Parke speaks musical theatre’s language and we see this mostly when he performs, but its also there when he directs and next time he directs something in Sydney, make it a must-see” Aussietheatre.com
Aside from his schedule as a performer, Tyran has built himself a reputation as an exciting new director.
“Tyran Parke is an increasingly formidable presence in the world of music theatre with deadly instincts and a reputation for making straw turn into gold.” Diva knows best.
Tyran’s professional directing credits include the musicals; ‘Jekyll and Hyde’, ‘Lovebites’, Metro St’, ‘Cheek to Cheek’, ‘Rent’, ‘The Goodbye Girl’, ‘A Chorus Line’, ‘Hello Again’, the plays;‘Thom Pain’, ‘Pool (no water)’, ‘The Laramie Project’, ‘Great Expectations’, ‘Proof’ and the operas; ‘The Coronation of Poppea’ and ‘The Fairy Queen’.
Tyran is a huge devotee of the work of Stephen Sondheim. Having played the title role in ‘Sunday in the Park with George’ professionally, he was thrilled to recently direct a much-acclaimed production in Perth in 2018. His all-star presentation of ‘Follies’ at the Melbourne Recital Hall was a highlight, as was ‘Assassins’, which toured throughout Victoria after its sell-out Melbourne season.‘Into the Woods’ and ‘Everything’s Coming Up Sondheim’ repeated this artistic success.
Concert work includes the acclaimed ‘Rob Mills is Surprisingly Good’ , Debra Byrne and Vika Bull in ‘Tapestry’, and Caroline O’Connor’s, ‘From Broadway with Love’. ‘From Broadway to La Scala’ has toured nationally, three times, receiving five-star reviews and standing ovations. The first concert was filmed at the Sydney Opera House and broadcast on Foxtel for New Years Eve 2015.
Other productions include the acclaimed, ‘Ordinary Days’ (Green Room Award – Best Director), ‘Big Fish’ (Broadway World and Glugg nominations- best director) at the Hayes Theatre, ‘Falsetto’s’, (Green Room Nomination- Best Director) and the opera ‘The Coronation of Poppea’ (Opera Chaser Award – Best director of an Opera).
Tyran’s most recent projects include directing the musical, ‘Barnum’ starring Todd McKenny and performing in ‘The Boys of Sondheim’ at the Sydney Recital Hall as well as the national tour of ‘Chess’ starring Natalie Basingthwaighte, Paulini and Rob Mills.
As a teacher, Tyran has worked for all the major training institutions and is currently the Head of Music Theatre at the Victorian College of the Arts. He is also Artistic Director of Clovelly Fox Productions.
His most recent work includes “Big Fish” at the Hayes Theatre, “Ordinary Days” at Chapel off Chapel and the Opera, “The Coronation of Poppea” for Lyric Opera of Melbourne. Prior to that 2016 was spent on “Great Expectations” at NIDA, the world-premiere of the new Australian musical, “Crossroads” in Melbourne and the all-star season of Stephen Sondheim’s “Follies” at the Melbourne Recital Hall. All were met with great acclaim…
“Superb direction and electric performances makes this presentation of Follies in Concert far more than a rose-tinted trip down memory lane…. Apart from a fabulous collection of stars, this season of Follies (the fourth that I have seen in Melbourne) is set apart by the crystal clear, and highly affecting, storytelling. With limited stage space, no sets or props and just modern evening wear as costumes, Tyran Parke’s direction brings the pain and regret of the central two middle-aged couples vividly to life… For a show that can often be just a featherlight collection of great tunes, the layers of meaning exposed by Parke’s direction add significantly to the attraction of this starry staging.” Simon Parris 5 stars
in 2015 Tyran directed ‘The Goodbye Girl’ for Neglected Musicals starring Deonne Zanotto, Aaron Tsindos and Glenn Butcher.
he also directed the national concert tour of ‘From Broadway to La Scala’ starring Lisa McCune, Teddy Tahu-Rhodes, David Hobson and Greta Bradman. The show recieved 5star reviews and standing ovations everywhere prompting it to be filmed for Foxtel and released on DVD for Foxtel.
‘Rob Millls is Surprisingly Good’ was Music Theatre star, Rob Mills first solo show which Tyran directed to great acclaim nationally. (see Reviews)
In 2013 Tyran had huge success in directing both the musical ‘RENT’ and the opera, ‘The Fairy Queen’ for the Australian Institute of Music.
“A brave and trailblazing production…the execution of this musical takes a so-so narrative and transforms it into something utterly compelling, packed with charm, humour and so much heart, my own was fit to burst by final curtain…Director Tyran Parke has focused on intimacy over spectacle, side-stepping the limited resources at his disposal by allowing the cast’s vocal and acting abilities to carry this show. Crossroads has shown itself to be the new Australian musical that deserves to go on to become an old Australian classic.” Limelight
“Tyran Parke directed RENT at AIM this year, for just a handful of performances. The show, while scrappy, was surprisingly incendiary. Parke built in an authentic sense of urgency, of wilful. aimless artistry, and of youthful emotion. If the performances were raw, well these were students-some of them had never performed before- but RENT can also afford to be raw, should never be too polished. Parke speaks musical theatre’s language and we see this mostly when he performs, but its also there when he directs and next time he directs something in Sydney, make it a must-see” Aussietheatre.com
In addition Tyran was employed as dramaturg on two projects; the first was working with Colleen McCulloch on Norfolk Island to help musicalise her bestselling novel, ‘Morgan’s Run’. The second half of the year Tyran was dramaturg and director on the workshop of the new musical, ‘King of the Air’ about the life of aviator, Charles Kingsford-Smith starring Simon Gleeson.
Perhaps most exciting was directing Sondheim’s ‘Assassins’ for Watch This in Melbourne. With rave reviews, huge audience response and an unprecidented demand for tickets, the show completely sold out three days after opening! The show has since been scheduled for a tour in late 2014.
“Director Tyran Parke has done remarkably well with this production of Sondheim’s lesser-known Assassins, first staged off-Broadway in 1990 and locally by the Melbourne Theatre Company in 1995….The final numbers are brilliantly realised…This is social critique with high kicks and harmonies.”
“This production, by new company Watch This, captures the bizarre nature of the characters and the wry humour, political satire and moral commentary of the script… In a compelling, abstract world, killers from different time periods collide, sing about their obsessions, explain their motives through monologues, scenes and songs, including the poignant November 22, 1963, in which people recall where they were when Kennedy was shot.
Nadine Garner’s bold, comic characterisation of failed assassin, Sara Jane Moore, is hilarious, and her comic timing and delivery are deliciously wicked.
Luigi Lucente gives a compassionate, complex portrayal of Leon Czolgosz, the downtrodden factory worker who kills President McKinley as a political statement.” The Herald Sun
“Weidman’s book sparkles like it was written yesterday, but the showpiece here really is Sondheim’s score. Twenty-three years after its off-Broadway debut, it still packs a mean punch… Nick Simpson-Deeks as The Balladeer — who has possibly the prettiest voice in musical theatre — gets the best material in the show, sharing The Ballad of Booth and The Ballad of Guiteau with the respective assassins, and busts out his masterful acting chops in his eleven-o-clock transformation into Lee Harvey Oswald.
Nadine Garner as the manic, gangly Sarah Jane Moore is phenomenal. Her brilliantly bizarre line readings and switchblade-sharp timing are as good as anything on a Broadway stage. Aaron Tsindos as Charles Guiteau, is marvellous. You can’t take your eyes off his demented, egomanical, smiley-faced soft-shoe. Matt Holly is heartbreakingly good as John Hinckley, Jr. The cast are — for the most part — stellar… Shane Nagle as Samuel Byck delivers an incredible performance… The reveal of entirely different set pieces and a backdrop — the raw, window-laden wall of the space itself — towards the end of the show is brilliant… This is the first professional production of the show since the Melbourne Theatre Company did it in 1995; don’t wait 18 years for another one.” Crikey
“Mark Dickinson’s portrayal of John Wilkes Booth struck the perfect note between hilarity and tragic irony. Vocally he was powerful. He inhabited the role of the vain actor so completely that the audience felt as if they were living within the character. The duet, The Ballad of Booth, performed by Dickinson and Nick Simpson-Deeks, as the balladeer, was impeccable…Aaron Tsindos gave a brilliant performance as Charles Guiteau, endearing all the way to the gallows. Again Simpson-Deeks was called upon to chronicle the demise of Guiteau as the balladeer creating the second stand out number of the evening. Nadine Garner proved she has great skill as a comedic theatre performer with possibly the best part of the book, Sarah Jane Moore. She wonderfully brought to life a sad and forgotten housewife whom it was impossible for the audience not to love. Her comic timing was impeccable. And while we’re on the topic of impeccable comic timing, Shane Nagle rates a special mention. As a struggling Santa Claus and would be Nixon assassin, Nagle delivered his monologues with such pathos that you almost found yourself rooting for him to succeed in his plot… The set design was interesting- a carnival like environment artfully created with a shooting gallery of men in suits with targets for head, representing each president… Assassins is well worth the cost of admission to see the performances from the entire ensemble who managed to fully entertain for the duration.” Stage Whispers
“Sondheim fans don’t need anyone to convince them to see a production of Assassins, and they are selling out fortyfivedownstairs every night to see new a company, Watch This, take aim and fire… Watch This is Sonya Suares’s (who was General Manager of Red Stitch) new company and this debut has assured that Melbourne’s music theatre lovers are already looking forward to their next production… With a rehearsal time that was counted in days, not weeks, their Assasins is assured and complex and deserving of its full houses. While there’s an inconsistency among performances and voices, this doesn’t take away from the production and leaves us imagining how amazing they will be with the support and funding to rehearse for a reasonable amount of time… Sondheim fans, don’t wait to get a ticket for Assassins because there might not be many left. It’s not a perfect production, but it captures the mood and power of the work, asks questions that resonate, introduces some terrific new talent (and reminds us why we love some of the old) and as this is Watch This’s first show, I’ll be first in line for their next one.” Aussietheatre.com
“Everybody’s got the right to their dreams!’ With these deceivingly sunny words we are drawn into the grim world of Stephen Sondheim’s Assassins, a dark twisted carnival in which the murderers of history exist in a fantastical purgatory… Mark Dickinson as John Wilkes Booth brings a sonorous baritone and combination of Southern and Satanic charm to the role, quietly commanding every scene he enters. Nadine Garner is pitch perfect as Sarah Jane Moore, one of the two ladies who attempted to kill Gerald Ford, and her scenes with Sonya Suares as Lynette Fromme are a comic delight. The rest of the cast deliver solid performances… Director Tyran Parke is to be commended for his direction of the show, and his vision shines through strongly in the assassins’ individual songs and scenes … Parke and the cast do a fantastic job of humanising the characters and mining the comedic potential of the material“.Theatre Press.
“Assassins was assured and imaginative, selling out its Melbourne season and is due to tour regional Victoria in October.” The Age (Feb 2014).
Tyran has assisted Terrence O’Connell on ‘Metro Street’ for the Adelaide Cabaret Festival and directed productions of ‘Sunday in the Park with George’, several devised works at NIDA,
many cabaret shows aswell the musical, ‘Jekyll and Hyde’.
“Director Tyran Parke utilised his vision, expertise and the skills of his cast to create a well-rounded night of theatrical entertainment.” Aussie Theatre.com
He has also directed ‘Love Bites’ at NIDA, and ‘Thom Pain’ for Stooged Theatre Company. In 2012 it was announced Tyran would direct the Sydney premiere of the Pulitzer Prize winning ‘Next to Normal’ with a stellar cast lead by Michelle Doake, Ian Stenlake and Bobby Fox.
Highlights from ‘Jekyll and Hyde’ can be seen by following this link;
Tyran directed Will Eno’s play, ‘Thom Pain (based on nothing)’ for Stooged Theatre Company.
A promo clip of Jekyll and Hyde (directed by Tyran);
For Thom Pain;
Tyran directed members of the cast of his production of Next to Normal in their only Sydney showing given the show’s cancellation;
‘In a breathtakingly bittersweet moment — one of the best of the night — the cast of Sydney’s Next to Normal, a production which was supposed to premiere at the Capitol Theatre this year but was sadly cancelled, performed a tantalising medley. A look, it was called, at what might have been. And Sydney, we have missed out. Michelle Doake singing “I Miss The Mountains” was a revelatory experience, and bridging from “I Am The One (reprise)” into “There Will Be Light” was stirring, moving. That this production may never happen is incredibly disappointing, because from this number it was clear to see that the team had pulled together magic in their casting.’ Aussietheatre.com
A recent article about Tyran had this to say;
( the full article can be found at- http://aussietheatre.com.au/news/tyran-parke-is-a-light-in-the-dark/ )
‘To examine his career since he graduated from WAAPA in 1999 is to see a ceaseless string of shows. He has performed, written, workshopped, directed, taught and creatively consulted from coast to coast in Oz and from north to south in NZ. He’s played some of the truly great roles written for the music theatre and all to utterly stellar reviews.’Aussietheatre.com
In the wake of the boxing day Tsunami of 2004, Tyran produced ‘Raise the Roof’, a performing arts charity concert to aid those affected by the boxing day 2004 tsunami. This concert featured the best of the performing arts community including Geoffery Rush, Robyn Nevin, Christine Anu, John Howard, Rachael Beck, Georgie Parker, Ian Stenlake, Simon Burke, Rob Guest, Rachael Ward, Chloe Dallimore, Tamsin Carroll, John Bell, and casts from The Producers, The Lion King, We Will Rock You, Circus Oz and Sydney Dance Company and raised $80,000 for UNICEF.
In conjunction with Cameron Mackintosh and IMG, Tyran produced the all star concert fundraiser of Stephen Sondheim’s, ‘Into the Woods’ in Melbourne which was hailed as a huge artistic success by both audiences and the composers representatives. Tyran starred as Jack in this production which grossed over $20,000 for Charity.
Tyran was a regular producer of Statement Cabaret (see Cabaret) and the corporate act, Hypnotwist (see Corporate).
In 2006 Tyran produced the media launch of the book, “Gals with Gay Pals” for OZ SHOWBIZ CARES/EQUITY FIGHTS AIDS. The book was launched at the State Theatre in true theatrical style with performances by Toni Lamond, Courtenay Act and Teresa Borg. The day was hosted by Bessie Bardot. For more information on the book, please see; www.tajablepress.com
Since 2006, Tyran has produced, directed and hosted the annual Musical Theatre Fundraiser for the Opera and Arts Support Group, bringing the industry’s best talent together to raise money for this incredible organisation.