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HomeLifestyleEvents and ExhibitionsUmbrella School of Music seeks actors and sponsors for Camp Rock musical

Umbrella School of Music seeks actors and sponsors for Camp Rock musical

The Umbrella School of Music, which helps people with learning difficulties and social challenges to express themselves through singing, dancing and playing instruments, is planning on performing a stage musical. Meanwhile, they are appealing for sponsors and collaborators to help bring the project to fruition.

Umbrella, which Manly Observer has previously featured after enjoying one of their karaoke singing sessions, is based in Forestville. Their programs bring together young adults and youths with varying intellectual and social challenges (including neurodivergence and Down Syndrome).

They run events, workshops, holiday programs and offer performance opportunities, as well as private tuition, for people of all ages, abilities and disabilities.

Umbrella Music School karaoke session. Photo: Alec Smart

Founder-director Ingrid Bass explained the idea for a musical: ”A main purpose of this project is to help break down stigmas and barriers in access, equity and beliefs around disability. I want to show how capable people with disability are in the performing arts, and how being part of a diverse cast and experiencing inclusive arts performances (the audience) can not only result in AMAZING theatre but can also create a more kind, understanding and compassionate community.”

How is it coming along?

“Umbrella is working hard at raising funds to be able to put on an inclusive musical production around March next year where one person with disability, and another without, buddy up as the same character in the show.

Disney have given us the rights to do the musical CAMP ROCK and perform 3 shows from March 23-29, 2025 at the Zenith Theatre in Chatswood – we just now need the funds to make that happen!”

Screenshot from the Disney film Camp Rock.

Camp Rock is a 2008 ‘coming-of-age’ film starring Demi Lovato and The Jonas Brothers. Walt Disney, the film production company that released the musical, summed up the plot: “The story follows Mitchie Torres (Demi Lovato), an aspiring young musician who hopes to become a professional singer. Mitchie wants to go to a music camp named “Camp Rock”. Since the family cannot afford the tuition, Mitchie’s mother, Connie (Maria Canals Barrera), arranges to cater food for the camp, thus allowing Mitchie to attend. In return, Mitchie must help her mother out in the kitchen.

“Meanwhile, spoiled pop star Shane Grey (Joe Jonas), of Connect 3, has been assigned to be in charge of dance classes for one month at Camp Rock by his bandmates Jason (Kevin Jonas) and Nate (Nick Jonas) and is forced to record a song with the winner of Final Jam. Shane accidentally hears someone singing on the first day and falls in love with the voice, but does not know the identity of the singer…”

Ingrid continued, “I am hoping to raise awareness and gather interest (and funds) for this exciting project being launched with a pilot workshop (sponsored by Willoughby City Council) on June 23 [this year]. At the workshop, participants will get to learn more about the musical Camp Rock, how the project will run and will have first-hand experience learning to sing, dance and act from the show.”

Ingrid Bass (right) with formidable young singing talent Sasha Imada. Photo: Alec Smart

How many participants are needed?

“I currently have about 25 people interested in attending the workshop and being involved in the musical but most of these have a disability and I need to attract buddies for these people (who do not have a disability).

“What’s so unique about this project is that for the first time in Sydney each character in the production, two people (children or adults), one with disability and the other without disability, will share costumes, lines, solos and parts.”

This reporter attended a recent Sunday afternoon karaoke session hosted by Umbrella in Ingrid’s home studio and heard the phenomenal vocal talents of Sasha Imada, who is destined for a singing career. Sasha is participating in the Camp Rock project.

“Sasha was the only one there without disability, who wants to be in the musical as a buddy of a teen with disability,” Ingrid revealed, “She used to go to my previous school, Applause Musical Theatre Academy, which her parents said developed her skills and passion for musical theatre. Last year she was principal role of Princess Jasmine in North Shore Theatre Company’s Aladdin Jr.“

Sasha Imada (centre left, 2nd row) in the 2023 North Shore Theatre Co. production of Aladdin Jr. Photo: NSTC

So far, Ingrid has recruited a number of personnel, including choreographers, directors, stage assistants, support workers, music therapists and musicians, but she’s reaching out to the public for actors and sponsors. There is also a an Australian Cultural Fund and GoFundMe account for donations.

Expressions of interest: https://www.cognitoforms.com/UmbrellaSchoolOfMusic/InclusiveMusicalParticipantSurvey

ACF Link: https://artists.australianculturalfund.org.au/s/project/a2EMn0000052Iu1

Go Fund Me linkhttps://www.gofundme.com/an-inclusive-musical-theatre-production-for-all


Umbrella School of Music weblinks:




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Manly Observer is an experiment in providing non-sensationalist hyperlocal news on Sydney’s Northern Beaches. We cover the big news across the LGA, but with a hyper focus on the Manly electorate encompassing Balgowlah, Seaforth, Freshwater, Brookvale and Curl Curl up to Dee Why. It is run by those living in the community for the benefit of an informed community. We care about an informed and connected community. That’s it. Simple. Thank you for your support in keeping quality local news alive!

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