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July 15, 2013 | by  | in Arts Theatre |
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‘Merely to be Normal': A Showcase

It is time for the THEA406 (Honours Directing course) students to show off their skills in two seasons of eclectic, varied and sometimes challenging theatre, showing 17-20 July and 24-27 July. We asked the directors a few questions to see what the next two weeks of performances at Studio 77 have to offer.

1. Tell us in a sentence what your piece is about.
2. Why is it awesome?
3. Describe your favourite theatre warm-up game.
4. In your dream world, which actor would you
be working with?
5. Best cure for stage fright?
6. Special talent?


Director Raicheal Doohan on Komachi, by Romulus Linney (Season 1)

1. Komachi’s ethereal and melancholic world, invaded by Prince Shosho’s ‘passion’.
2. Everything seems to fit so perfectly together.
3. Big-booty: we stand in a circle facing each other. One person is ‘big booty’, the person to their right is ‘number 1′, the next is ‘number 2′, and so on and so forth. We clap and stamp a rhythm and pass it on. For example: big booty number 1, (then number 1 says) number 1 number 4… (Number 4 says) number 4 big booty…or what ever. Until someone breaks the rhythm… ‘oh shit!’ They move to the left side of big booty… The aim is to get big booty out.
4. Anne Hathaway.
5. A moment away from others to focus.
6. Tap-dancing dinosaur.

Director Andrew Clarke on Existence, by Edward Bond (Season 1)

1. After drunkenly stumbling home, X decides to break into a flat in which he finds a person who seems to have been waiting for X for his whole life. One of them dies…
2. It’s a play set in one room, ‘cos its got super-sexy low-level lighting, because the performances make me laugh, cry and tremble, all at the same time. Take your pick, they’re all true facts.
3. Gathering in the chaos: run around the space yelling and pulling in all the energy of a space for a while, and then stop and pull that energy into your fulcrum. Also, yoga.
4. Michael Hebenton and/or Pippa Drakeford.
5. Breathing. Everyone forgets to breathe. You think we’d be pretty good at it by now seeing as it keeps us alive… but no.
6. Best Wookie impersonator in all of THEA406 (self-awarded).

Director Fern Wallingford on The Lost Babylon, by Takeshi Kawamura (Season 1)

1. Life imitating art, art imitating life and gun violence.
2. We have live actors and virtual characters, drinking, joking, fighting, crying, and gun violence.
3. Say the following in one breath, articulating every syllable:
One hand. Two ducks. Three squawking geese. Four limerick oyster. Five corpulent porpoises. Six pairs of Don Alverzo’s tweezers. Seven thousand Macedonians in full battle array. Eight brass monkeys from the ancient, sacred crypts of Egypt. Nine apathetic, sympathetic, diabetic old men on roller-skates with a marked propensity towards procrastination and sloth. Ten lyrical, spherical, diabolical denizens of the deep who shall stall around the corner of the quo of the quay of the quivery, all at the same time.
4. James Franco, for entirely unprofessional reasons.
5. Uther Dean and Nick Zwart’s laughter.
6. Bird whistles and strabismus.

Director Samuel Phillips on The Zoo Story, by Edward Albee (Season 2)

1. Jerry has just been to the zoo, and now he’s itching to tell someone about it.
2. Because it’s a play about loneliness, love, sex, loss, two empty picture frames, parakeets, and two men getting to know each other.
3. Coffee and cigarettes.
4. Patrick Hunn and Barney Olsen.
5. Go on stage drunk.
6. I can do a mean dolphin impression.

Director Bronwyn Cheyne on Fold, by Jo Randerson (Season 2)

1. Damaged people wrapped up in their own world, whose attempts to make some sense of their lives and society are as doomed to failure as the aimless parties they attend.
2. There’s a series of parties and you’re invited! There are jokes and debates and drinking and presents and a sick cat. It’s a riot.
3. A group rendition of The Mighty Boosh’s ‘Bouncy Castle Crimp’.
4. Steve Buscemi.
5. Never go on the stage.
6. The ability to take a cat-nap anytime, anywhere.


Merely to be Normal, six 30-minute plays directed by THEA406 students are showing across two seasons (17-20 July and 24-27 July) at Studio 77, Fairlie Tce. Showings begin at 7 pm. Tickets $15 Waged, $8 Concession (Student); to book, email or call (04) 463 5359.

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