Pigs Fly Productions Inc. aim to produce and promote quality theatrical entertainment for the residents and visitors to the Southern Highlands. We aim to encourage, educate and support those individuals and groups in the community, who share the same goal. In 2012, our friendship and the idea for our production team were born. Pigs Fly to prove that "life is full of possibilities".
Meet The Piggies
In 1987, a tall blonde girl was to blame for changing Lou’s direction away from filmmaking and introducing him into the crazy world of theatre and live performance. He sat there, by her piano, turning the sheet music for her, but was constantly distracted by the action on stage. He lost that job, and the girl, and 27 years later, his passion for theatre and people are stronger than ever. With over 70 productions under his now straining belt, Lou has held many titles within theatre: spot operator, runner, program seller, stage crew, production manager, producer and now director.
His theatrical life changed in 1989, when he was given the opportunity to be production manager on ‘Grease’ (ESMS) starring Paul Capsis. Following the ‘buzz’ and grey hairs that that experience gave him, Lou followed up, again as production manager, with ‘Westside Story’ in 1990, starring Hugh Jackman in the role of ‘Tony’. He continued along this path, production managing over a dozen more shows, including ‘Godspell’ (T.H.E Theatre Company), ‘Me and my Girl’ (SYMT), ‘Les Miserable’ (Tamworth Musical Society), ‘Jesus Christ Superstar’(T.H.E. Theatre Company) and ‘Leader of the Pack’(ESMS).
Not content to just head a production team, in 1991, Lou co-founded and was Vice President of his own production company, Barefoot Theatrical Productions Inc., and produced two show, ‘Boys’ Own McBeth’ and ‘Billy Bishop Goes to War’. From 1991-93, Lou and his team stage managed ‘Theatrefest Inc.’, a collection of short plays performed by various groups from around Sydney, performed over 3 nights, at the Phoenix Theatre, Chatswood, and from 1993-96 the Barefoot boys managed backstage on several Australia Day Concerts around Sydney. Not satisfied his plate was totally full, during the late ‘90s, Lou co-produced a short film in Balmain and completed 3 filmmaking courses, all of which have never really been used, as the lure of the theatre was too strong.
Reaching burnout in 2001, parenthood delivered a much needed hiatus from theatre and Lou tried his hand at being a father. Shortly after his first born took to the stage at the age of 10, the theatre bug was inflamed once again. In 2012, Lou became involved, through his children’s theatrical ventures, with SHYAC (Southern Highland Youth Arts Council), as a parent liaison officer, which is where he met Fiona Jowett and Gregory Oehm. On September the 4th, 2013, through that friendship and like-minded creative ideas and passion, Pigs Fly Productions Inc. was officially born. Working with SHYAC, he and the team developed and ran ‘ACTcelerate’, a version of Crash Test Drama for kids. Since the birth of Pigs Fly, Lou has also performed some voice acting (‘The Railway Children’) for an audio book, co-written and directed a short play for Crash Test Drama in Cronulla and Bundanoon, completed a playwriting course and witnessed both his children discover the magic of live theatre.
Lou is extremely proud to be the President of Pigs Fly Productions. He was the Co-Director and Producer of 2014 Canberra Area Theatre award winning hit, ‘The Importance of Being Earnest’, the Director of 2015 Canberra Theatre award winning hit, ‘Little Shop of Horrors’, and the Producer and Assistant Director of the 2016 production, ‘Calendar Girls', Producer and Assistant Director on the 2017 production ‘The Vagina Monologues’, and Producer on the 2019 production, 'Company'.
Photo credit: Rachel Gregg
Although having a longstanding love of theatre, Fiona only really discovered the joys of community theatre through her children’s involvement. In 2012 she was a parent liaison volunteer for SHYAC’s A Kidsummer Night’s Dream.
Later that year Fiona learnt to stage manage for Roo Theatre’s Calendar Girls. She has co-written short plays with Lou and been involved in directing, performing and writing for Crash Test Drama at both Cronulla and Bundanoon. Fiona was heavily involved in developing ACTcelerate for SHYAC.
In 2013 Fiona was the Assistant Director and Co-Stage Manager of SHYAC’s production of Honk Jnr. Pigs Fly Productions Inc was incorporated that same year and Fiona loves her roles as Secretary, Producer and Director.
Co-directing and producing the 2014 production of The Importance of Being Earnest was a highlight of Fiona’s short but intense theatrical “career”.
For our production of Little Shop of Horrors in 2015, she kept herself busy “spinning plates” being a co-producer, assistant director, costume co-ordinator and stage manager. She loved this show for it’s ridiculous fun, the music and the genuine touching emotional moments.
Fiona also enjoyed the challenges of being a first time solo director on 'Calendar Girls', where she still kept “spinning plates” as a Co-Producer and Stage Manager. She found herself taking the helm once again with the 2017 production, 'The Vagina Monologues'. Fiona loves that she gets to “perform” backstage along with her cast at every show.
Fiona is also busy with her career as a barrister and raising her children. She would like to thank her family, including her parents, for their unfailing love and support as she follows her passion for all things theatre!
Photo credit: Rachel Gregg