Centre stage


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Lizzy Hayward (standing) as Roxie Hart and Kate Xouris (seated) as Velma Kelly in Chicago. Photography: LUKEography (@lukeographyau)

The all-singing, all-dancing Dr Kate Xouris of Xouris Giuttari Thanos Dental in Warrawong, NSW, loves performing in musical theatre.

“From a young age I was interested in acting, singing and dancing. All through primary and high school, I performed in school plays and musicals. When I started dentistry at Charles Sturt University in Orange [NSW], I thought that would be the end of my performance days. Then I discovered the Orange Theatre Company and watched an amateur show. I was blown away by the professionalism shown on stage by a troupe of accountants, librarians, teachers, bankers, shop workers and even one of my dental tutors from CSU. I realised I could do this too; I could have the best of both worlds.

“Ever since I graduated in 2013, I do a couple of shows a year with different societies around Sydney. Just recently, I performed the lead role of Reno Sweeney in the musical Anything Goes with Engadine Musical Society. My character is centre stage for a seven-and-a-half-minute tap-dance number and I was concerned as I hadn’t tapped for a couple of years. As soon as I pulled on the tap shoes, however, it was like riding a bike.

“The director originally asked me to audition but I had to turn it down as I was moving house. Months later I received another call from her telling me the lead actress had pulled out for family reasons. They needed a new lead with opening night just two months away. I thought that sounded wonderful and terrifying. I managed to learn 10 scenes, seven dances and five songs in a few weeks. The cast were phenomenal and it was an incredibly successful show.

“I’m a bit of a perfectionist when it comes to dentistry and musical theatre. I tend to do a lot of work early on. When I’m on stage, I’m comfortable as everything is memorised and I’m fully prepared. It allows me to really enjoy the experience. This is my hobby—the same way some people are part of a sports team—and I want to have fun. For me, this is my happy place.

“The nice thing about musical theatre is the people of different ages and backgrounds who come together for this shared common interest. I love putting on a different hat and being someone else for a couple of hours. There’s something euphoric about entertaining people. Musical theatre is so different from what I do every day that it adds a little spice and variety to my life. I don’t intend to ever let go of it.” 

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