BY LAWRENCE MACHADO
At 19, Mitchell Old is one of the youngest directors around but his passion and enthusiasm for his new company should take him far.
Old, who was involved in theatre productions at Northholm Grammar School in Arcadia and local community organisations, was fed up with not having any luck with plays during the COVID-19 that he started his own production company.
With a lot of confidence and not much experience, the confident Galston local put his money where his mouth was and started The Mitchell Old Company in 2019.
The Hills’ newest theatre company will make its debut with the Off Broadway hit, The Last Five Years, scheduled from February 11-14 at Pioneer Theatre, Castle Hill.
The musical, written and composed by Jason Robert Brown, will feature internationally-experienced actors, Hannah Alexander and Andrew Schwimmer, and an orchestra made of current Sydney Conservatorium of Music students and young artists.
The Last Five Years, is seen as a funny, tender, intimate and playful musical that follows Jamie and Cathy’s passionate romance.
“It’s pretty nerve wracking as we count down the days but I am very excited about our debut show,” said Old, a classical saxophone player “I am studying Bachelor of Music at the Sydney Conservatorium of Music and since I could not find opportunities to be in plays, I thought I should create my own experience.
“I have always been passionate about the theatre and in my final year at school, I was the artistic director and producer for the Jazz Cafe, a cabaret-style show. The company is pretty much self funded and Dural Music Centre is one of the sponsors of the play. I found two phenomenal actors and everything started to line up.”
Alexander and Schwimmer, both from North Rocks, toured with performing arts company, The Young Americans. Alexander plays Cathy Hiatt and has worked with directors from Paramount, Broadway, Disneyland and Royal Caribbean Cruises. Schwimmer, who plays Jamie Wellerstie, has performed in seven countries with some of his notable roles being Quasimodo in The Hunchback of Notre Dame and Danny Zuko in Grease.
Matthew Ling of Kellyville) is the assistant musical director and plays electric bass in the orchestra which includes Zachary Setiadi (Kellyville – keyboard), Monjie Echevarria (Castle Hill – guitar), Shanela De Mel (Kellyville – violin), Elizabeth Ferris (Kellyville – cello) and Michelle Stafurik (Eagle Vale – cello).
Old, who has two younger siblings, wants to create opportunities for young artists “and prove that a career within the arts is sustainable and worthwhile”.
Old is looking for sponsors to support his fledgling company and provide a big boost for the arts in this challenging time.
What: THE LAST FIVE YEARS, DIRECTED BY MITCHELL OLD
When: February 11 – 14
Where: Pioneer Theatre, Castle Hill
Timings: Thursday, Friday – 7.30pm;
Saturday 2pm and 7.30pm; Sunday: 6pm
Tickets: $30 adults; $20 high school students
Details: www.mitchellold.com.au or 0466 615 798