Could You Hug A Cactus – 2021 HPAC Virtual Musical

HPAC 2021 Virtual Musical - Could you Hug a Cactus

With Covid -19 Delta hitting Sydney in June 2021 many children have missed out on being part of their school or community musicals.  Most musicals have tightly held copyright laws making it impossible for schools and community theatre to stage these shows virtually.  Here at Hope Performing Arts Centre we have sourced a wonderful musical specifically written for children aged 7 to 12.  It can be learn't and performed virtually and for us this means that no matter what happens for the rest of 2021 this show will be performed.  We want to provide an opportunity for children throughout south west Sydney to be part of the show keep reading for more details about the show, and how you can register your child.

About the Musical

Based on a collection of whimsical poems by Phillip Van Wagoner, Could You Hug A Cactus? is a musical revue that follows a group of kids as they come together to create a show that’s bursting with poems, songs and creativity. One by one, they each share their imaginative creations, until a nervous performer panics and refuses to contribute a poem. Can the cast help him shed self-doubt and ignite a creative spark?

How can my child be part of this Musical?

You can register your child up to be part Could You Hug a Cactus by clicking the button below. 

Part of the registration process is submitting a simple Audition video,  this is so we can assign your child a role that best suits their personality and abilities.  This video should include a recital of a short poem, a short unaccompanied song and a short reading from their favourite book - ( about one page).  For more details about the audition video see the frequently asked questions below.

 We clearly see her skills are evolving and we are glad that we found the right teachers for her! We are more than happy with Smrithi’s lessons from Emma and Mirabel. -  Swatheeswaran

Frequently Asked Questions

When will rehearsals for "Could You Hug a Cactus" begin?

We will be holding a pre-rehearsal on the on Wednesday the 29th September - in this rehearsal students will be given the opportunity to get to know their cast members and to learn the first song.

Regular rehearsals will begin from the 4th October

How are rehearsals structured?

As a teaching studio we believe in ensuring that students grow in their skills not just learn songs,  to do this each weeks rehearsal session will be structured into 3 parts.

Part 1 - Skill session, in this 1 hour session students will be taught the skills they need to deliver lines effectively and how to sing confidently.  

Part 2 - Rehearsal session,  This is a group rehearsal time during this 1 hour session students will learn the songs and poems they will be doing in the musical

Part 3 - Solo/Small Group Session - This session is set aside to help students master their individual poems and songs,  during this time students will work one on one or in small groups of 2 or 3 with their teacher.

What days will rehearsals run?

  Our goal is to have 3 different casts for this musical - each cast will have between 8 and 13 children involved and each cast will be assigned a rehearsal day for their main sessions (session 1 and 2),   

Cast A will run on Mondays  4 to 6pm

Cast B well run Wednesdays 4 to 6pm

Cast C will run Saturdays 9 to 11am

Solo and small group rehearsals will be scheduled Mondays 6 to 7pm and Wednesdays 6 to 7pm - a rehearsal schedule for these session will be given out prior to the beginning of rehearsals.

Can I choose my child's rehearsal day?

On registration we ask families to select the day/s that best suit them.  Once we have filled a particular cast day we will remove it from the registration form.

What are you looking for in the Audition Video?

We are looking for kids being themselves.  This musical is very playful and creative and so we are looking for children to be themselves on their Audition Video.  When picking their poem, song and story,  help them to choose something that reflects who they are.  Here are some general tips.

It is best if your child can recite their poem from memory, but if not they can read it from the page.

The song is to be unaccompanied - this means without a backing track or music,  choose something simple like a folksong or verse from a musical that demonstrates your child's vocal range and style.  Encourage your child to sing in their natural voice for the audition video.

The story section is to allow us to see how well your child delivers lines.  This can be read, what we are wanting to see is if they can convey the characters emotions in the story. 

How do I film my child's Audition Video?

 Click here to see a video on how to put your child's audition video together.

When do Audition's Close?

Auditions will close on the 20th September or when all the cast roles have been filled (this may be earlier then the 20th September)

When will the Casts be Announced?

Casts will be announced on the 24th September via email and on facebook

What is in My Child's Welcome Pack?

All children who are given a role will receive a welcome pack that can be collected from 12 Brinsmead Ave Middleton Grange after the 24th September this pack will include the following

  • your child's script
  • your child's rehearsal schedule
  • a welcome letter that will include all the information you need for your child to be successful in each of their rehearsal and recording sessions
  • a pair of wireless headphone - please keep these aside until we get to the recording sessions as we don't want them to get damaged
  • a commemorative T-Shirt to wear to rehearsals.

When will the Musical Air?

The musical will air live on our Youtube channel during our HPAC virtual end of year recital from the 17th to the 19th December.  

Can I have a hard copy of the show?

Yes every child that is involved in the show will receive a copy of the show on a thumb drive.  Please be aware that copyright applies to this recording due to our licensing agreement with Beat By Beat.  This means that you cannot copy or air the performance (via any means - this includes on social media).  If you have family or friends who want to watch the performance it is best to share the HPAC youtube version with them while it is live on our Youtube account.

How Much will it cost for my child to be involved?

$200 per cast member.

Can I use my child's creative kids voucher?

Yes we are a creative kids voucher provider and this can be used to offset the cost our your child's cast member fee.

For further information please send a text to Emma on 0432685383 or an email to