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Rising Arts Productions is out to prove that it is, in fact, hip to be square with their production of American Psycho: The Musical.




About the show American Psycho is a blood-pumping 80's musical featuring an incredible original score with some classic 80's favourites sprinkled in. It tells the story of Patrick Bateman, a Wall Street banker, who is obsessed with business cards, suits and fancy restaurants during the day but at night his obsessions take a darker turn.


Name and role: Jarrod Riesinger - Director/ProducerTanya Boyle - EvelynAlex Perritt - Patrick Bateman


Tell us about yourself: Jarrod: I founded Rising Arts seven years ago and have been putting on shows ever since. Away from theatre, I'm helping others make theatre supporting students technical theatre needs at the University of Wollongong as part of my day job. What I love most about theatre is how temporary and changing it is. There's something exciting about creating new moments with people and watching people discover more about not just their characters but themselves throughout the process.


Tanya: I’ve been performing in Sydney and the Illawarra for over twenty years. I’m super lucky to have experienced some amazing roles during this time! Outside of performing I am a HR Manager and Executive Assistant. So pretty much performing keeps me sane. It’s such an amazing world to immerse yourself in and leave all your troubles at the door whilst you become this whole other person and create magic on the stage. The people that you get to share this experience with end up being some of the closest people to you and I love every second!


Alex: I have been performing in plays and musicals since I was 8 years old. I studied at UOW and have been working as a drama teacher. Theatre is my primary way of expressing myself, as a designer, actor, director, or any other role.



What can audiences look forward to when they come see the show? 


Jarrod: The audiences can look forward to a show that is absolutely dripping with satire (and blood). It's such a funny show and we've done what we can to not only provide huge hilarious show-stopping moments, but also snuck in some funny references to the book and film that we think fans of the source material will get a real kick out of.


Tanya: Lots of blood. But also there is so much talent up on that stage! Such a strong cast and their singing and dancing whilst telling this classic story will leave everyone wanting more!


Alex: A wild ride. It's very funny, violent, sexy, and generally a pretty relevant critique of capitalism and the nepotism evident in positions of power and influence. The music is great too.



How has the rehearsal process been? 


Jarrod: Phenomenal. It's been so exciting to get to see some of Wollongong's favourite performers come together to create this show. It's brought together people from all different theatre companies and it's been electric to see all that energy bounce off each other. Despite, the sometimes dark subject matter, we've all done a great job at keeping it fun and the room is always filled with so much laughter and I can't wait to let an audience in on that real soon.


Tanya: This one been especially hard for me I think, because I’ve been rehearsing and performing another show. So to go from that character in a children’s show, to the dark and adult nature of this show has been a challenge. But the cast and production team are so supportive and encouraging. It’s such a warm and safe space to work through these intense scenes together!


Alex: It's a lot of work, we rehearse twice a week, and the sheer amount of lines, lyrics, and blocking that I have to get my head around is a bit overwhelming. Not to mention the amount of extra attention I need to give the gym to try to get into the physical shape the Patrick Bateman is supposed to be in.



What do you like about the show? Why did you choose to be involved? 

Jarrod: It's hard to pass up the opportunity to be the amateur premiere of a show. It's even harder to pass up the opportunity to really play with an unexplored text and bring a new interpretation to the work. What I enjoy most about American Psycho though is its ridiculousness. As someone who comes from an improv comedy background, I enjoy how silly this show can get. Nowhere else will you get people up and singing about business cards one moment and then see buckets of blood fill the stage the next.


Tanya: I love doing less known, smaller cast shows. I think it’s a great way to really sink your teeth into a project. When I heard the music, especially Evelyn’s song I knew I had to audition for her!!


Alex: When I heard that Rising Arts were putting this on, I was initially hesitant, as it is a full on subject matter, however after researching it further I realized how satirical it was and that it is really a critique of these people. I think the message is clear and as important today as it was when it was written.


Which cast member do you think audiences should keep an eye out for? 


Tanya: Hannah as Courtney will have everyone in stitches with her dry humour. Natanya teaching the Hard Body boys will leave everyone wanting more! Jimmy as Tim and Alex M as Paul bring so much character to the stage as well, you won’t be able to take your eyes off them. (Needless to say I am always in awe of Alex P. He is an exceptional performer!)


Alex: Check out the woman playing Courtney, she's pretty amazing, and I'm not just saying that because I'm married to her.


Jarrod, If you were on stage instead of behind the scenes, which role would you want to play?I think it's hard to pass up the opportunity to play a complex character like Patrick Bateman. Unfortunately, I'd need to be able to dance, sing or act with the brilliant nuance of Alex to pull that off.



What do you want the audience to think about? What is the message of the show? 


Jarrod: Our aim with this show is to really poke holes in things like capitalism and toxic masculinity and shine a hard spotlight on the ridiculousness of those ideas. We want audiences to laugh with us and then really pull that rug out from underneath them and leave them thinking about the damage behind these ideals when the show is said and done. We hope it's something that lingers with people long after they leave the show.


Tanya: Don’t be thinking it’s all blood and guts. There’s so much humour and fun in the show as well!


Alex: That we are absolutely not celebrating Patrick. He is an anti hero, like Walter White from Breaking Bad. We don't want him to succeed. There is a large amount of ambiguity about whether Patrick really kills people or it is in his head, and that comes back to whether the message is that he is actually incapable and weak, or is he actually dangerous. I think both are true, and while much of the show is involved with presenting the delirium of his escapades and that much of it is in his head, he is also dangerous, and the message is that he cant help but get away with it because he is a rich, white, influential man, and that fact means that he will be protected and guarded from prosecution and judgement.


Rising Arts Production's performance of American Psycho: The Musical runs from the 23 - 25th May at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre. Click this link for ticketing and further information,

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