Screech Artist David Rodriguez: from super shy to super star!


From lip-syncing last year to performing in Queensland Musical Theatre’s Annie production this week, 20-year-old David Rodriguez is reaching for the stars with a little help from his performing arts friends.

After joining Screech Arts performing arts school in Moorooka two years ago as a way to build his confidence, David is now a volunteer showing other students the ropes.
David said he has always loved to sing, but he never thought he would get the opportunity to sing for other people one day.

“When I was little I used to sing to my soft toys in my bedroom. I’d play music in the background and I even had my desk lamp shining on me as a spotlight!” David said.

“But I was very shy growing up. When I first started workshops at Screech I would lip sync to the songs. I didn’t want to fully let myself go and maybe embarrass myself.

“The day came when I had to sing ‘A whole new world’ from Aladdin, and I just did it. I think for the first time the group realised I could actually sing. They completely accepted me, and then I felt brave enough to come out of my shell.

“When Lisa, our Screech Director, asked if I’d like to audition for Annie, I said oh my god this is the Queensland Musical Theatre… this is big! I knew if I got this it was going to be a big step forward in my life.

“I couldn’t believe it when I got the part in Screech. It’s going to be my first singing role in a real musical – I can’t wait!”

David will perform in five shows of Annie and has been rehearsing with the Queensland Musical Theatre since the beginning of the year.

Want to see David in action? Get your tickets to Annie here!

Charlie is coming to town


It’s that time of year again; Anywhere Festival is returning in May for its ninth year! The Anywhere Festival is an annual Brisbane-based festival taking performance out of traditional theatre spaces and into… well, anywhere!

This year, Screech Arts performers are gearing up to present this year’s performance: Charlie.

The concept of Charlie is to draw the audience in to an immersive world where play is celebrated and encouraged. It inspired by the realisation that often in life people forget to slow down and enjoy moments in time.

Each of the eccentric characters in Charlie will work to transport the audience to a wacky and wonderful world where they can actively engage with laughter and play, and make meaningful connections with each other.

One of those characters will be Miranda, who also performed in last year’s Anywhere Festival performance, The Box.

Miranda says Screech allows her to do what she loves most – laugh and have fun. Although she says she feels inspired by Charlie, it is almost as though the show was inspired by Miranda as she spreads joy to everyone around her.

“I’m excited about the upcoming show, Charlie, at the Anywhere Festival,” said Miranda.

“I have some great friends at Screech and I have a lot of fun. Plus, I get to perform, which I love.

“At the moment I’m just working hard on flexibility and my timing with the routines. I struggle a bit with the timing, so I’ll just keep practising. It’s going to be great!”

You can catch Miranda performing live at each of the three Charlie showings on 11, 18 and 25 May 2019 at University of Queensland, St Lucia.

Grab all the details below so you don’t miss out!

Date: Saturday 11 May, 18 May and 25 May 2019.

Time: 6 – 7pm

Where: Campbell Place – University of Queensland, (UQ), St Lucia. Accessible via Campbell Rd.

Parking: Paid parking available. Accessible carparks on Campbell Rd.

Please note: The performance is out doors so please bring warm clothes and own seating.

Tickets are FREE and available here.

Like Screech Arts on Facebook and RSVP to our Facebook event to stay up to date.

The Box – A review by Catherine Lawrence

The Box theatre performance

In The Box, the artists created and performed a moving contemporary physical theatre piece, challenging perceptions of people living with disability.

In the promotional material for the show, Screech Arts note that the artists seek to encourage audiences to reconsider “what stigma is, especially in relation to the actors’ experiences as people living with a disability.”

Individual performers in The Box may need support to achieve some of their goals, but they all demonstrated a variety of talents, and many great abilities, in their production. Together they have created an inspiring piece that hopefully will not be hidden away in a box but will be shared at future events. It is a work that deserves to reach a wider audience.

When I arrived, I worried if I’d missed half of the show, as a number of the performers were also in the Screech Arts Dance Troupe, already entertaining an enthusiastic audience with some great dance moves. But this was a bonus activity: a great way to attract an audience for the theatre piece, to demonstrate some fantastic dance moves, and to warm up on a cool evening.

There were so many highlights in the production: dance and mime (unfair to single out two performers, but perhaps most notably by Julie Stewart and Amy Lawrence who created a real sense of the frustrations of ‘inhabiting’ the box), poignant dance and speech (from Dale Gonelli and Danielle Stewart), compelling stage presence and work (by Joe Surawski, Niala Lewis, and Alex Procopis), and a great soundtrack (technical support by Julian Rodriguez Campos).

The movement and interactions were well-judged, but it was much of the voice work that will stay with me. I loved the discussion between Amy and Dale (“How are you?”), which led up the poignant story about the experience of the 11-year old Dale at the train station.

Danielle’s powerful monologue “I’m an aunt and I babysit” rose to a screech that created a real sense of both the joy and frustrations of a life spent fighting other people’s perceptions.

And Danielle and Dale also performed the thought-provoking “just because” duet.

Cast photo courtesy of Geoff Lawrence – Creative Futures Photography

Proving that with the right support they can achieve their collective goals, the performers created a memorable piece. I hope it leads to many more conversations, and a “breaking down the box that is stigma” (to quote Martina).

Verdict: Heartfelt communication. An enthusiastic, enjoyable and insightful piece which encourages everyone to respond to the challenge of “why did you assume?”

Read the rest of the review here:

A fantastic night all round

Screech Arts performance

Performers from Brisbane south side were met with a sea of applause as they took their final curtain call following their end of year performance, ‘Almost Anything Goes’.

The showcase, which was held on Saturday (2 December) at the Manly West State School, saw 25 students from the Screech Arts performance group put on an exciting ensemble of dance, theatre and song.

Wowing audiences, performers incorporated comedy, drama, festive spirit and a touch of sass into the show, which compelled spectators to get out of their seats and dance during the final number.

CPL Screech Arts Coordinator and organiser Sandy Paterson said:

“It was a fantastic evening and really well attended by the local community – they all got really involved with the performance and even joined in with dancing at the end.

“All of the performers loved every minute of being on stage and can’t wait for the next show. I had a number of parents come up to me afterwards to tell me how impressed they were with how much more professional and advanced the performers had got since the last show. It really highlighted how far they had come and what they had learnt at Screech – it was well worth all the hard work they put in!”

After the show we also caught up with 13-year-old performer Haley Rickards, along with her mum, Jo, who was in the audience.

Haley said: “I enjoyed the show a lot. It was great fun to perform in front of a live audience.”  

Jo added: “We all really enjoyed the night. Haley had her grandparents and a school friend in the audience and they are all keen to come back for the next show.”

Do you see yourself in the spotlight? If you want to be involved in the action and showcase your talents, please get in touch with Screech Arts on 1800 275 753 to find out where your nearest performance group is, or visit us online at 

Ladies and gentlemen, please take your seats!

Girls performing at Screech Arts

Prepare yourself for a show-stopping performance as 25 students from the Brisbane south side Screech Arts Performance Group take centre stage for their end of year show!

Join us on 2nd December at the Manly West State School for a celebration of entertainment and creativity in our ‘Almost Anything Goes’ showcase.

The show is a collaboration of dance, music and theatre chosen by performers and developed into a storyline, highlighting what our performers have learnt this year through their spectacular talents.

There will be a few Christmas hits to get you in the festive spirit as well as a couple of throwback favourites to sing along to.

Want to know more? We spoke to 13-year-old Haley Rickards who will be singing in the show to get some inside information….

Can you tell us what you will be doing in the show? I’ll be singing both a solo and performing as part of a group.

What are you most looking forward to? The performance of ‘So Long Farewell’ from The Sound of Music and performing on a big stage in front of a live audience. I love it!

How long have you been involved in Screech? I joined Screech Arts about a year ago and I go twice a week on a Friday night and Saturday morning. This will be my second show – last semester I got to perform in ‘The Battle of the Screech’.

What’s your favourite thing about performing with Screech? It’s a lot of fun and I really enjoy being able to perform with my friends. It’s also great because I get to learn new songs.

What would you say to anyone thinking about joining Screech? Do it – it’s awesome!

We also caught up with CPL Screech Arts Coordinator and organiser Sandy Paterson who added: “We’re really excited to be putting on the show as for most of our performers this will be the first time that they have had the opportunity to put on a real theatre performance with costumes and a stage, and (fingers crossed) a full audience. 

“It’s going to be an incredible show, giving our students a platform to showcase their talents and creativity through dance, monologues and music. They have all worked really hard to put the show together and it’s really paid off.

“It will be a really enjoyable evening, getting us into the festive spirit. It’s also a great opportunity for parents who have children that are interested in performing with Screech Arts to bring them along and find out more about what we do.”  

When: Saturday 2 December, 5:30pm

Where: Performing Arts Complex at Manly West State School

Tickets: $10 for adults, $5 for children

Book your tickets now at or call 1800 962 153.