Stanthorpe's Matthew Manahan has achieved big things this year, including signing with an agency Morrissey Management.
Stanthorpe's Matthew Manahan has achieved big things this year, including signing with an agency Morrissey Management. Mark Flowers

Matthew achieving his theatre dreams

FOR some, a childhood in regional Australia may feel disconnected to the opportunities of the big smoke. But Stanthorpe's own rising star, Matthew Manahan, feels the Granite Belt nurtured the determination he needed to succeed. Mr Manahan, now 20, worked towards his goal of making it in the performing arts industry.

After graduating from his three years of study at the Western Australian Academy of Performing Arts in Perth, Mr Manahan, 20, has achieved more than he ever expected. He was recently signed to the same agency representing two of Australia's most famous actors, the Hemsworth brothers. "I have signed with... Morrissey Management in Sydney which is really exciting," he said.

Mr Manahan said his country upbringing gave him the drive to chase his dreams. "I just think that kids in the country work extremely hard and, when they put their mind to it, can do anything," he said.

"I definitely couldn't have done it without the support of the Stanthorpe community and surrounds."

Mr Manahan's next adventure is taking to the stage for the musical Cabaret, which will be shown in Sydney and Melbourne next year.

"Just before I graduated WAAPA... I was contacted by the producers of Cabaret for the Australian tour and they told me they had put me on hold," he said.

"The next day I got the call and told I had been cast in Cabaret and playing the role of Gottfried and understudying Cliff Bradshaw which is the lead."

Being cast so soon after graduating was bittersweet", Mr Manahan said. "I'm feeling relieved, but I'm also extremely nervous at the same time to go straight into it, but definitely excited," he said. Mr Manahan can also be seen in an upcoming edition of Women's Weekly alongside Cate Bla nchett and other names from within the arts industry, discussing funding cuts to the arts. "It's just everyone trying to rally together to oppose these cuts, because the cultural life of the arts in Australia is such an important and integral part of everyday life," he said.

Mr Manahan was also a member of a television pilot, but will no longer star due to scheduling conflicts.

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