Black Box Theatre is proud to announce its writers for the 24 Hour Theatre Project this Saturday 3rd September at the Bridge St Theatre, Coniston. Our writers will have only one night to write an original short play each which will be staged by teams of actors – scripts down in less than 24 hours.
Our writers this year are David Rienits, Rebecca Ellis, Tom Peach, Georgia Moon, Alexander Cuff and Steen.
Tom returns for his 2nd 24 Hour Theatre project after writing Doctor’s Orders which producer Luke Berman hand selected to take to Short+Sweet Sydney earlier this year which was very well received by audience and judges.
Tom was born in the UK where he lived for some time. He has also lived in Canada, the USA, Hong Kong, Japan, and Australia. He has been writing plays for about three years and has studied an open studio course in writing for performance at NIDA. He has had plays staged in Wollongong, Stanwell Park, and in Sydney village.
“When I write I try to be very open, which can lead to my plays being dark, and hopefully funny and thought provoking.”
When asked how he is planning on staying up all night, Tom says he will be drinking wine and binging in episodes of The Bold and the Beautiful.
Bec has been an active member of the Wollongong Theatre scene for some time. Last year, Bec took on the challenge of writing for Black Box’s 24 Hour Theatre Project with Coffeegate. She has also written for Final Draft with The Drama Studio and for Wollongong Workshop Theatre’s Workshorts.
Apart from writing, she directed her first full length show with Workshop Theatre, taking on Dario Fo’s comedy Accidental Death of Anarchist.. She has also directed at Short+Sweet Festival and a have been a technician for several shows as well. She also acted in the ten year anniversary of Playmates Illawarra (2015).
“24 Hour Theatre is a super fun challenge. It’s high stress but I enjoy it because it makes you just pick an idea and run with it.”
Alexander took part in last year’s 24 Hour Theatre Project in Wollongong as an actor in Tom Peach’s Doctor’s Orders which also ran for a week at Sydney’s Short+Sweet short play festival. This year he returns seeking a new challenge, this time as a writer.
Alexander has been writing short plays for 4 years. His first few attempts were part of the IPAC’s ‘Young Playwright’s Project’, with Mari-Oh, No!, When All of a Sudden, and Trial and Error. In 2014, he started taking writing electives at UOW, and it helped immensely. Last year, his short script Roughing It went on to win Panel Favourite at Workshop Theatre’s Workshorts, and this year he returned to his roots to again write for IPAC’s Final Draft with a piece entitled Red Planet with a Caramel Center.
To see through the night, Alexander plans on delving into his playlist of the most amazing video game soundtracks ever, which, according to Alexander, includes tracks that one cannot listen to without head-banging. His biggest problem will be selecting the most stimulating tracks out of his 22+ hour theme music collection.
Our youngest writer, Port Macquarie product Georgia Moon has already made impressive in-roads to the Illawarra theatre scene over the last few years since moving to the South Coast. Georgia has only recently finished year 12 and has been accepted to the University of Wollongong for study in theatre and philosophy.
She has performed in Merlin Live’s production of Joseph and the Amazing Technicolour Dreamcoat and their feature film The Girl Who Lived. She has been involved in several productions at her high-school including playing “mum” in Hating Alison Ashley and has written and directed plays for classmates with special needs. She has sung competitively in eisteddfods since the age of 13 and is currently undertaking two other writing projects with Merrigong Theatre Company and the Illawarra Youth Arts Project.
“I thought the 24 hour writing project provided a unique opportunity to challenge my skills as a writer. The task is a lofty one; to have strong, dynamic characters and an eloquent script created in under 24 hours but this pressure is precisely what attracted me to the project in the first place. I find my best writing ensues under these conditions and in the spirit of creating good work, I thought I owe it to myself, to my characters and to my audience to take part.”
David Rienits returns to 24 Hour Theatre after writing the moving piece Listen in last year’s production. A creative writing graduate at the University of Wollongong, David also has an extensive theatre resume which includes writing or acting with Roo Theatre Company (Shellharbour), Arcadians Theatre Group, Wollongong Workshop Theatre, Dire Theatre, IYAP and Black Box Theatre. David has also worked with the IPAC as a writing teacher, mentor and playwright for various programs.
“Writing for me is like exploration. I was born in the wrong era for actual adventure, too late to explore Earth and too early to explore space, so instead I’m left to explore humanity and stories. To explore what makes people react and emote, to explore why people might act the way they do. Whether to depict the ideal or to depict the real, whether to make a point or allow the audience to explore themselves. That’s why I’ll always come back to 24 Hour Theatre. Staying up overnight won’t be a hassle. I have had multiple 12-hour writing, assessment doing and D&D playing nights, so my body is well-trained in the art of burning the candle at both ends.”
A gifted writer, director, designer, and also the owner of the Phoenix Theatre – Steen has started building a talented group of emerging artists many of which are currently training, or have graduated through the highly regarded School of Creative Arts at the University of Wollongong. Steen also has strong ties with established professional artists and theatre groups in Australia and abroad. His vision of opening up his space to independent theatre groups, including Black Box Theatre, is setting up the Phoenix Theatre as a potential hub not only for Phoenix productions, but for the many independent groups making a name for themselves in the Illawarra.
At the age of 10 he was introduced to The Complete Works of William Shakespeare and he has had a love affair with the Bard ever since – recently directing his fourth Macbeth production at the Phoenix in 2015.
Steen has a passion for fine teas and quality food, evident from the successful opening of his café on Crown Street Wollongong – Ziggy’s House of Nomms.