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SCAN 2003

Vince Miller

Richard Murphet

Vince Miller, an actor in his late 20s, is the founder of Red Stitch theatre in St Kilda. Miller studied dance at WAAPA and in London and spent a year on the West End in the musical Oh! What a Night. He continued working in London fringe theatre, then returned to Melbourne in 2001 to “pour his life savings” into setting up a space for a new theatre to be based around a company of actors. This is the unique aspect of Red Stitch. The company is an ensemble of 12 actors who choose the plays and appoint directors for each project. Miller is dynamic and set the pace immediately by promising and achieving 12 productions in the first 12 months of operation in the company’s converted office space in St Kilda.

The standard has been high and the momentum has paid off. Within a year audiences arrive at the theatre “to see a Red Stitch show”—the self-defeating bind of the one-off independent show has been broken. Red Stitch chooses contemporary plays about the 20-something bracket they occupy themselves. The repertoire so far has been largely American but the most recent shows, Dirty Butterflies and Black Milk, have been by new British and Russian writers respectively. Miller’s background in dance gives his own performances a physical detail and energy that sets a style for the whole company. Red Stitch has recently moved to a 60-seat converted church hall in St Kilda east. For the regular legion of actors graduating from theatre schools each year, Miller has proved that with the right amount of energy you can create work if you’re willing to put the work ahead of the pay packet.

RealTime issue #57 Oct-Nov 2003 pg. 9

© Richard Murphet; for permission to reproduce apply to [email protected]

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