April Gareffa is playing the role of Emerald Bannister
Bright eyed and bushy haired, April is currently in her third and final year of study at Federation University Arts Academy, Musical Theatre and is delighted to be joining the cast of The Players. While dabbling in the mainstream working as an extra, the indi arts culture is where April belongs. She is unafraid and eager to tell stories about human nature, drugs, relationships, sex, survival and anything else society labels as 'taboo'. Did I mention she was unafraid? She also loves to take her clothes off and work as a life model for local drawing classes when she's not singing Amy Winehouse or doing laundry. April's most notable involvements have been performing in 'Don't Bring Lulu' (2013) written by Kerith Manderson-Galvin (if you don't know her, meet her, she'll change your life) and having a short bit part in the film 'Innuendo' written, directed and starred in by Saara Lamberg which recently had a sold out season at the Nova Cinema Carlton.
Emerald has had a difficult life lately. It did not begin this way. She was raised in a beautiful, loving family and traveled the world with them. She and her sister, Sienna, were best of friends despite the age difference, and both shared the dream of becoming actors like their father. The talks Michael was having with Disney was actually for a television series starring both young women and their future looked bright.
Five years ago in Las Angeles the family were driving home from dinner when a drunk driver ran into their car. Emerald's mother was instantly killed and her father and herself were permanently injured. Only Sienna escaped unharmed and even though her sister stayed with her and supported her completely, Emerald could not help feeling resentment that she was left unscathed.
Emerald suffered burns to 40% of her body and has been left with permanent burn scars on her legs and face, as well as an enduring weakness. The doctors have done what they could, and there were many, many plastic surgeries to reduce the scarring - especially to the face, but eventually nothing more could be done for her. The reality is there is really not much visible scarring but every time Emerald looks in a mirror (which is rarely) all she sees are the scars.
Emerald has become a recluse and her father and sister stay with her to help her through her trauma. Michael encouraged her to try and express her creativity through art and they discovered she has an amazing flair for visual expression.
Emerald has come to love drawing and painting but has developed a phobia about entering new environments and meeting new people. She has found it hard to move on because she does not see her father moving on either. Her Dad's decision to take on this project with the theatre has made her consider being involved. Michael has assured Emerald that she can do a lot of her design work from home and only needs to interact with others minimally. Deep down she knows this is not true, but for now is willing to believe the lie and try it out.