Michaela Burger: A Migrant’s Son
Friday 15 July, 7.30pm – 9pm
Saturday, 16 July, 2.00pm – 3:30pm
Book tickets here:
General Admission: $20
Tuggeranong Arts Centre’s Winter theatre seasons continues, with another multi-award-winning theatre piece, by critically acclaimed musical theatre and cabaret artist, Michaela Burger.
Opening July 15, A Migrant’s Son, is an award-winning show brimming with genuine spirit and heart-warming vivaciousness. Igniting memories of a story that millions of Australians can relate to, Burger pays tribute to her Greek migrant family and hard-working, fun loving larrikin father, Luke, who defied all odds.
Exploring one of the most important times in Australian history – the arrival of the Greeks – A Migrant’s Son traverses 100 years – from Russia to the Australian outback, from early morning deliveries for the family bakery at age seven, down opal mines in Coober Pedy at age sixteen and opening a chain of discount supermarkets in Adelaide, his road was not one for the faint-hearted. The story captures the true spirit of the Greek migrant experience, told through a colorful parade of recurring characters ranging from her parents, grandparents, relatives to bona fide Aussies, in an insightful and fascinating tale of survival, endurance, and burning ambition.
Offering two shows on July 15 & 16, A Migrant’s Son features six original songs: Falling, Zeitgeist, Phoenix Rising, Adelfe Mou, Indy’s Song and Tall Poppy, a live band – Carol Young (pianist) and Steve Todd (percussion), and 12 emerging musical theatre artists from the Canberra region. As part of the touring production, Burger invites local communities to participate through the development of a local choir. This unique collaboration with local artists has kept A Migrant’s Son fresh, relevant and on the national touring circuit since 2019.
Performing alongside Burger in Tuggeranong are some of Canberra’s finest emerging musical theatre performers including Hayden Crosweller, Tijana Kovac, Lachlan Elderton, Meaghan Stewart, Lara Clement, Luke Ferdinand, Jordan Dwight and Andre Le. Canberra-based composer, singer-songwriter, performer and vocal coach, Teresa Wojcik will commence work with this group of lucky young singers in the coming days. The engagement with local artists is a proven recipe that’s highly successful and enhances the impact of the show in addition to providing development opportunities for emerging artists and involving communities on a deeper level.
Burger, described by Kate Ceberano as ‘an asset to the cabaret community’, is an award-winning cabaret performer for her show Exposing Edith and her newest production, A Migrant’s Son reveals her genuine expertise to dig deep into her soul and find truth and meaning from her own experiences.
About the Artists
MICHAELA BURGER: CREATOR/COMPOSER/LEAD PERFORMER
Described by Kate Ceberano as “an asset to the cabaret community”, Michaela Burger is the recipient of the Adelaide Fringe Frank Ford award 2019, Best Cabaret Adelaide Fringe 2019 weekly, Best Cabaret Adelaide Fringe 2016 and has been nominated for a Helpmann Academy for Best Cabaret Performer 2016 and 2019.
In addition to winning the 2015 International Cabaret Contest, Burger is the co-writer and star of the successful stage show Exposing Edith, about the life and songs of Edith Piaf. The show has performed to sell out audiences and tours extensively throughout Australia, New Zealand and the UK. Her award-winning new show, A Migrant’s Son – which explores Greek migration to Australia – has received critical acclaim and features original music written by Burger and is currently touring throughout Australia and the UK.
Burger has performed with one of Broadway’s most sophisticated Musical Theatre writers, Jason Robert Brown, and has shared the stage with Australia’s own Paul Capsis, Alan John, Meow Meow, Nancye Hayes, Mitchell Butel, Johanna Allen, Cameron Goodall, Tyran Park, Robyn Archer, John Thorn and Daniel Koek.
Her recent credits include Aftertaste (ABC TV & Closer Productions),Twelfth Night (Adelaide Botanic Gardens/Shakespeare SA), Apocalypse Meow (Brooklyn Academy Of Music, New York & Malthouse Theatre), Rumpelstiltskin (Southbank Theatre London/Windmill & State Theatre SA), Can You Hear Colour? (Adelaide Festival & Patch Theatre), Cranky Bear (Patch Theatre), Passion (State Opera Studios), Merry Widow (State Opera of SA), , Brel-The Immortal Troubadour (Adelaide Cabaret Festival), Juliet Letters (Flying Penguin Productions), Rouge (Highwire Entertainment), Otello (State Opera of SA), Requiem (State Opera of SA), Marriage of Figaro (Co-opera of SA), Tosca (Co-opera of SA), Mother Wife and the Complicated Life (Popjam Productions), Thunderstruck (Warner Brothers) and as the host of Humphrey B Bear (Banksia Productions, Chanel 9).
CAROL YOUNG: MUSICAL DIRECTOR COMMUNITY CHOIR INSTRUCTOR/PIANIST
Carol Young is an Adelaide based freelance musician and performer, whose experience comfortably spans many genres at local, national and international level. In 2018, Carol teamed up with Michaela Burger to write the choral parts for Michaela’s award winning show ‘A Migrant’s Son’, for which she is also the musical director and pianist.
As a performing artist (singer/pianist/ensemble performer) Carol has appeared at the Adelaide, Melbourne, Sydney and Brisbane Festivals of Arts, Adelaide Fringe, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Fringe, Melbourne Comedy Festival, and The Famous Spiegeltent. She has worked with the State Theatre Company of South Australia, Belvoir Street Theatre Company, Brink Productions, Flying Penguin Productions, Vitalstatistix, Australian Dance Theatre, State Opera of South Australia, Adelaide Symphony Orchestra and the Adelaide Festival Centre.
Career highlights include conducting ‘The Pulse’ for Gravity and Other Myths at the 2022 Sydney Festival, Musical Director/Onstage Musician for ‘End of the Rainbow’, ‘The Events’ and ‘Mr Burns – a post electric play’ for State Theatre Company of South Australia/Belvoir St Theatre, Community Chorus Master ‘Memorial’ for Brink Productions in the 2018 Adelaide Festival.
As well as her role as the director of music and choral programs (including the renowned Tutti Choir) at Tutti Arts, Carol is also a choir trainer for the Public Primary Schools Music Festival, and leads community choir La La Land.
STEVE TODD: MUSIC ARRANGER AND PRODUCER
Drummer/ percussionist, Steve Todd, became a professional musicians at age 19. He studied Latin American and African drumming as well as drumkit and orchestral percussion and has toured extensively nationally and internationally with many shows and artists.
- Rhonda Burchmore, Jon English, Brian Cadd, Ross Wilson, Ted Mulry, Tina Arena, Venetta Fields, Jon Farnham, Peter Cupples, Tim Minchin, Tom Burlinson, Andy Seymour, James Morrison and Peter Cupples and enjoyed a 30-year collaboration with Peter Combe.
- Received an aria award for Peter Combe live album
- Toured and recorded with the late Jon English for many years
- Successfully ran the raiders drum corps for 26 years performing all around Australia at ceremonial events and sporting fixtures
- Performed for the queen’s 90th birthday at Windsor castle, United Kingdom
- Performed at international tattoo’s in Australia, New Zealand and Germany, Switzerland and the united kingdom as a member of the SA Police band. (16 yrs.)
- Preformed in 36 Adelaide Christmas pageants
- Coordinated and designed and wrote music for the 80th year celebration of the Christmas pageant. Using 80 drummers in a massed marching drum corp.
- Played in many big band situations with visiting guest artists. Chuck Finlay, Lee Colditz, Phil Wilson, James Morrison, Ross Irwin, Conaitra Miller, Melissa McCaig, Libby O’Donovan, Mike Stewart.
- Played in many productions for the state theatre company
- Played classes and productions for Australian Dance Theatre and Lee Warren Dance Troupe.
- Locally played in successful bands, Expresso Bongo, Switzerland, Soultana, Lucifers Lounge, Supanova, Goose, Mike Stewart Big Band, Bob Hower Big Band.
- Performed regularly in Adelaide Fringe Festival, Adelaide Cabaret Festival, Feast Festival and Womadelaide (10 yrs.)
- Currently enjoying a mix of recording and live performance both local and interstate.
- Simply Sade, Gifts from the King, Over the Rainbow (Judy Garland Story), Kathy renner – the Search Party.
- Most recent project has been recording and performing with the “Hindley Street Country Club”. A group of musicians and singers that post music clips onto social media. All locally produced here in Adelaide and has just amassed over 100 million hits.
TERESA WOJICK: VOCAL COACH/CHOIR
Hailing from Whangarei, New Zealand, Teresa’s first onstage experience was performing ballet at age 4, followed by a passion for multiple instruments, and developing her singing practice from age 14. Teresa graduated from Otago University in 2013 with a Bachelor of Music, majoring in Classical Singing, Composition, and Songwriting. She has sung in wide range of concerts and performance works in NZ, Germany, and Australia, including 2 years with touring opera companies. Recent roles include The Narrator in Joseph (Heidelberg, Germany, 2017), and recording the lead role of Krupskaya in Lenin: A Rock Opera (2019). Teresa was recently a finalist in the Nowra Operatic Aria Competition. She regularly runs her own Singer-Songwriter series ‘RESONATE with Reezy’, and lends her voice to projects such as the upcoming Move in June events through Libraries ACT, and classical concerts with Carl Rafferty. She has worked as a Musical Director and Vocal coach on musical theatre projects including Grease (Canberra Philharmonic Society, 2022), and will be the Vocal Coach for Dramatic Productions’ upcoming season of School of Rock. For Teresa, being part of this important and musically beautifully show is both humbling and inspirational.
ANDRE LE: CHOIR
Andre first started performing at Marist College after joining drama classes in 2017. He fell in love with performing, gaining onstage experience from many high school productions. During his time at Marist, featured roles included Alain Boutros in Red Noses (2017), Lucas Beineke in The Addams Family (2018) and Lawrence Wargrave in And Then There Were None (2019). Andre made his community theatre debut in Budding Entertainment’s Be More Chill (2021) in the role of Michael Mell, for which he received a Canberra Area Theatre Award. Other roles have included Sonny in Grease (Canberra Philharmonic Society, 2022) and Andre will be performing in Canberra Philharmonic Society’s 70th Anniversary Extravaganza. He has recently begun screen acting, performing roles in various short films and advertisement campaigns. Andre is thankful to the many different artists he has worked with for helping him get to where he is today.
HAYDEN CROSWELLER: CHOIR
As a singer, actor and director, Hayden has been involved in amateur and professional theatre productions for 12 years in Sydney and Canberra. His passion for storytelling has led him to performing onstage, working on production teams and teaching. Recent production credits include Assistant Director for Sweeney Todd (Dramatic Productions, 2017)and Jasper Jones (Budding Theatre, 2019), as well as Tommy (2020) and Grease (2022) for the Canberra Philharmonic Society. Hayden’s onstage credits include Eugene in Grease (Pee Wee Productions, 2015), Franz in Rock of Ages (Canberra Philharmonic Society, 2016) and Christopher in Pee Wee Productions original season of The Last Time (2016). Hayden would like to thank his teachers, some of which are still with us, and others who are now in Spirit. They have inspired and continue to inspire Hayden to tell important stories. “I’ll tell you a secret. Old storytellers never die. They disappear into their own story” – Vera Nazurian, author.
DAVE COLLINS: CHOIR
Recently returning from Sydney, Dave holds a Bachelor of Music (Music Theatre) from the Australian Institue of Music. His career has seen him work on television as a backing vocalist on The X Factor, as well as on stage at the Sydney Opera House Concert Hall alongside Tony Award Winner, Eddie Perfect. Other notable theatre credits include: Miss Understanding in Priscilla Queen of the Desert (Free-Rain) Jamie/Cathy in The Last Five Years: In Concert, Stephen in the NSW Premiere of If/Then (Theatre and Company) Seymour in Little Shop of Horrors (RMS), Chef Louis in Disney’s The Little Mermaid (Birdie), Pig 1 & Donkey U/s in Shrek The Musical (Packemin), Uncle Fester in The Addams Family (NUTS), Roger/Teen Angel in Grease (MUSE and QCC), Lefou in Disney’s Beauty and the Beast (Packemin), Harvey Johnson in Bye Bye Birdie (Squabbalogic), Bustopher Jones/ Growltiger in Cats (Free-Rain). In 2020, Dave was nominated for Broadway World Australia’s 2020 Award for Best Actor in a Musical for his performance as William Barfee/ Olive’s Dad in The 25th Annual Putnam County Spelling Bee (NUTS).
MEAGHAN STEWART: CHOIR
Meaghan has had a passion for performing since age 4, and has studied acting extensively at Daramalan College. Meaghan has been performing on Canberra stages since 2017, starting off with the tour de force role of Mrs Lovett in Sweeney Todd (Dramatic Productions, 2017) for which she won a Canberra Area Theatre award. She has since built an impressive reputation in the Canberra Theatre scene, and is best known for her impressive voice, characterisation, and unique approach to performing dramatic roles. Meaghan has most recently been seen in lead roles in local productions as Eliza in Pygmalion (Tempo Theatre, 2022), Michelle in The Boys (Alchemy artistic, 2022), and Ali in Mamma Mia! (Free-rain theatre, 2021). Meaghan hopes to continue her passion for theatre in the future, developing her craft in dramatic performance. Meaghan would like to thank the team at Tuggeranong Arts Centre for giving her the opportunity to perform alongside one of Australia’s leading cabaret artists, Michaela Burger, in A Migrant’s Son.
LUKE FERDINANDS: CHOIR
Luke is most at home working in theatres, and has loved performing form a young age. Whilst studying at Gungahlin College, Luke undertook one of their first major roles as Mickey Johnstone in Blood Brothers (2018). They were also featured in the Ensemble The Producers (Dramatic Productions, 2019) performed solo and amongst a choir at the 2022 Lifeline Gala. Other recent roles include Frankie Valli U/S in Jersey Boys (2021) and Doody / Teen Angel in Grease (2022) both for Canberra Philharmonic Society. Luke will also be performing in Canberra Philharmonic Society’s 70th Anniversary Extravaganza. Having performed and studied performance extensively in high school, Luke can’t get enough of being onstage – they feel privileged to be involved in this production of A Migrant’s Son and hope you enjoy the show!
LACHLAN ELDERTON: CHOIR
Lachlan is a year 11 student at Karabar High School, where his passion for Performing Arts has developed through his studies and many opportunities to perform in school productions. He currently study’s Music, Dance, Drama and Entertainment Industry, working towards a Higher School Certificate and a Certificate III in Live Production. Lachlan has been featured in many school productions such Gomez in The Addams Family, a featured vocalist in Stories of My Life, Zander in Camp Rock and student film project Growing Up. Lachlan has participated in state performance programs such as Schools Spectacular and the NSW State Instrumental Festival as a Music solo vocalist. In 2021, Lachlan was cast as Johnny Casino in Canberra Philharmonic’s production of Grease. A Migrant’s Son will be Lachlan’s professional debut and he looks forward to a future in performing arts.
TIJANA KOVAK: CHOIR
Tijana is a singer, actress and writer, specialising in comedy. She holds a Diploma of Musical Theatre (2015) and Advanced Diploma of Performance (2017) from Perform Australia. Tijana has also worked as part of the Perform Australia teaching alumni, working in children’s programs. She has directed & choreograohed The Little Mermaid, and Assistant Directed many musical theatre productions for Perform Australia. She has appeared in several featured roles at Perform Australia, including Hermia in A Midsummer Night’s Dreamand Mrs Smith The Bald Soprano. Other roles have included Lorelli Thornthwaite in The Thornthwaite Inheritance (Green Oaks), Mother in The Trail to Orego (Fantasy Studios) and Maid/Antinous in The Penelopiad(Papermoon Theatre).
KIRSTEN SMITH: CHOIR
Originally from Nelspruit, South Africa, Kirsten grew up in her mother’s ballet school where her passion for the theatre and performance grew as she worked hard to pass her Ballet, Jazz, Tap, Singing and Piano examinations gaining high results and many awards along the way. She competed in many performing arts and dance competitions in Australia, South Africa and the USA. She pursued her acting dreams and landed featured roles in the children’s television production Magical Tales and many lead roles in other American and Australian programs. Kirsten has performed in many local theatre productions in Canberra including Charlotte’s Webb, The Best Little Whorehouse In Texas & A Chorus Line (Pheonix Players) Cats, Jesus Christ Superstar & Cabaret (Canberra Philharmonic Society), Tommy (Blue Mountains Musical Society), Godspell(Queanbeyan Players) and Hair (Queanbeyan Council) .
LARA CLEMENT: CHOIR
Lara is a year 12 student at Karabar High School, who has been performing since the age of 4. She has studied all facets of dance at Eden Dance Academy in Queanbeyan for 13 years, and has performed at several interstate and national competitions. As a dancer, Lara specialises in commercial styles, ballet and acrobatics, as well as singing and musical theatre. Lara also works as an Assistant Dance Teacher, and is a qualified Ready Set Dance Student Teacher. School production opportunities have included lead roles as Matilda in Matilda (Queanbeyan Public School) and Morticia Addams in The Addams Family (Karabar High School). Lara wishes to thank her many teachers and family members for supporting her.