I’ve teamed up with Ballarat National Theatre to host online readings of my two new plays, Turbulence and Rental.Continue reading “BNT to host script reading of my brand-spanking-new plays!”
I’ve often described myself as “a wearer of many hats – real and metaphorical”. You’ll often see me sporting a colourful woolen beret in winter, an orange felt hat in autumn and spring, and a broad-brimmed straw number in summer. I’m juggling parenting, paid work and creative projects, and I have multiple creative projects on the go at once. So I guess my description is pretty apt.
I was right when I said that everything changes. I know I’d sworn never again to work with community theatre after being burnt twice. It seems I wasn’t the only one who had negative experiences and with a new broom comes sweeping changes. The new board of Ballarat National Theatre are open to creative risk, actively seeking new blood, and have a longer-term outlook. I’m excited to be a part of that. The opportunities to build more networks, to work with new people, to try new things as a director, to forge a reputation for professionalism and quality seem to now outweigh any potential conflict that might arise from working in community theatre.
Jekyll & Hyde The Musical was recently staged in Ballarat for the first time by Ballarat Lyric Theatre Inc, at Wendouree Centre for Performing Arts. In terms of production values and performances, the show really was excellent. A jaw-dropping set, belting vocals and crisp choreography lived up to the hype. And yet, I felt so deeply uncomfortable during the performance that I nearly walked out of the theatre.
Ballarat is a self-proclaimed creative city. We have one of the country’s longest running heritage theatre buildings and a big modern theatre, both of which present a range of professional performances each year. We have a well-regarded tertiary training academy for actors and musical theatre performers. We have three community theatre companies as well as a number of highly successful performing arts schools. We have the annual Royal South Street competitions and we have performing arts creatives working at Sovereign Hill, Kryal Castle and as teachers.
So why don’t we have a professional theatre company?
In April last year, I submitted three proposals to direct for a community theatre company in 2019 and 2020. In November 2018, a long six months later, I got a response to my proposals. And it floored me.
I’ve just finished writing a play. Bells and whistles notwithstanding, the overwhelming feeling is one of apprehension. And that’s because the completion of a playscript is more of an abandonment than anything else. Continue reading “The Abandoned Playscript”
I interviewed eight local theatre-makers who reflected on their careers in the theatre, and gave their most pertinent advice for those wanting to make a life on the stage in the City of Ballarat & surrounds.
Recently, I talked to an 84 year old lady who has written over twenty plays. I was interviewing her for an article I’m writing for the Central Highlands Arts Atlas. I asked her what her highlight was – and I meant in her theatre-making career – but she told me that meeting her husband, at age 17, at a dance at the Heidelberg Town Hall was the highlight of her life.
We spent most of the time chatting about her late husband, whom she was married to for 62 years.
It made me wonder what I’d done wrong to only last 11 years in my most significant relationship, and only a measly 6 months in my most recent.
Or what, in fact, had I done right. Continue reading “Everything changes”