June 8, 2009

REHEARSING YOUNG & HUNGRY 2009 – Wellington season  

With the Young and Hungry Festival of New Plays kicking off at BATS Theatre in July, we caught up with some participants to hear how rehearsals are going for these three exciting new New Zealand plays!

By Vivienne Plumb

Despite the productions for this year’s Young and Hungry Festival still at beginning stages, it’s all go for Rachel More, director of Oyster. "We will really get into the hard work this weekend! With all the scenes being so separate, it’s great. It gives us a lot of room for experimentation and creative surprises later on in the rehearsal process." 

"It’s a fascinating script", says More. "There are many paths the characters in Oyster are able to take and challenge us to think about how we view the world and what we are really searching for."

"The fact that Oyster is made up of scenes and monologues means that actors get to practice two really different elements of acting, which is great for actors in this show." More responds when asked what drew her to the play. "Also the quirky characters and the slightly surreal world of the play was what captivated me. I’m really excited!"

By Georgina Titheridge

How do you rehearse a comedy set in the Ladies Room of a busy Wellington nightclub? "Carefully!" laughs director Lyndee Jane Rutherford. "We started rehearsal by telling each other stories of other peoples experiences of nightclub bath rooms – the one that sticks in my mind was about someone vomiting in the toilets whilst pashing – that’s dedicated . . . and gross!"

"I love the modern-ness of Sit On It," says Rutherford. "I love that the young actors and crew immediately responded to it, related to it and laughed with it. When we did character work their imaginations went wild because they were able to put these characters in the schools and areas of Wellington – which shows how real these characters are that George (Titheridge) has written. The audience might even see aspects themselves on stage!"
When pushed about any creative surprises in the production Lyndee-Jane is mysterious. "Our main areas of surprise and reveal revolve around how well we light the toilets, to moon or not to moon and what we make the faux vomit out of!"   

By Miria George

"To me Urban Hymns explores a world of youth that many people may not have been exposed to or experienced," said Mani Dunlop, who plays troubled spirit Blue. "The play deals with many different aspects of teenagers’ lives in today’s society".
Loss of identity and not knowing where you belong are reoccurring themes in Miria George’s first Young and Hungry play Urban Hymns. And like all modern teenagers, these characters are willing to learn more about the world, which caused Dunlop to feel a strong connection to with her character.
 "Blue represents a lot of qualities that are seen in teenage girls today which are the need for attention and a sense of belonging and aspiration which Blue explores throughout the play."

"Characters do not have a very stable or ideal family environment which many people experience or see everyday. Many situations are relatable creating a sense of bonding between the characters and audience."
– – – – – – – – –
The Young and Hungry Festival of New Theatre will be staged
in Auckland and Wellington simultaneously.

Mentored by top theatre professionals, the cast and crews are made up entirely of 15-25 year olds who have the passion and the potential to make great NZ theatre.

The Young and Hungry Festival of New Theatre
runs July 10 – July 25, simultaneously at
Bats, 1 Kent Terrace, Wellington
The Basement, Lower Greys Ave, Auckland.
(No shows Sundays and Mondays).

The Festival is a triple-bill of 50 minute plays.
Shows are not suitable for children; contain drug references and offensive language.
Oyster – 6.30pm
Sit On It – 8.00pm
Urban Hymns – 9.30pm

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