LEGACY PROJECT: Year Two
10/02/2015 - 14/02/2015
DISCOVER A MODERN QUEER KIWI EXPERIENCE
A fresh perspective on Kiwi LGBT lifestyles is on show in LEGACY PROJECT: YEAR TWO from 10-14 February as part of Auckland Fringe and Auckland Pride Festival.
LEGACY PROJECT was created to provide opportunities for the LGBT community to tell their unique Kiwi stories on the stage. After a successful first year as part of Auckland Pride 2014, we return again to continue our support and development of emerging artists within our LGBT community.
This year over 22 scripts were submitted to the project via our open call submission process. The diverse mixture of stories once again proving a hunger to see more localised representations across a spectrum of queer experiences making it even more challenging this year for the panel to select the final six plays for our 2015 season.
“Leading on from our success in 2014, we wanted to continue to push ourselves and grow the project. By moving up to LOFT at Q Theatre, we can continue to provide unique opportunities for emerging storytellers to tell their stories in a professional setting. We want to share these stories because the more we share, the more we can learn about ourselves and others.” says Bruce Brown, Artistic Director.
From some of Auckland’s finest emerging artists come six brand new works, embracing all corners of the queer community, hitting LOFT at Q Theatre in February 2015 as part of Auckland Pride 2015 and Auckland Fringe 2015.
Humour, heartache, love, friendship and silence: These are our stories, this is our Legacy.
Act Of Submission. Written by Nathan Joe and directed by Joanna Craig.
Blindfolds, bondage and ball gags. What could possibly go wrong?
A Lovestory. Written by Todd Waters and directed by Jesse Hilford.
Two people, once in love, have grown apart. But is there anything left between them?
Negative Space. Written by Cole Meyers and directed by Luke Thornborough.
When truth lights up the darkness, will the silence at last be heard?
One More Day. Written by Jordan Keyzer and directed by Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho.
Coming out of the closet can be a leap, a stumble, or a fall.
Queer Support. Written by Joni Nelson and directed by Lisa Fothergill.
It’s an honored safe haven of our diverse community… If you’re a cute gay guy, a gold star lesbian, or you know what boxes to tick.
Top And Tail. Written by Bruce Brown and directed by Sarah Jansen.
Can old friends reconnect with their heads at polar opposites of the same bed?
LEGACY PROJECT: YEAR TWO plays
Dates: 10 – 14 February, 8.45pm
Venue: LOFT at Q Theatre, 305 Queen St, Auckland CBD
Tickets: $15 – $20 *Service fees apply
Bookings: iticket.co.nz // 0800 iTICKET (484-253) or qtheatre.co.nz // 09 309 9771
Auckland Fringe 2015 is an open access arts festival where anything can happen. It provides a platform for practitioners and audiences to unite in the creation of form forward experiences which are championed in an ecology of artistic freedom. The 2015 programme will see work happening all over the show, pushing the boundaries of performance Auckland wide from February 11 to March 1. www.aucklandfringe.co.nz
May the legacy continue
Review by Sharu Delilkan 14th Feb 2015
Legacy Project rocks.
Having not seen the Legacy Project’s inaugural outing at the last Pride Festival, I am unable to make any comparative commentary. However that doesn’t mean that I don’t have an opinion about the works that were presented at this year’s showing.
The six plays were a good mixture of personal, heartfelt stories. And while the evening didn’t cover the entire spectrum of the queer gender and identity, we were treated to a fabulous showcase of unique points of view and experiences, making the Legacy Project Year Two a valid platform, particularly as part of Auckland Pride Festival. [More]
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Review by Dione Joseph 11th Feb 2015
The Legacy Project is guaranteed to become a permanent fixture on Auckland’s social calendar.
Artistic Director Bruce Brown has curated a cohesive selection of six works to reflect “the modern Kiwi queer experience” and it is undoubtedly one of the highlights of both the Auckland Pride and Auckland Fringe festivals.
With an approximate running time of ninety minutes over all, these six short plays are short, sharp and mini dynamos in their own rights, touching upon a number of different themes. They offer quintessential glimpses into not just examples of contemporary theatre from the queer community but the talent and skill that goes into the making of these memorable stories.
Topics include bondage (everyone’s favourite topic and a great way to start the night); challenges of choosing the right time (if there ever is such a thing) to come out; the desire for voice and visibility, especially among family and loved ones; the courage to re-kindle old friendships; the decision to move on and find love … It’s all there.
As is, of course, the always essential commentary on the local queer support services.
Act of Submission by Nathan Joe ensures the show’s opening is unforgettable. Displaying poise and strong physicality, Sean (Theodore David) and Nick (Timothy Whale) immediately captivate the audience’s attention with their slow sensuous movements. Perfectly complementary sound and lighting set the stage for a night where two young lovers decide to push boundaries.
The quick pithy dialogue is perfect for the volatile conversation that ensues when things don’t go quite according to plan, and the play has an unexpected twist that is perfectly timed. Directed by Joanna Craig with a beautiful lightness of touch and simplicity, it is an ideal introduction to the Legacy Project’s second year of selected works.
Following close behind, One More Daytakes us back to those last few days of high school, when life in all its glorious expansion seems to be waiting just around the corner. But while Cody (Damien Levi) may be ready to shout it out with relief from the rooftops (now that he’s told Mum and Dad) it leaves his best friend Sam (Rachael Jocelyn) cringing at the prospect of what everyone else will think – not of him, but her. Meanwhile Mum (Jo Clark) and Dad (Matt Halliday) are having a hard conversation of their own, realising that things might not be quite as predictable now they know their son is gay.
Personable and authentic, all four performers have sound stage presence but what playwright Jordan Keyzer might have missed is one last closing scene to take it a step further and provide a much needed arc to his play’s narrative. However, that is only a small quibble. The warmth and personality with which Borni Te Rongopai Tukiwaho directs these four excellent performers makes this work highly memorable.
Perhaps one of the least affecting works is Cole Meyer’s Negative Space,which highlights moments from the lives of four trans individuals. Moving and poignant in and of themselves, the deliberate silencing of voice and avowed rejection experienced is expressed in an unimaginative and slightly reductive style, where each of the four distinct characters (played by Kat Glass, Kyrus Watson, Jess Holly Bates and Kurt McCarthy) are essentially muted by parents and loved ones (Rebecca Swaney and Steven Ciprian). The somewhat one-note direction by Luke Thornborough is nevertheless redeemed towards the end when empowerment, and not victimization, has the final say.
Bruce Brown’s Top and Tail leads the final three works and with delicious humour showcases what happens when friendships change in unexpected ways. Performed by the highly skilled Lucas Haugh and Matthew J Smith, this wonderfully rich and perfectly paced encounter between two teens sharing a bed makes for some brilliant comic moments, many of which take place beneath the covers. An easy portable set and minimalist costuming lends itself to the narrative which, under Sarah Jansen’s direction, combines moments of hilarity with profundity.
While it doesn’t quite have the same level of characterisation as some of the others, A Lovestorycertainly brings about a change to the night’s pace by exploring what happens when somebody you love leaves – and then decides to come back. Todd Waters’ writing is slightly predictable and so are his characters and yet the story is still incomplete: there is more to being ‘stronger’ than just running away with a Britney Spears cover pounding in your ears, catchy as the tune may be.
Both Andrew Parker and Harry Summerfield give good performances but verge on cliché, while Jesse Hilford’s direction is simple yet adequate, resulting in a good story that sits comfortably within its expectations.
But it is the closing work, Queer Supportthat really illuminates how important curation is in a selection of works. Joni Nelson’s script and Lisa Fothergill’s staging are the perfect match to bring to light what happens when a confused and unsure woman seeks advice from the local gender orientation services group. Andrew Gordon and Chris Bryan are brilliant at spinning stereotypes in a rainbow whirl that forces their unknowing victim (Geneva Norman) to ‘tick the box’. Smart, funny and match-fit, this is unequivocally the stand-out of the night.
Considering this is Legacy Project’s second year, the calibre of the work is excellent. The segues between each production are almost flawless and Michael Craven’s lighting must be commended for its flexibility and fluidity. A true example of burgeoning artistic talent across the board, Legacy Project is a promise that New Zealand theatre is rapidly changing to reflect the imagination of its diverse communities.
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