on Saturday evening via YouTube at 7.00pm for 90 minutes of amazing performance and to support our performers and industry.”
Since its closure in March due to COVID-19 QPAC has been working hard to reschedule performances as much as possible and has more than 40 shows currently on sale for later this year and into 2021.
For the latest event information and ticket sales go to qpac.com.au or phone 136-246. To keep in touch visit QPAC’s social media channels or subscribe to QPAC At Home or What’s On newsletters via the website.
All photos and videos – Supplied