MEET THE WRITERS!
24 HOUR THEATRE PROJECT WOLLONGONG
SATURDAY 7TH NOVEMBER
The writers of Black Box Theatre’s Wollongong 24 Hour Theatre Project shared some thoughts about the upcoming challenge – writing original short plays in only one evening! Here’s what they had to say!
What’s your writing background/experience?
I’ve been writing/acting/directing for half my life. 2015 saw my comeback as an arts writer – I’ve been writing corporate policy for the last four years which inspired my podcast. Modern Myths & Legends was as much an exercise in writing as it was for voice acting, composing and performing. Bring on the next challenge!!
I have written two as yet unseen full plays (hit me up if you want them!). I wrote the one act play “Robespierre’s Shoes” that was put on at Stanwell Park as part of their one act play’s evening. I have recently completed the Writing for Performance Open Studio course at NIDA.
I have directed a couple of shows, including the SPAT Shakespeare’s Playlist show and acted occasionally – every character I play seems to get murdered in strange ways. I probably shouldn’t take that too personally…
I have been writing plays since high school, completing two drama scripts for my HSC. I was also the writer for a school student initiated performance in 2012. I have been performed twice at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre through the Young Playwrights Project. I have also had an original piece, ‘Colour Me Red’ performed at the Wollongong Workshop Theatre which won ‘Audience Favourite’ for the 2014 Workshorts Season. I am also the Drama Teacher at Southern Lights Vocal Academy which always involves a little bit of writing.
I have completed three years of a Creative Writing Degree at the University of Wollongong, Have had small plays and pieces performed around the Illawarra, notably working with the IPAC as a writing teacher, mentor and playwright for varied programs. I have also been in many stage plays, mostly at Shellharbour’s Roo Theatre but more recently at Workshop Theatre (Death by Fatal Murder) and The Arcadians (Spamalot).
I have written only one play thus far, which was for Workshorts 2015. Apart from that, I primarily write short stories and poetry, usually in a formal style which favours rhyme and wordplay.
What made you take on the challenge of the 24 hour theatre project?
Great opportunity to challenge myself, meet new artists and flex my writing muscles, and to visit a new place!
There’s a German phrase – eierlegende Wollmilchsau, which means an “egg laying, wool and milk giving, sow”. It’s the mythical perfect farm animal. There’s a Dutch word – gezellig, this word doesn’t translate directly but means cosy, warm, companionable, friendly. A warm cafe on a cold winter’s day, with good friends, steam on the windows, rain outside, would be gezellig. I’m really looking forward to trying to build the mythical perfect theatre animal, in a gezellig way, in 24 hours. Love a challenge.
It’s exciting! What a challenge, to make a play in 24 hours! It pushes you to your limits and you have to trust your instincts. We don’t have the time for second guessing. I think it is an innovative idea, because the audience isn’t seeing what they normally would when the go to a theatre. Usually, months to years goes into the writing process, but here the audience is seeing a writers raw work. I’m really looking forward to the challenge because I strongly believe it is going to make me a better writer. And of course, all those late nights furiously finishing assignments has definitely trained me in someway for this.
I have been ages telling my students that a limitation is inspiration in disguise, forcing the mind to consider new avenues to overcome obstacles. So I decided to practice what I preach.
I wanted a chance to build up my writing experience, and the project seemed like an enjoyable, modest and lighthearted way to do this.
How are you planning on staying awake all night to write your play? Will you be drinking coffee? Red Bull? Wine?
A client who I write for calls me Hemmingway! I don’t mind a scotch, but I suspect that for this project I’ll be better assisted with coffee.
I’m planning to do lots of shouting, pulling out of my remaining hair, swearing, kicking things, screaming “why am I doing this, why, why!” I also plan on live tweeting my progress (@atp2000), feel free to respond so at least I can stay awake and avoid writing whilst I’m writing. I’m also planning on listening to the Beastie Boys, eating cheese on toast, and drinking espresso.
Oh my goodness, not wine! I’m usually awake until 3 am anyway, so not too worried. Maybe a few sneaky red bulls and lots of sugar.
I will be attempting to create “Writing Mode” as I call it:
– An Apple
– One and a Half glasses of white wine.
– Dark Chocolate
The combined effects produce a lowering of inhibition with a combination of both fast and slow caffeine absorption.
And chocolate is chocolate.
A precisely-balanced mix of altered sleep patterns and the dregs of a WWII supersoldier formula found in a decaying bunker. That was a lie. I will be sleeping in on Friday morning and then I will get all heffed up on coffee and sugar in the evening.
What are you writing strengths and weakness’?
I’m an impatient smart arse. That’s probably my weakness…. My strength is knowing that I’m an impatient smart arse…
My strengths as a writer? I get crippled with insecurity. I think my words are not great. I struggle to find my voice. I worry that everything I write is inauthentic. My strength as a writer is probably that despite all of this, I continue to write. My process as a writer is to write. I write every day, even if only for ten minutes. I’ve been very influenced by canonical writers like Beckett and Williams, and also by modern voices like Sam Shepherd, Caryl Churchill, John Godber, and Andrew Bovell.
Satire. I’m all about satire. If I can make some sort of comment about society and laden it with humour and comedy I am a happy gal. I really look up to Bertolt Brecht and Dario Fo. I believe theatre that makes you think about something is the pinnacle of the creative arts. In saying that, my weakness is drama. I can’t write a serious play.
I am usually a prose writer and an improv actor. Hopefully these skills find their fusion in this particular task. I generally need to make a conscious effort to make voices iconic and different, which will take up a large part of the editing stage of this work I fear.
My grasp of spelling and grammar is quite strong, but I have a tendency towards being pedantic, which can result in me becoming lost in details when I should be continuing the work. Originality comes naturally to me, yet literary endurance does not.
Tell us something funny/unique/quirky about yourself.
I am ambidextrous.
I studied Archaeology at Cambridge University and worked as a field archaeologist for a few years post my degree including a year working in the US. I now work as a Director with a leading management consulting firm where I work with a team of people who advise businesses on strategy. I’ve lived in several different countries: UK, Netherlands, US, Canada, Australia, China, and Japan. I support Manchester United.
I sleepwalk. I have terrified my roommates on multiple occasions.
Other forms I have written narratives for include:
– Youth Summer Camps
– D&D Campaigns
– Episodic Blog Posts
– Card Games
– Tall-tale pub lies.
I have been able to imitate dove sounds since I was a little child.
What can the audience expect from the 24 Hour Theatre Project?
I’m not sure, but that’s where the excitement is, in the fear of not knowing.
I really hope the audience come without expectations, just ready to be amazed.
I honestly don’t know. I don’t even know what to expect! But that’s what makes this so appealing.
A fine combination of cringe moments and pleasant surprises. Rough theatre that has been cobbled together has a unique perspective, letting gems hit the stage that might have been edited out had they been submitted to actual scrutiny … or editing.
Twenty-four hours of theatre, back-to-back. However, despite expecting this, they will actually receive some delightful snippets of theatre which were prepared entirely within a twenty-four-hour period.