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  • Jodie Morphett

The Northside Loves Madhouse

Madhouse Theatre is finding a place in people’s hearts on Brisbane's northside, filling a niche for high-quality and innovative live theatre projects.

Their most recent offering, burlesque dancing classes, currently underway at the QCWA hall in Kallangur, showcases the company's versatility and willingness to present something a little different.

This fresh approach to live theatre has not popped up overnight. Company director Tia Stace, and her business partner Sue, have invested several years preparing and planning for the company's launch earlier this year.

Tia has felt at home on the stage all her life.

She first performed at the age of three when she took the role of a fairy in an Aladdin pantomime. Since then she has developed considerable expertise in acting, singing, directing and writing, along with many of the more technical aspects of theatre such as lighting and sound.

She has just completed her Honours (Bachelor of Art and Design) with the University of Canberra and Southbank TAFE Qld after doing a Bachelor of Creative Industries (Drama and Performance) 2020 - 2022 there as well. Graduating from the Young Conservatorium of Music (Griffith University) in 2018, and working professionally within the industry, on top of numerous advanced drama works, her passion is no surprise to all who meet her.

Tia is a Moreton Bay local, having completed her primary and high school education on the Redcliffe peninsula.

“Live theatre in Brisbane is at the beginning of a very exciting growth phase, with so many talented people working so hard out there.”

As an illustration of that local connection, Tia and another Madhouse leader, Guilia recently competed at the Redcliffe Country Music Club Festival, just for fun. They were warmly received, even taking home a second, a third and an encouragement award.

Tia knows the Madhouse story is moving through its early chapters now and much of the book has yet to be written.

The experienced singer, actor and writer sees all the preliminary work done so far as merely a good starting point.

“It's an ongoing process, still in its early stages,” Tia says. “We are now beginning to forge valuable links with members of existing theatre companies around Brisbane, and we hope those friendships will have a mutually beneficial effect.

“Before bringing forth my own ideas for live theatre on Brisbane’s northside I wanted to get to really know the landscape, to try and identify any gaps.

We certainly don’t want to build something that duplicates other theatre companies already out there.

“Getting to learn about what local theatre is doing and identify any gaps in the local theatre experience has been an illuminating and exciting learning experience.

“Live theatre in Brisbane is at the beginning of a very exciting growth phase, with so many talented people working so hard out there.”

Tia’s project is now taking off, aiming to introduce northside audiences to some exciting new works while also staging some of the well-known favourites.

In a promising beginning, Madhouse has hosted two successful theatre workshops already and will soon hold kids’ workshops specially tailored for three different age groups, as well as the burlesque classes, which are for over-18s.

Tia says she would love to find a permanent home for Madhouse Theatre Company in the future, but right now is grateful to have found the QCWA hall at Kallangur, where everybody has been having fun with the theatre workshops.

Tia praises the close-knit and supportive team behind her who are all looking forward to staging their first public performance. That’s the day when the Madhouse journey will step up to the next level.

To stay abreast of Madhouse Theatre Company’s news and coming events, patrons and supporters can find all the latest on their Facebook page.


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