The Life of an Amateur-Producer

Kyle Stephens (above) dreams of being on stage one day
Photo courtesy of Kyle Stephens

The raised-eyebrow and the “That’s a bit ambitious” comments have only pushed Kyle Stephens closer to fulfilling his dreams in theatre.

The 19-year-old amateur-producer and performer’s love for theatre and the stage began when he saw the Moscow Circus at 8-years-old.

“Once I was older, I started investigating and looking into how it all happened,” he said. “I said then, ‘I want to be able to do this’.”

Since then, Stephens has worked to build his experience as a performer and producer for his shows.

“I’m part of the technical staff at Kings Street Theatre,” he said, adding that he has helped orchestrate numerous high school musicals.

While Stephens sees himself on stage in the future, it is his forte for lighting design that plants him behind the scenes as producer.

A 2011 graduate of Newtown Performing Arts High School, he admits that was where his passion for lighting and sound was invoked.

“I was taught […] nothing just happens,” he said.

“There’s always a process that creates the magic.”

Stephens broke into the business earlier this year with his own theatre company, Kore Productions.

Stephens knew creating his own company was the only choice.

“The only way I was going to be able to put on the productions I wanted to see done was by making my own theatre company,” he said.

Stephens sees himself splitting his time between producing and acting in future Kore Productions shows.

“I definitely want to play a part, but I wouldn’t be the main role,” he said, joking that, as the company owner, it would be biased.

“My real passion is to be on stage.”
Photo courtesy of Kyle Stephens

When not working on a show, Stephens studies classical music at the Australian Institute of Music.

“I am a singer. And I study [opera] singing.”

Kore Productions recently finished its first show, Keating! The Musical, this year.

Stephens called the first production “a big success”.

While Stephens felt very much the amateur, he realised first-hand experience is always the best approach.

“The most important way to learn is on the job,” he said.

“You have to make mistakes in order to learn something.”

Kore Productions is managed by Stephens with the help of two co-directors, Samara Kinney and Alvin Mak.

“Those two are like the glue that holds me together!” Stephens laughed.

Samara Kinney, co-director of Kore Productions, believes Stephens has the attitude and drive to succeed in his dreams.

“Young people with ambitions should be encouraged,” she said.

“Someone who has a dream of what they want to do should never be shot down.”

However Ms Kinney says Stephens must maintain a support system if the company is to survive.

“A company can’t function if the person at the top isn’t rational enough to make the right decisions.”

Regardless, Ms Kinney is sure there is a place for Kore Productions in the theatre world.

“Amateur theatre is a seriously underestimated situation.”

Keating! is only the beginning for Kyle Stephens as he tries to make a name for himself.
Photo courtesy of Kyle Stephens

“[But] eventually Kore Productions will be a company that springboards from amateur into professional.”

Stephens would love to extend his success to other theatre-enthusiasts who join Kore Productions.

“I’d love to have a group of regulars who audition,” he said.

“We could turn them into ‘Kore’ famous.”

Stephens hasn’t let negativity keep him from achieving his goals.

A number of people were unsure the teenager could pull Keating! The Musical off successfully.

“I went out to prove them wrong,” he said.

“And I have.”

While Stephens has a long journey before him, no-one can doubt the young man will continue to make his way up in the theatre business.


About nhl961

I’m Nicole Heather Langridge, a, 18 year old quirky and eager new University of Wollongong student. I’m studying a Bachelor of Creative Arts (Creative Writing) and Bachelor of Journalism. I hope to explore and advance on my creative writing skills over the next few years of this course as well as learn how to write from a Journalist perspective, which I am finding is very different. I can’t see myself doing anything career wise that isn’t writing orientated so I am hoping to expand my creativity and skills to different branches and styles of writing. The blog “Arts in the Community” will focus on just that! What I mean by this is that I hope to blog about different artistic examples in my local and surrounding communities. I think the attitude and attention paid to the arts in the community is a little lower than what it deserves and is often past over as amateur. I hope that with my blog I can explore and discover the underside to this unique community the diverse activities that occur from productions to exhibitions to the opinions of those directly involved in these areas. My new stories will focus on upcoming artistic events that are happening in the surrounding areas such as annual Playwriting Festivals, new theatre productions, and upcoming exhibitions. Accompanying these stories will be profiles on those directly involved in these events being uncovered such as performers or directors, focusing on their experiences in the arts and their opinions of it on contemporary society.

Posted on October 22, 2012, in Profiles and tagged , , , . Bookmark the permalink. Leave a comment.

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