IT'S RAW AND REAL,
HAS LOTS OF LAUGHS
AND A FEW TEARS.

CAST

 

SHANE CORTESE

- DAVE

Shane is one of New Zealand’s most recognised and loved performers.
Before he returned to New Zealand for Shortland St, he starred in a number of musicals in London’s West End. Roles included Rocky and Frank’n’Furter in the New Rocky Horror Show, Pharaoh in Joseph and Elvis the Musical. 

In New Zealand he’s played Rum Tum Tugger in Cats, Billy Flynn in Chicago and Nathan Detroit in Guys and Dolls.

His many TV credits include Mac in Nothing Trivial, Hayden Peters in Outrageous Fortune and Loki/Colin in The Almighty Johnsons – a role which earned him Best Actor in the TV Guide Best on the Box awards in 2013, 14 and 15.

Shane now takes on the lead role of Dave in State Highway 48 bringing his award winning acting and performing talents as the journey continues around New Zealand.


DELIA HANNAH

- SHARON

Delia is New Zealand’s most highly acclaimed music theatre performer with an amazing list of international credits. 

She was cast by Andrew Lloyd Webber to star in the UK tour of Aspects of Love and has also toured extensively through Australia and Asia, including China.

Along with this Delia has starred in Mamma Mia, Les Miserables, Westside Story, Beach Blanket Tempest, The Buddy Holly Story, Chess, Blood Brothers, Cats, Into the Woods, The Wizard of Oz, Three Penny Opera, Mary Poppins and the Music of Andrew Lloyd Webber.

Now living in Auckland, Delia will take centre stage as she plays the lead role of Sharon in State Highway 48 bringing her world class talents to Hamilton and the rest of New Zealand.


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JAMES FOSTER

- THE BLACK DOG

James graduated from the National Academy of Singing and Dramatic Arts in 2013. Since then he has toured New Zealand performing with a number of different children's theatre groups including the Ugly Shakespeare Company, Keep Dunedin Beautiful, and Crash Bash. James also enjoyed his debut at the Fortune Theatre in Dunedin last year, for their production of Flagons and Foxtrots.

 

James first love of the stage however, will always be musical theatre and James' musical credits include: Beauty and the Beast, Hair, Miss Saigon, Guys and Dolls as Sky Masterson, Grease as Danny, and Phantom of the Opera as Raoul. James was fortunate enough to attend the Christchurch International Musical Theatre Summer School earlier this year where he got the chance to study with Broadway legend Sutton Foster, among others.

 


RACHEL STRANGE

- GAIL

Rachel’s extensive performing career has spanned more than 30 years. Rachel has danced with the Royal New Zealand Ballet Company and appeared as a dancer in “Faust” for Auckland Opera and in the TV series “Xena: Warrior Princess”. She has sung with the Queen City Big Band and toured nationally with the Ugly Shakespeare Company. For children, Rachel was known for eight years as The Aunties’ “Auntie Hazelnut” in shows, CD recordings and a national concert tour, and also featured in a national tour, CD, DVD and TV series as “Pirate Holly” of The Scallywag Pirates.

Rachel’s musical theatre credits include ‘Oliver’ in “Oliver”, ‘Bielke’ in “Fiddler on the Roof”, ‘Anne Dindon’ in “La Cage aux Folles”, ‘Sharon’ in “A Slice of Saturday Night”, ‘Susan’ in “Company”, “42nd Street”, “Chess”, “Anything Goes” and “Evita” (2016).  Particular career highlights include touring Singapore, Hong Kong and New Zealand with “Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat”, the 2004 national tour of “Evita”, and winning the 2015 NAPTA Award (Best Supporting Actress in a Musical) for her role as of ‘Grandma Addams’ in “The Addams Family”.


CAMERON CLAYTON

- JOHN

Cam has been singing country music throughout NZ and Australia for the past 20 years - winning awards such as the Gore Gold Guitars, NZ Entertainer of the Year - Songwriter of the Year and the Trans-Tasman Entertainer of the Year to name a few.

As well as country - His Musical Theater accolades includeJoseph, Bye Bye Birdie (Conrad), The Witches Of Eastwick (Daryl), Cats (Munkustrap) in Auckland and Christchurch and Rent @ the Civic (Angel) to name a few. Cam has also been a backing vocalist for the likes of Stan Walker, Jamie Mcdell, Guy Sebastian, Dane Rumble and many other NZ Artists.


JENN SHELTON

- JULIA

Blessed with powerhouse vocal ability and a unique, soulful tone, Jenn Shelton’s versatile voice belies her age, leaving the distinct impression that she is an old soul who was simply born to sing.

Living in Wanaka, Jenn is inspired daily by her beautiful alpine surroundings.

With 7 years of work in the Mental Health industry, and the creation of a successful album funded by the Mental Health Foundation - working with the team on this project rings true to Jenn’s heart.

Jenn’s extensive performance and production history includes touring the country in theatre and performance troupes, and working alongside Ozzie Osbourne, KISS and various NZ artists. Jenn was crowned 'Best Female Vocal' in TV ONE's National Countdown in 2011.

 

She’s been aproducer and performer in the SOAR Stage Show, twice a soloist at Coca Cola Christmas in the Park and has had numerous wins in singing competitions including 'International Rugby Sevens Star'. She composed and performed her own pieces for a Fringe Festival play and was casted in 'Rock n Roll Suicide', a Rock Opera based on the music of David Bowie. 

Aside from her active performing schedule, Jenn runs her own successful business in vocal technique, performance coaching, songwriting and stagecraft and has also worked in Theatre in Education. With her compassion and understanding of mental health, combined with her experience in front of an audience and in behind the scenes production - Jenn welcomes the opportunity to join the State Highway 48 cast.

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HENRY ASHBY

- PHIL

Henry is one of Hamilton's most passionate young performers and musicians.

His most recent theatre credits include Melchior Gabor in Blackbox Creative's Spring Awakening, and directing, producing and starring as Roger Davis in Hatt Productions debut performance of Rent.

He has made a name for himself in the Waikato as a professional musician, and amateur theatre performer. Other theatre credits include Link Larkin in Hairspray, The Scarecrow in The Wizard Of Oz, and Ren McCormack in Footloose.

He now takes on the role of Phil in State Highway 48 and is excited to work with such an experienced and talented team.


TAYLAH KEREAMA

- HELEN WHEELER

Australian born performer Taylah Kereama is relatively new to the world of musical theatre but with a love and passion for both music and the craft of acting, there was no hesitiation to take on the role of Helen Wheeler in State Highway 48. Previously Taylah had been involved the hit show The X factor, being in the category of top 25 under 25 girls when living in Australia.

Moving to Auckland in 2015 to study, she has recently graduated from South Seas School of Film and Television, training in on-screen acting, and since then has been working on music of her own and finding inspiration in every day life to fuel her craft.

Taylah is thrilled to be working with this cast and crew to share not only the skilfully written and beautiful songs,  but the incredible rollercoaster of a storyline.


FALSTAFF DOUGLAS-MITCHELL

- BENNY

Falstaff is a Primary School teacher, who lives in Hamilton. He has done most of his musical theatre in the Waikato, beginning when he played the role of Oliver in ‘Oliver’, in 1999. Since then, he has performed in numerous short films, with his performances winning him a scholarship to study moving image at the Waikato Institute of Technology, and the Best Actor award for the Waikato ‘V’ 48 Hour Film Competition. 

He has also performed on stage in many productions, including Phantom in ‘The Rocky Horror Show’, Sammy in ‘Blood Brothers’, Les and Lucky Eric in ‘Bouncers’ and Jim Naylor in ‘Hot Water’.

Falstaff arrived back to New Zealand at Christmas after a year over seas, during which time he produced and directed ‘Bouncers’ in Bahrain. He is excited to be performing with such a stellar cast, and looking forward to learning from Shane and Delia – two of New Zealand’s most experienced and talanted Musical Theatre performers. 


TINA BERGANTINOS

- ANNA

Tina Bergantinos was born and raised in the Philippines, where she was surrounded by music. Music has always been a passion for her and she started performing at a young age. Jazz,pop and rhythm and blues are her main influences, but she enjoys a wide range of music. Tina has always had a thirst for performance, this was demonstrated when she achieved second runner up in the famous 'Search For a Star'  talent show in the Philippines.

Her versatility as an actor and singer has landed her the tittle role of Kim in Miss Saigon.

She’s excited and full of anticipation with her latest on-stage role, and feels it is a great honour to be working with such a fantastic and inspiring cast and production team.


PARIS EYEINGTON

- SAM

After falling into performing last year Paris now has a thirst for the theatre. He loves the camaraderie of a new family and the challenge of slipping into a new persona. He’s played Pugsley in Addams Family and the lead role, Tu n Tumatauenga ko te Pakanga.

He’s also learning violin, keyboard and percussion. It is something he would like to pursue for years to come. In his spare time Paris enjoys a variety of sports including football and tae kwon do,  and making magnificent creations from junk.


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CHELSEA KELLY

- EMMA

Chelsea has loved theatre since she was 10 years old, where she fell in love with the stage joining the ‘Kidz4stage’ programme which has encouraged her in her more recent roles such as “Mary” in Jesus Christ Superstar in 2015, and in 2016 playing “Bonnie” in Grease.

Chelsea also played “Emma” in both the premiere season 2014 of State Highway 48 and the 2015 Garden Festival season. Chelsea is looking forward to playing the role of the older sibling this time around and bringing more life to her character than before.

The following roles she has performed in: Company member of Jesus Christ Superstar 2013, Captain Hook in Never Neverland, The Wicked Witch in The Land of Oz, Cartoonist in The Big Top, Suit and Host performer for Stars R Us, Gwen in Ben 10.


CREATIVE TEAM

 

CHRIS WILLIAMS

- WRITER

In his day job, Chris runs Hamilton-based advertising and design agency, King St. He has worked in the creative field all his career. He was a columnist for the Waikato Times for 10 years and has written creative copy for all media. Over this time he has also developed his skills in song writing, performance and composition. He has written many songs over the last 6-7 years and has produced two albums - “Looking for a Song” and "Feel free to sing along"under his performing name, MIDDLEMAN. A self taught musician, he plays piano and guitar and does a bit of singing. 

State Highway 48 has been a project he has been working on for the last five years. "It's been an extremely challenging and rewarding journey and it's helped to have been able to observe so many different aspects of middle age while experiencing my own ups and downs."

Chris is now working on his next rock opera which will be ready for launch in 2017.


NICK WILKINSON

- DIRECTOR

Over the past 18 years Nick has worked as a director, actor, singer, producer and M.C. No stranger to the stage, Nick has appeared in more than fifty productions. As a director Nick has a keen eye for bringing a story to life in a way that draws the audience in and takes them on a journey they might not have expected.

As an actor, notable roles to his credit include; Riff Raff in The Rocky Horror Show, Munkastrap in Cats, Danny in Grease, Joseph and Pharaoh in Joseph and The Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat (separate productions), Fagin and Bill

Sykes in Oliver! (separate productions), Corny Collins in Hairspray, Jerry in The Full Monty, Mickey in Blood Brothers, Claude in Hair and Captain Von Trap in Sound of Music to name but a few.

Nick has appeared as the compere for many celebrity engagements and celebrity debates. He hosts the popular season of Improv Combat and is resident MC for Hamilton City Brass and has appeared as a judge for the New Zealand Stage Challenge series and has written and devised his own productions.


TREVOR FAVILLE

- MUSICAL DIRECTOR

Trevor Faville is a percussionist, composer and music educator who's based in the Waikato for the past 20 years. He has worked with many prominent Hamilton organisations such as The Opus Chamber Orchestra, Trust Waikato Symphony Orchestra and the Cantando Choir. He has also been involved in many musical theatre events including "Caught in the Act" with Tina Cross and most recently, "Miss Saigon".

Trevor continues to operate Date/Month/Year which is best described as a "musical experience"
(or a 'rock band', if you will) which has independently released 4 CDs of original music to date - a lot of which has been placed in television and movies worldwide - in addition Trevor composes, and does session work.

In his spare time(!) Trevor heads the music department at Melville High School.