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The First 50 Podcast — Episode 12: Jo Peoples & Helen Trepa

Thursday, 21 December 2023
42 min listen
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In episode 12, Jo Peoples and Helen Trepa from our Exhibition and Collections team chat to host Libby O'Donovan about the Performing Arts Collection.

Because of Jo’s work, we have a really good comprehensive collection and now it’s a matter of filling the gaps and moving forward. What else do we want to collect? How do we want to tell the story of South Australian performing arts fully?

— Helen Trepa, Adelaide Festival Centre Performing Arts Coordinator

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Jo Peoples

Jo Peoples is known and recognised in every theatre foyer in South Australia. People seek her out to ask  – Jo, do you know much about…  where can I find some information on… Not surprisingly, she often knows the answer off the top of her head and if she doesn’t, she will find it out. She is a walking encyclopaedia and recalls dates and names of performances faster than the database.   

Jo’s own involvement in the performing arts spans over 50 years. She has acted with the Broken Hill Repertory, University Theatre Guild Ensemble, John Edmund Theatre, the Metropolitan Musical Theatre Company, Independent Theatre and Adelaide Children’s Hospital Charity Show. Her film experience saw her play the mother of Cate Blanchett in Parkland (1996), also appearing in Call Me Mr Brown and The Shiralee. Jo also plays the double bass and has performed with Flinders Street Chamber Orchestra, SA Youth Orchestra and still plays with the Unley Symphony Orchestra. She holds a Licentiate Diploma (Teaching) in Speech and Drama with the Trinity College of Music, London and has taught countless drama students.   

Jo Peoples

Helen Trepa

Helen Trepa is the Collection Co-ordinator of the Performing Arts Collection at the Adelaide Festival Centre since 2004. Mentored by the inaugural curator Jo Peoples, who passed on her stories, love and knowledge of the Collection.  Helen has a Masters, Applied History & Postgraduate Diploma in Museum Studies. 

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Libby O'Donovan

Host, The First 50 podcast

Libby O'Donovan is a powerful and sassy performer (Sydney Morning Herald), renowned for her nuanced interpretations and extraordinary voice. She is a critically acclaimed jazz and cabaret performer and an award-winning Musical Director. Libby has entertained audiences the world-over with her unique talents, performing in New York, Tokyo and Toronto as well as Australia-wide. Equally at home in small ensemble acts as well as solo performances, she has been a proud member of ARIA nominated Cocos Lunch, Flat on Your Bacharach, and Women With Standards, for which she won a Green Room Award for Musical Direction. 

Highly regarded as a solo artist, Libby has performed seasons for the Adelaide Festival of Arts, Edinburgh Fringe, Sydney Spring Festival, Perth International Arts Festival, the International Jazz Educators Convention, Adelaide Cabaret Festival (including working with Broadway composers Jason Robert-Brown and Andrew Lippa), Melbourne Fringe, Adelaide Fringe, Feast Festival, and the Wangaratta Jazz Festival. 

Her theatre credits include Matthew Robinsons Metro Street, Doppio Parallelos DJ Squat, Contaminations Lab and The Last Child, Vitalstatistixs Way Dead Cool and Patch Theatre Companys Sharon Keep Ya Hair On! Libbys recent body of work in Cabaret includes The Story of Meredith Crocksley, Some of My Best Friends Are Single, Gady La La: Songs for the Sophisticated Fag Hag, Kate Leigh: The Worst Woman, UNSUNG and The Cowgirl and The Showgirl. 

As a recording artist she has featured on numerous Jazz and Cabaret albums, as well as her critically acclaimed self-penned albums The Complication, Home to You and Back to Broken Hill

Libby is also highly in demand as a composer, arranger and musical director. 

Libby was the recipient of Adelaide Cabaret Festival's Icon Award in 2022. 

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About The First 50 Podcast

Hosted by the powerful and sassy Libby O'Donovan, The First 50 podcast series provides 12 snapshot moments that cover the Centre's 50-year history. Hear stories, anecdotes and memories by those who have had their lives touched by the theatre: performers, artistic directors, ushers, and Walk of Fame-ers. 

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