This Week in Queensland Theatre: March 29-April 4

Opening night 'welcome mat' at QPAC Brisbane
Image by Dramagirl via Flickr

Check company websites for details

Heading in to the Easter break this week, so things are quietening down on stages round the state.  If you’re travelling this week, do it safely!

Click the date on Greenroom’s home page calendar to go to more details on each event.

Continuing:

Thom Pain by Will Eno – Queensland Theatre Company at Bille Brown Studio

The Bitterling by Sven Swenson – La Boite Indie at the Round House Theatre

Workshops:

Easter Stoush: Basic and Intermediate Stage Combat with SAFDi (Society of Australian Fight Directors) at Court Theatre, Townsville. Details call Jason King 0412313653.  Supported by Tropic Sun Theatre.

Other:

Queensland Theatre Company turns 40 on Thursday.  On April 1 1970 the Queensland Theatre Company was signed into existence under an Act of Parliament: the Queensland Theatre Company Act, making it unique amongst Australia’s theatre companies as a Statutory Authority.

What theatre means to Greenroom: World Theatre Day 2010

In case you don’t know, World Theatre Day (that’s #wtd10 if you want to follow all the conversation on Twitter) is tomorrow, March 27.

You can read all about what’s happening on the blog here and, better still, add to it what you and your group are doing.  You can also catch all the action via Twitter tomorrow through Sunday, as the rest of the world catches up with NZ and Australia who kick it all off at midnight tonight.  Follow @wtd10 on Twitter and keep the theatre convo going from front of house, backstage, the foyer, after-parties … wherever.

By the way, you don’t have to do anything special, but be sure to share what you’re doing via a video, stills, audio or a tweet or two from the coalface.  Here’s where they will end up … on the WTD Tumblr ‘scrapbook’ … and here’s how to add your stuff.

Meanwhile, the image above is what theatre means to this blog … at least this is the Wordle that shows the most-used words on the blog since we started last year.

Happy World Theatre Day wherever you are!

Image: http://www.wordle.net/

This Week in Queensland Theatre: March 22-28

For show times check company websites

Click the date on Greenroom’s home page calendar to go to more details on each event.

Continuing:

Thom Pain by Will Eno – Queensland Theatre Company at Bille Brown Studio

The Bitterling by Sven Swenson – La Boite Indie at the Round House Theatre

Flicking the Flint by Kate Lee !Metro Arts Independents

Macbeth by William Shakespeare JUTE Theatre (Cairns)

Avenue Q the Australian touring production at QPAC (Brisbane)

Other:

See QSE’s training program and Shake and Stir’s workshop series which continue throughout the month (Brisbane and SE Q)

It’s QPAC’s 25th Birthday this year.  While you’re on the South Bank in Brisbane head into the Tony Gould Gallery for the QPAC 25 Exhibition.

… and check out the recently-opened Edge space further upstream – near the fabulous GOMA (Gallery of Modern Art).

Letters from a Voluntary Exile #2: … and so it goes …

GUEST POST: Nick Backstrom is an actor and writer, formerly based in Brisbane and more recently in Melbourne. He also sings, teaches and directs, though rarely at the same time. Nick’s Melbourne relocation forms the basis of his occasional posts to Greenroom. He would be delighted to respond to any comments or queries made here.

‘Sometimes I’m up, sometimes I’m down’ as the old spiritual goes.  How do we describe these spirituals nowadays?  Negro was the adjective of my childhood, but that’s at least three PC language generations ago. Slave, I suppose, would be the most accurate.  The adjective is important.  But I digress…

My last letter discussed how much more I was enjoying the audition process. This is a new step for me. Tom McSweeney told me as part of a class many years ago – my final year of uni in fact – that my job was now auditioning, and that I should see auditions as a chance to act, and not as a nerve-jangling job interview.  It’s taken me that long for that simple idea to penetrate my admittedly thick skull.  It is, in modern parlance, an empowering idea.

I did a workshop in auditioning last week with Ann Fay of Maura Fay and Gary Davy of Gary Davy Casting (UK). While there were no startling revelations or ideas, it was good to hear the casting experience from the other side and to watch them work with actors and take note of the advice they had to offer.  This was a free event organised by Equity – join the Union, people!

Fired by confidence and renewed focus, I went to my audition the next day for a very minor role in a very large production.  I had three scenes (only one of which was the character in question, the other two for roles I would understudy) and of course, I had learned all my lines, watched the film of the show so I knew the context – better to read the script of course, but not possible in this case – had thought about three possible approaches to each scene, vocally warm, physically warm and raring to go.  The auditions were running about 15 minutes late, not bad in the overall scheme of things.  I went in at about 2pm; I was out on the street at five past.

I was only introduced to two of the three auditioners.  I didn’t even get to do the whole of the first scene.

I had heard the two women at the sign-in table, looking forward to  Hairspray auditions, that would be, and I quote “real auditions.”  The warning signs were all there.

So it goes.

As it was a very minor role, I am certain that they were looking for a visual, and as long as I could do an American accent and remember lines, all the rest was how I would fit into the cast as a physical presence.  So they had indeed seen all they needed to see in those three lines (out of four) that I was able to say.

Still… I felt pretty low afterwards.  The rehearsal notice had said to be prepared to hang around for a couple of hours afterwards just in case. Turned out this was a standard clause for dance auditions.  I didn’t know that and, having hoped I would be asked to hang for a couple of hours, walking along Chapel St with an empty afternoon ahead of me was not my happiest moment.

I have discussed this with my agent and other actors and discover this is a fairy regular experience for a musical audition. Well, I guess it just goes to show that we live in an industry that at times cannot show simple respect for its members, and we accept that as normal.

We live in an industry that at times cannot show simple respect for its members, and we accept that as normal

Also, another city is not a magic remedy for the dispiriting experiences that actors go through.

Love and mercy to you and your friends tonight.