I am embarrassed to admit that when I went along to the Stars and the Moon’s 2022 performance of SpongeBob the musical I thought I was simply doing a good deed. The unique Jewish-led production, which features a blended cast across the ability spectrum where each role is played by 2 buddies, is without doubt an invaluable service that is available to those with a disability.
What I wasn’t expecting though was the incredible level of talent and passion from those performing in the musical. From the moment that the SpongeBob musical began last year, I knew that I had to get involved in this magical production in any way possible.
Fortunate timing meant that an opening in the role of Marketing & Communications Officer Officer aligned well with my day job working in marketing at headspace, allowing me to become involved in the 2023 production in a hands on manner.
I have also been lucky in the fact that Stars and the Moon has become somewhat of a family affair, with my family being involved in the production in a number of roles ranging from Inclusion Officer, to Bookkeeper, to supporting with printing scripts out for cast members.
Again, I am embarrassed to admit that I thought my role in Marketing and Communications for the show would be an afterthought in my day-to-day life, with low expectations on the expected output.
I was very pleasantly surprised to learn that the standard set for all aspects of the production is nothing short of excellent.
I really have been blown away by the level of detail and planning that goes into all elements of the production. It truly felt as though I was involved with a professional theatre company such is the dedication and commitment of all involved, both from the cast and from the production team.
It is amazing to witness how everyone involved in the production is simultaneously treated equally, yet also has their specific needs catered to. Stars and the Moon takes a ‘no closed door’ approach to their production, seeking ways to ensure that anyone is able to be involved regardless of their personal circumstances.
Months of regular rehearsals and hard work paid off on August 3, 5 & 6 at the National Theatre in St Kilda, as the cast and crew put on their 2023 performance of School of Rock.
The performances received rave reviews from the packed out theatre, and was a culmination of meticulous preparation and dedication to a worthwhile cause.
Those who attended the performances, it was an entertaining and at times emotional 2 and a half hours of musical theatre.
But for those involved in the production, it was so much more. It is a life-changing experience for everyone involved – those living with or without a disability.
It is exciting to see the production continue to grow, knowing that the sky truly is the limit for this amazing concept.
I feel particularly grateful to have played a small part in seeing this year’s production come to life, and can say without doubt that it has been one of the most rewarding experiences of my life.
Stars and the Moon are now taking expressions of interest for the 2024 production, for both on stage and off stage roles. You can express your interest here: https://docs.google.com/forms/d/e/1FAIpQLSedl_TanhD-orgm2TSgY9-27p_uNKabNOkVDOl3CmZRS5FBgQ/viewform
by Steven Lustig