There are 19 people in the Running Duck theatre troupe and every one of them is firmly focused on Shenae as they run through their latest dance sequence.
The 28-year-old has been part of the celebrated theatre ensemble since 2020 and this year, has taken a lead role in designing the choreography for their upcoming stage production. She works closely with Centacare choreographer and former Moulin Rouge performer, Marissa Burgess, to come up with the steps and teach them to the others.
Shenae’s mum, Gailene is very proud of her daughter. She says that Shenae was a shy child that found her creative outlet in dancing very early on.
“Dancing is Shenae’s life-long passion,” said Gailene. “But she’s never had a huge amount of confidence in groups of people. To see her stand up and take centre stage in front of a room full of people is incredible.”
The Running Duck performers come together at Broadbeach Social and Life Skills Hub every Tuesday to rehearse under the watchful eye of creative director, Clark Crystal, but it is a collaborative effort.
Centacare Service Delivery Manager, Sarah Hessels, said Centacare’s inclusive drama offering catered to people with all sorts of interests and abilities.
“There’s a misconception that you need to love acting or be good at acting to participate in theatre,” said Sarah. “We have people that prefer working behind the scenes, for example sewing costumes, playing music or scriptwriting. Everyone has different strengths and interests and we all work together to produce the end show.”
Of course, many members of Running Duck love the bright lights and look forward to donning full make-up and elaborate costumes to perform in high quality productions alongside live musicians.
Last year the ensemble returned to Home of the Arts for their third stage show – John Red Kelly, which they also performed at the Brisbane Jazz Club. In 2019, the troupe wrote and performed An Evening at the Pink Poodle with Australian pop legend Normie Rowe.
Shenae has made many beautiful friends since joining Running Duck. Gailene says that Shenae looks forward to meeting up with them to rehearse and has really come out of her shell.
“She is part of a group chat with them, and they talk on the phone and have lots of laughs,” said Gailene. “Being part of the group has assisted with Shenae with her speech, which I think has contributed to her growing confidence. She is more willing to speak up and is excited to have a couple of lines in the new show.”
Are you looking to build confidence, learn new skills and make new friends?
Whether you see yourself up on stage dancing, acting or singing, or playing a role behind the scenes, our comprehensive range of creative arts workshops and performance groups across South East Queensland can help you get there. For more information about our inclusive creative arts and performance groups, contact us on 1300 236 822.