Nineteen 98 Productions in association with Hayes Theatre Co. presents the Australian premiere of Half Time, a new musical directed by Helen Dallimore and starring some of Australia’s most treasured performers including Nancye Hayes AM, Stefanie Jones, Donna Lee, Wendy-Lee Purdy and more.
Half Time is the incredible true story of ten ordinary seniors with extraordinary dreams who audition to dance at halftime for a major basketball team. Only after making the cut do they learn they won’t be dancing tap, salsa, or swing – instead, they will bring down the house with a style that is entirely new to them: hip-hop.
The month-long Australian premiere season features Gabrielle Chan (Chimerica, Australian Graffiti), Lena Cruz (Priscilla Queen of the Desert, Shortland Street), actor and director Dolores Dunbar (Funny Girl, My Fair Lady), Jaime Hadwen (Bring It On the Musical, Snow White and the Seven Dwarfs), dancer Chaska Halliday (Pippin, Velvet), stage royalty Nancye Hayes AM, Stefanie Jones (Muriel’s Wedding, Once The Musical), showbiz veteran Donna Lee (Oklahoma, Les Miserables, Beauty and the Beast), stage and TV star Joy Miller and acclaimed West End performer Wendy-Lee Purdy.
The creation of Half Time began in 2008 when Tony Award winning producer and documentary filmmaker Dori Berinstein arrived to film auditions for the New Jersey Nets’ first ever ‘over 60’ dance team, the NETSationals. Following a meticulous documentation of the senior dance team and their performances, she created the film Gotta Dance, which debuted with a massively successful Tribeca Film Festival run before opening to the public in 2009. When developing Gotta Dance, Berinstein quickly realized there was a potential theatrical life in this story beyond the big screen. Having had produced Broadway smashes Legally Blonde and Thoroughly Modern Millie, Berinstein reshaped the documentary into a narrative, musical theatre feature and in 2015, Berinstein’s anticipated stage adaptation of Gotta Dance was renamed Half Time and premiered in Chicago.
Take the uplifting journey with these dreamers – and the young coaches who inspire them along the way – as they battle self-doubt, stereotypes and even each other for a chance to bust a move at centre court in front of the 20,000 screaming fans. Together they remind us that in life, when the odds are stacked against you and the challenges seem too great to overcome, it’s not the end of the game – it’s Half Time.