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September 23, 2013 | by  | in Arts Theatre |
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High Risk/High Reward

VUW’s THEA304 students are presenting a series of works titled Growing Pains.  Young directors Emma Robinson, Maggie White, Cassandra Tse and Matt Loveranes sat down with Salient.

Maggie: Growing Pains, as in “we’re by no means perfect at this”; because there’s little at stake, in terms of the show being free, it’s one of the very few chances—apart from the Fringe Festival—where people can take massive risks.

Matt: We can literally do whatever we want. We’re free to fail. It’s about learning, making mistakes—discoveries! We’re all working in different branches of theatre.

Cassandra: It will be quite interesting for people who don’t have much experience with theatre, because there’s a big range of different types of shows—you might go along and think, “This Shakespeare is boring, but I love that weird Chinese opera musical,” or vice versa.

Matt: And it’s really worth your time because it’s free.

Emma: Uther [Dean, mentor] said, “Your show is going to be simultaneously a train wreck and fabulous.” It’ll be awesome because you won’t get bored; because every ten minutes a new play happens. I find, broadly, people have this idea of theatre as sitting and watching someone say a speech—and that’s not what it is. It’s about people being in the same space as you and affecting you. That’s a powerful thing and a reason to be interested.

How does using a smaller venue change the experience?

Maggie: Much more intimate. The emphasis is the proximity of the audience and the actor, which is the thing that theatre gives its audience which film never can. It’s the essential element, bodies in space.

Cassandra: Working with actors, you’re constantly amazed at what they bring to the performance, and you’re working to coax that out of them—but it’s interesting when we talk about ‘focus’ because every director is so different!

Growing Pains runs from 25–28 September. More information is available in our ‘What’s On’ section.

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