Alaine has been involved in both amateur and professional theatre since 1980. She has been running her production company ‘Essence Productions’ since 2001 which involves a team of professional actors plus backstage crew. Her mantra is to find fascinating historical stories that engage, excite and challenge an audience.
The Scrunch Test
Written by Alaine in 2017, is a comedy drama based on Alaine’s Scottish parents on Christmas Day and the pressures and joy the festive season brings. As a finalist in the Playhouse Players National Playwright competition, The Scrunch Test had three performances at the Malvern Theatre and won People’s Choice, Best Written Play AND People’s Choice, Best Performed Play.
Alaine has a theatrical residency at Werribee Park. She has written and produced two plays which are performed every weekend at Werribee Park and have done so since June 2003. Over 15,000 patrons have enjoyed these shows and they are the highest rated product in Red Balloon’s (web based event company) ‘culture entertainment’ section. The actors take an audience through either the Werribee Park Mansion (‘What Was that?’) or the old farm buildings at Werribee Park (‘Down to Earth’). Told through two fictional characters - the plays combine history, comedy and scary elements appealing to audiences from teenagers to the very ‘mature’.
‘Point of No Return’ was written by Alaine after a visit to Point Puer boys’ prison in Tasmania. Alaine is Director of the Werribee Secondary College Drama Club and it was through workshopping this play with the year 11 and 12 boys that she decided to develop the play further. It ended up winning the three top awards at the Playhouse Players 2014 National Playwright awards. Since then further developments and performances have brought this play to full production with a professional tour happening in July/August 2018.
‘Shepherd Kings’ is a new play Alaine has written in 2015 and is a drama centred around four Chirnside family members. It was rigorously researched through archive and primary source documents at the State Library. A fascinating story that exposes the personalities, lives and challenges of these unique characters. Thanks to a grant from the Wyndham City Council, this play has been developed to a rehearsed reading stage and is ready to begin the journey to full production.
'Was that a Bunyip?' In 2012 Alaine was commissioned to write an historical play for the Werribee Open Range Zoo to be performed every night for their Winter Wild Nights programme. This play had to combine the history of the woolshed, include a strong conservation message and be performed to families with young children. Entitled ‘Was That a Bunyip?’ the play was highly successful gaining fantastic feedback through the Zoo’s organised audience feedback drive. Tim Grech, then Manager Visitor Development and Learning states ‘The script, like the show, is brilliant’. Jenny Grey, CEO, Zoos Victoria also wrote of the play ‘The number of conservation messages and strong story line in the Bunyip performance ensured that this is a ‘sweet spot’ project and will no doubt increase awareness of the conservation work we do.'
Werribee Secondary Drama Club
Since 2014 Alaine has run the after hours Drama Club directing their full productions, creating fun and confidence building exercises, writing and creating self devised plays.
Wyndham Theatre Company
For the past 8 years, Alaine has been Creative Director for the Wyndham Theatre Company.
As a professional vocalist Alaine performed with the acoustic trio ‘Lighthouse’ for twelve years. Alaine and her husband (and chef) created ‘gourmet concert under Essence Food Studio which was their ‘bread and butter’ for ten years. All presented from their own home, Bart served stunning themed menus and taught the audience how to cook each course. Alaine provided the theatre/music entertainment between courses. Alaine and Bart created a loyal following with attendees coming from all over Victoria and interstate, many more than 20 times.
Alaine won the Jamison Cassidy award in 1980 for the highest performance in her business degree at RMIT. But, as most of her energy was going into creating theatre, she decided to get some formal training and undertook VCE drama as an adult student aged 30. The original plan was to go on and undertake a performing arts degree, but this never happened. Instead she worked with some highly skilled, experienced actors, writers directors and basically sponged as much as she could from them. Continually learning, she undertakes workshops and training to improve and upskill (in acting, writing, directing, improvisation). Her business degree helps her to have a common sense approach to turning creative ideas into a reality. She believes she has managed to produce so much by surrounding herself with brilliant wonderful people who thankfully are happy to climb on board with creative projects.
AWARDS FOR ESSENCE FOOD STUDIO
- 2012 Tourism Small (Wyndham Business Awards)
- 2009 Business of the Year (Wyndham Business Awards)
- 2007 Merit Award for Restaurants and Catering Services (Victorian Tourism Awards)
- 2007 Food and Hospitality (Australian Home Based Business Awards)
- 2004 Best Service A (Greater Western Chamber of Commerce and Industry Business Awards)
- 2004 Arts and Entertainment (Wyndham Business Awards)
AWARDS FOR ESSENCE PRODUCTIONS - PERFORMING ARTS
- 2017 Peoples Choice Best Written Script, People’s Choice Best Performed play at the National One Act Playwright Competition for ‘The Scrunch Test’, written by Alaine Beek.
- 2014 Judges Choice for Best Written play, People’s Choice for Best Written Play and People’s Choice for Best Performed Play, at National One Act Playwright Competition for ‘Point of No Return’ written (and Directed) by Alaine Beek.
- 2014 2 Gold, 4 finalist (including Best Production Drama) and one special adjudicator’s award for ‘Masterful Set Changes’ at Victoria Drama League Awards for ‘The Lion in Winter’ directed by Alaine Beek.
- 2010 6 finalist nominations (including Best Comedy Production) at Victorian Drama League awards for ‘Allo Allo’ directed by Alaine
- 2009 Top 10 finalist in Australia’s Musicoz awards for original music by Lighthouse