There’s a word in Afrikaans that describes how Ebrentia Brits is feeling at the moment. Angstig.
According to Ebrentia, it describes a mix of nervousness and excitement.
Ebrentia has taken on the role of Musical Director for the new musical Getting There being performed by the Rocky Hill Musical Theatre Company (RHMTC) in August this year.
“I love the challenge, and I love it that I have this opportunity for this challenge, but I have to admit I’m very anxious as well,” she said.
And what a challenge it’s been.
Two months ago she had no sheet music available. Until a week ago a crucial song hadn’t been written and the band has yet to be assembled, but things are finally coming together in time for the first rehearsal, on Sunday, May Sunday 6.
A seasoned performer in her own right, Ebrentia has never been the musical director of a musical before. Mind you, two years ago she had never even been in a musical.
Skip forward two years and she has now appeared in key roles in three productions with the RHMTC … Seussical, Villains & Vixens and Joseph.
And just as she took on the challenge of acting, she answered the call to take on this challenge because of her belief in taking risks and using your talents.
“I think you need to challenge yourself in life or you stagnate,” said Ebrentia.
“You need to stretch your self and make use of all the skills God gave you. There are so many talented people in this town with amazing talent that never get seen and shows like this give them a chance to show those talents.”
“That’s another attraction to this role for me… that it I’m out of the spotlight and that I can help bring out the best in others and give them the chance to shine.”
While musicals are relatively new to Ebrentia, music isn’t. Well before she tried her hand at musical theatre, Ebrentia had a successful career as a pop singer in South Africa and even sang the theme of a South African television show.
While she has mostly placed her singing career on the back burner to concentrate on her family in more recent times, she also managed to make it to the top 100 of Australian Idol in 2007.
And she also plays a prominent role in the musical team at her church.
“The reason I want to use my talents is to use what God has given me… to glorify him and to serve others,” she said.
“Music is a gift to share with each other which can bring joy and can heal. I feel it’s a great way to connect and relate to people and musicals are an extension of that.”
Another potential cause of nervousness is that this is a brand new musical… never performed before. It’s a mammoth task to develop the sound of the musical for it’s world debut but she has faith in the material.
“I definitely think this musical has a good story line and important themes that people will connect with, but it’s also a lot of fun,” said Ebrentia.
“The great Australian songs by Pat Drummond give it its unique flavour, and Pat has been incredibly generous in letting us adjust the lyrics of a couple of the songs so that they work together even though they weren’t written to be one integrated piece.”
Ebrentia said there is an open invitation to anyone who would like to be in the band for this show.
Rehearsals for Getting begin on Sunday May 6 at the Old Tully Park Tavern.
Originally published as First rehearsals for new musical – Getting There in the Goulburn Post.