Theatre from a Non-theatre Perspective

Ignition

I am a live gig girl. I have been for a very long time. Theatre scares me.

Why? Because I don’t think I get it.

This is my disclaimer for the hesitations you are about to witness.

As part of a new series of articles I am attempting to write I am going to take a (reasonably) proactive approach toward trying sh*t.

It shan’t just be any old sh*t either… it will be the sh*t I never thought I’d be interested in.

Call it boredom taking it’s toll, but I’m looking to create some fresh neural pathways.

Of recent times I have been lucky enough to work side-by-side with a lovely young lady who happens to be a drama major as well as a certified theatre fiend.

She is also a marketing genius, but that’s another story.

We bond over all kinds of things that wouldn’t be obvious to the observer, and that’s one of the reasons why I love our friendship. It doesn’t really make sense. But then again, it does.

In one of our late night post Marketing Meeting chats, she (sensing the danger my non-theatre-attending artistic soul was in) invited me to come and see a play – her play. She co-directed this thing from the ground up – script, stage directions, lighting, sound, the whole shebang.

No pressure.

Thus, I found myself standing next to the Box Office at La Boite Theatre Company – lovely place, you should go – staring down the barrel of a fully loaded theatre gun.

I had some stern words for myself.

I said, ‘Caitlin, get it together – you need to work with this girl for another three months’.

A young man’s voice echoed down the stairwell. He was performing a dramatic monologue (in a very professional manner, as if this happens all the time) from within said stairwell. He introduced us to the content of the show. We were told that Crave: A Takeaway Show was an original work utilizing traditional narrative, abstract text and physical theatre to create an immersive audience experience.

My reaction went something along the lines of ‘I hope they don’t touch me’.

Now, student theatre does its own thing in the very best of ways. Crave created a world in that space. The theme of the work was ‘what feeds the mouth, doesn’t always feed the soul’. It posed uncomfortable questions about consumerism and consumption of media. It pushed the audience to question themselves, but it made them laugh as the did it. The actors timed lines to perfection, bouncing off one another as if merely chatting. They cracked a joke and doled out moralistic guidance in the same sentence. It brings you right into the moment. It’s provocative, you know?

I walked away with a cacophony of thoughts bouncing around my brain.

Student theatre, survived. Strike that from the list of things that are not my thing.

And the twenty dollar question… would I go again?

Honestly? Try and stop me.

Crave: A Takeaway Show (Opiate Productions) was performed as part of FAST Festival of Australian Student Theatre at La Boite Theatre on September 8th 2012.

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