Book Week shows for students... by teachers!!
Tony was selected to study at both Melbourne High School & the Victorian College of the Arts Secondary School, before gaining a Bachelor of Education in Drama & Dance at Rusden Campus of Deakin University.
Teaching of Drama, Dance & English followed in a range of private performing arts schools, special education settings, primary schools, and secondary schools where Tony continues to teach today.
Tony also worked professionally on a range of theatrical, dance, singing & musical theatre projects before creating his first children’s theatre company in 1999. Tony Bones Entertainment “Children’s Theatre by Qualified Teachers" grew over 16 years to tour a total of 32 CBCA Book Week short-listed book shows that Tony personally adapted for the stage for school Book Week programs. He also created 6 original Theatre In Education productions that focussed on bullying, maths & science, Australian Christmas, puppetry, fairytales & iconic Australians. Alongside these school shows, Tony also created 25 original party character productions that were performed at corporate events, festivals & parties both in Australia & overseas, as well as a number of different musical cabaret productions that toured for corporate functions & events.
After 16 years of solid touring around Australia & constant show development, Tony sold Tony Bones Entertainment at the end of 2014 & finally took a "gap year" to travel around Australia with his young family in 2015. This was an amazing experience, especially exploring the range of community-based arts programs on offer around the country.
Since his return, Tony has been writing an adult contemporary musical theatre show entitled "Listen To Me" with composer Gerald Marko. The show explores the issues of women escaping generational domestic abuse & the challenges for carers and their dependents living with a disability. Tony proudly holds a full Australasian Performing Right Association (APRA) membership as an Australian composer & lyricist.
He has simultaneously returned to part-time teaching in the Victorian secondary school system which still allows him the time to create theatre in education with his new Theatre In Education company.
Books To Life has a much smaller staff (Tony) and a much clearer focus - the CBCA Book Week shortlisted Picture Book of the Year show! This new model has been created in direct response to many schools requesting a lower-priced Theatre In Education experience that still has the highest quality of performance & stagecraft elements that schools grew to know with Tony's shows.
Tony says: “With this new, niche business I finally get to focus all of my creative energy on just one new major theatre in education production each year. It is the project I’ve always loved creating & performing the most - the new CBCA Book Week short-listed Picture Book of the Year. After 16 years of building up a large company of performers with several casts touring multiple productions around the country, I’m now so excited to be able to throw all of my time, creativity & performance skills into just one amazing new production each year. The fact that I personally get to perform every single performance myself to tens of thousands of students across the country each year is even more exciting! The new setup is much more adaptable & flexible than my previous one, & offers the very latest technology in theatre with raised stages, the latest state of the art sound systems & wireless headset microphone, cutting edge wireless DMX lighting, and multiple digital projectors & rear projection screens, all run via remote control on stage. By upgrading to the latest technologies I've been able to cut out the need for a second staff member to operate sound, lighting & projectors & can now do it myself within the show without anyone even knowing. It is amazing what the tech gear can do now and this all results in a big reduction in price & at the same time an even more spectacular theatre experience for the students & teachers. The students are now even more involved in the show than they ever used to be which was a direct result of feedback from the schools of what they wanted to see.”
Tony has now performed for well over a million school students across Australia & with his new INTERACTIVE VIRTUAL show option, even more students can share in the show both locally & abroad. To see what some of the schools have had to say click here!!!
Tony currently holds Public Liability Cover of $30,000,000, Product Liability Cover of $30,000,000, & Professional Indemnity Insurance of $10,000,000.
CBCA SHORT-LISTED BOOKS ADAPTED FOR THE STAGE BY TONY APPLEBY FOR BOOKS TO LIFE Writer, Director, Co-Composer & Performer
CBCA SHORT-LISTED BOOKS ADAPTED FOR THE STAGE BY TONY APPLEBY FOR TONY BONES ENTERTAINMENT Writer, Director, Co-Composer & Performer
ORIGINAL THEATRE IN EDUCATION SCRIPTS FOR THE STAGE BY TONY APPLEBY FOR TONY BONES ENTERTAINMENT Writer, Director, Co-Composer & Performer
CABARET PERFORMANCES FOR THE STAGE BY TONY APPLEBY FOR TONY BONES ENTERTAINMENT - Writer, Director & Performer
ORIGINAL PARTY CHARACTER SCRIPTS FOR THE STAGE BY TONY APPLEBY FOR TONY BONES ENTERTAINMENT Writer, Director, Co-Composer & Performer
ORIGINAL PARTY CHARACTER SCRIPTS FOR THE STAGE BY TONY APPLEBY FOR TONY BONES ENTERTAINMENT Writer, Director & Co-Composer
Casual Relief Teaching - 1997-2021 (various schools)
Marni is a graduate of the full-time Dance and Drama course at “Dance Factory”. Here she studied under Dulcie Lee, Barbara Warren-Smith, Kelly Akyers, Colin Anthony, Sue Ellen-Cocks, Sonali Versace, Kevin Coyne and Mark Laguerre. Her subjects studied included Jazz, Classical, Tap, Contemporary, Drama, Modeling, Acrobatics and Singing.
Upon graduating, Marni flew to Japan to complete several contracts as a cabaret dancer in both Izaka and Kamata. She returned to Melbourne performing in regular dance and fashion parades at several of Melbourne’s nightspots.
Marni has since performed in many musicals as a dance specialist and often as dance captain. She was choreographer for "Musicals On Show" and co-choreographer for "PLOS Entertains in Concert". As a dancer & dance captain her musical theatre credits include "Song, Dance & a Touch of Cabaret", the world premiere season of John English’s "Paris", "West Side Story", Laurie in "A Chorus Line", "Jesus Christ Superstar", "Les Miserables", "Follies", "Joseph and the Amazing Technicolor Dreamcoat", "Anything Goes", "Sweet Charity", "Song Dance & All That Jazz", "Me & My Girl", "Spotlight ’96", "42nd Street", "Spotlight ’95" and the "Gala Opening Night of the Frankston Cultural Centre".
She also developed a passion for performing in children’s theatre and pantomimes such as "Robin Hood Rides Again" and "Pinocchio" where she both performed and acted as assistant to the choreographer and director. Other pantomimes include "Peter Pan" and "Snow White" with Rainbow Theatre.
Marni began working in Arts Administration & in various off-stage roles when she joined Tony Bones Entertainment in 2002 through until she & Tony sold the company at the end of 2014. In that time she was the technical lighting and sound operator for the cabaret productions, ran the admin department, managed all of the party staff, packed the party equipment, managed the party bookings, designed the props & costumes as well as having various administrative roles within the company. Always on the lookout for new challenges, she loved the way TBE allowed her to be creative behind the scenes.
It was on her return from Japan that Marni started concentrating more fully on her other passion: animal welfare. Marni worked for over 20 years with the RSPCA in the areas of animal welfare, livestock management, cat boarding, lost and found, customer service and office management. More recently she began a new work chapter employed in administration & customer service at a private veterinary clinic in Kew. She now splits her time between there, Books To Life, and family life with Tony & their two school-aged children.
COSTUME & PROPS DESIGN WITH TONY APPLEBY FOR CBCA SHORT-LISTED BOOKS FOR BOOKS TO LIFE
Littlelight (2021 - Live & Interactive Virtual Production - based on the CBCA 2021 Shortlisted Picture Book of the Year by Kelly Canby)
Hello Lighthouse (2020 - Interactive Virtual Production - based on the CBCA 2020 Shortlisted Picture Book of the Year by Sophie Blackall)
COSTUME & PROPS DESIGN WITH TONY APPLEBY FOR CBCA SHORT-LISTED BOOKS FOR TONY BONES ENTERTAINMENT
COSTUME & PROPS DESIGN WITH TONY APPLEBY FOR ORIGINAL THEATRE IN EDUCATION SCRIPTS FOR THE STAGE FOR TONY BONES ENTERTAINMENT
Peter has worked as a freelance Lighting Designer and Production Manager for many years, working on productions and events all over Australia and Internationally. Peter started working with The Australian Shakespeare Company in 2013. During his time at the ASC Peter has worked on a diverse range of indoor and outdoor performances, in the roles of both Lighting Technician and Production Manager.
His ASC Production credits include: ‘As You Like It’, ’A Midsummer Night’s Dream’, “Shakespeare’s Best Bits”, “Twelfth Night” and “Hamlet’. For the past two years, Peter has also worked on the ’Walking with Spirits Festival’, a production which takes place in a remote Northern Territory location with an audience of over 500 people. In contrast, Peter has also worked on the UK performance seasons managing the tours of “The Wind in the Willows” and “Tinker Bell and The Dream Fairies”.
Peter also has a successful freelance portfolio as a lighting designer. His critically acclaimed design of “Guilty Pleasures” (Blue Saint Productions), which starred Angelique Cassimatis, has also toured Australia.
Most recently, Peter has held the role of Production Manager on the Australian revival of ‘Godspell: the Musical’ which performed at the Sydney Opera House and the Arts Centre Melbourne.
As a whizz with the cutting edge QLAB software, Peter has brought his technical chops to integrate all of the sound, DMX lighting, digital projections & animations for our 2018 show "A Walk in the Bush", as well as designing many technical elements for the production himself. Peter is truly pushing new boundaries with his technical design in theatre in education in Australia.
TECHNICAL DESIGN WITH TONY APPLEBY FOR CBCA SHORT-LISTED BOOKS FOR BOOKS TO LIFE Technical Designer - Sound, Lighting, Digital Projection & Animation.
Adrian is a diverse Melbourne-based musician who works in the areas of musical direction, vocal coaching, accompanying, recording, and piano teaching.
MUSIC & SONGS CREATED WITH TONY APPLEBY FOR CBCA SHORT-LISTED BOOKS FOR BOOKS TO LIFE - Co-Composer.
Austrian born Gerald Marko is the director of The Voice Gym Pty Ltd providing voice mechanics and vocal technique for singers as well as preventive and remedial voice training for singers, speakers and therapists.
He is a teaching associate at Monash University, where he contributed to the new popular voice major which started in 2016, a sessional lecturer at Melbourne University and teaches vocal technique at Box Hill Institute/CAE and the North Melbourne Institute of TAFE.
Gerald has an honours degree in Voice (Jazz, Monash) in preparation for a PhD by research. He is a co-investigator in voice science studies with the division of speech pathology at Queensland University. Besides being an ESTILL CCI-TP & CMT, Gerald also holds a Diploma in Performing Arts and an Advanced Diploma in Linguistics, Literature and Journalism.
Between 1998 and 2004, Gerald played lead roles in European professional musical theatre. such as “CATS” (Munkustrap, Tugger, Gus, Skimble), “Saturday Night Fever” (Tony Manero, Joey, Double J), “Hair” (Berger, Claude), “Buddy Holly” and “Falco Meets Amadeus” (Falco). Gerald performed in original and cover bands in Austria, Germany, Denmark and Australia across all genres from Opera and Music Theatre to Rock, Funk and Rap. He has written over 500 songs, plays guitar, bass, drums and piano, is a published recording artist (Universal) and a certified Rei-Ki practitioner. Gerald wrote the original soundtrack to the award-winning American short "Brothers" (2006) and his song "Let there be Funk" was licensed for the L.A. short film "Highway 15" (2013). He also came in 3rd place with his song "Heroes and Dreamers" in the SBS songwriting competition "Song for the Socceroos" in 2006. In 2008, Gerald was the musical director of the Crown Casino Gaming Floor Shows and since 2007 holds an APRA/AMCOS Annual Blanket License to create commercial backing tracks and underscores, is an APRA Writer Full Member and a registered APRA member.
MUSIC & SONGS CREATED WITH TONY APPLEBY FOR CBCA SHORT-LISTED BOOKS FOR BOOKS TO LIFE Co-Composer, Sound Arranger.
MUSIC & SONGS CREATED WITH TONY APPLEBY FOR CBCA SHORT-LISTED BOOKS FOR TONY BONES ENTERTAINMENT Co-Composer, Sound Arranger.
Natalie currently holds the position of Head of Co-curricular Music Secondary at Mount Scopus Memorial College. She also works as a freelance creative artist, educator and performer; having previously fulfilled the roles of National Arts Learning Manager at The Song Room, and 15-years as a Senior School Performing Arts Teacher/ Head of House (10-12) at St Michael’s Grammar School in St Kilda. In 2016/17, Natalie completed a 7-month tour of Austria and Germany with Stage Entertainment as Assistant Musical Director/Deputy Conductor/Principal 2nd Keyboard/Vocal Coach with the musical theatre production of Ich was noch niemals in New York. She is an acclaimed performer in voice (jazz, musical theatre and contemporary), piano (classical and contemporary) and saxophone, as well as dabbling in ukulele, flute and piano accordion, and holds degrees in Performing Arts and Education, including a Master of Applied Theatre Studies with the University of New England. Natalie is a proud member of the Program Advisory Group for the Australian Musical Theatre Festival; held annually in Launceston, Tasmania. Natalie has performed in, directed, musically directed or been a band member for over 60 productions with various musical theatre companies around Melbourne, including Little Shop of Horrors (MUMCo – Guild nominated), GREASE (Catchment Players), The White Rose (Monash University/Singapore Tour), Urinetown the Musical (St Michael’s Grammar School – Guild awarded), the Australian amateur premiere of RENT (Stella Entertainment), the world premiere of Mátalor (StageArt), and most recently in the role of ‘Paulette’ in Legally Blonde (Altona City Theatre). She also performs regularly with The Blues Brothers Rhythm and Blues Revue; having raised funds for ASCA, Bravehearts, Beyond Blue, The Simpson Community and Wildlife Victoria, and during isolation, collaborated with an excellent group of musicians - ‘Jam ‘Tin’ - to create music videos for various charities via Facebook and YouTube.
MUSIC & SONGS CREATED WITH TONY APPLEBY FOR CBCA SHORT-LISTED BOOKS FOR BOOKS TO LIFE Co-Composer, Sound Arranger.