TAS to stage world amateur premier of Treasure Island: A New Musical

Posted 3rd June 2015

It is a famous tale of mutiny, shipwreck and the high seas, but for the cast and crew of Treasure Island: The Musical, everyone is on board and steering the ship to the successful launch of the production’s world amateur premier in Armidale next week.

Students, staff, parents and Old Boys of The Armidale School will bring to life a new interpretation of one of literature’s great adventure stories, about a boy having to make choices whilst influenced by powerful adult males.

This particular version was conceived in 2006 and has only been produced once before, by the Arkansas Repertory Theatre Company. Believing its “darker, edgier” tone would resonate strongly with young adolescents, TAS Creative Arts co-ordinator Andrew O’Connell met the three creators Brett Smock and Carla Vitale (scriptwriters), and Corinne Aquilina (music and lyrics) in New York last September, and ‘sold’ them his vision for the production.

“It is very faithful to the Robert Louis Stevenson story and conveys through the boy hero Jim Hawkins, in a grittier way than in most other versions, the many powerful messages about moral dilemmas, choices and consequences that we seek to educate our students about here at TAS,” Mr O’Connell said.

“In the cast we have students from Year 6-12, staff members, parents and Old Boys, and a similar profile who have put together an incredible set in a very short period of time. To have such a well-known coming of age story being brought to life by such a cross-section of the school community has been an incredibly rewarding experience for everyone.”

The show opens at the TAS Hoskins Centre on 10 June, and has a limited run of five performances.