Emily Havea’s love for acting was sparked as a teenager performing with Bendigo Theatre Company.
Now she will return to act with Bell Shakespeare in Julius Caesar at Ulumbarra Theatre.
Havea will perform a dual role, both as Octavius Caesar, Julius’ successor, and as Calpurnia, Caesar’s wife.
The actor, singer and dancer grew up in Bendigo and attended Girton Grammar School.
She always loved singing, but had no plans to study acting until she was in her late teens.
In fact, Havea recalls deciding to get into musical theatre aged 17, after her mother took her to a performance of Priscilla the Desert Queen.
She began to study musical theatre and dance, where a teacher encouraged her to act.
Havea auditioned for the National Institute of Dramatic Arts, and to both her and her mother’s surprise, was accepted.
Since graduating Havea has worked as a professional actor singer and dancer.
Recently, she appeared in seasons six and seven of Australian prison drama Wentworth.
For her acting is an extension of her personality. She loves to bring herself to a performance.
Havea also wants to be the role model she never saw. Growing up a in a regional area, and studying at NIDA, she saw few women of colour doing the things she aspired to.
“Performing really suits who I am actually. I love the technical aspect of it, I love bringing myself to it, and I love the platform it gives as well,” she said.
“I think visibility in this industry is really important, and being a woman of colour I’m really passionate about being the role model I didn’t see when I was getting into this.”
Havea somehow slipped through the cracks at NIDA without having done much Shakespeare.
I’m pretty excited to come back… it’ll be a bit like worlds colliding.Emily Havea
It wasn’t until she joined Bell Shakespeare’s Players that she discovered a respect for the playwright.
After performing Shakespeare everywhere – from tiny schools in outback NSW, to hundreds of students in large school halls – she now feels she could perform it anywhere.
With Julius Caesar, that’s just what Havea is doing. The play is touring Australia for a five month stint.
The production is a gritty contemporary re-imagining of Shakespeare’s political thriller.
It will come to Bendigo on August 28, two months into its national tour.
Havea is excited to return to perform in Bendigo. It may feel strange not to perform at the Capital, she said, but the Ulumbarra Theatre sits next to the site of her old primary school.
She can remember looking out at the former jail with friends, telling ghost stories.
“It’s going to feel like a bit of a full circle,” she said.
“I’m pretty excited to come back… it’ll be a bit like worlds colliding.
- Bell Shakespeare will perform Julius Caesar at the Ulumbarra Theatre on August 28
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