Extinction

Friday, Saturday, Sunday 2nd ~ 18th August

 

The Drill Hall Theatre Company presents

A play by award winning playwright

Hannie Rayson

directed by

Richard Vinycomb

First weekend in association with Byron Writers Festival

Australian theatre at its best’

The New York’s Manhattan Theatre Club commissioned prestigious Australian playwright Hannie Rayson’s most recent play, “EXTINCTION” in 2010. Hannie has received many literary awards including the first play ever to be nominated for the Miles Franklin Award for “Life after George”.

Hannie is a true dialogue diva!

Hannie weaves her words with wit, intelligence and a great understanding of the human condition. In this play she delves deep into the heart of our moral values. The narrative wraps an important conservation message around a unique and personal human story that materialises from a wild, rainy night, a twist of fate and an injured Australian native animal, bringing together four interesting and diverse characters.  

Human drama is at the forefront of the narrative, the Tiger Quoll being the catalyst that unfolds the working relationships of this collective of people.

Extinction is edgy, provocative and funny!

Richard Vinycomb, Director of Byron Region Community College, has extensive theatre and touring work, and worked in this area before moving to our Shire 23 years ago. Richard says it is so good to be back working with a talented theatre crew in Mullumbimby in this most collaborative artform.

Following the performance on Sunday 4 August, a Q&A session with playwright Hannie Rayson will take place. 

Four actors star in this production, including Cate Feldmann, James Grant, Diva Cory and Avikal (Steven Browning), with renowned local artist, James Guppy (https://www.jamesguppy.com), providing artwork and set design.

This Drill Hall production promises to be compelling and relevant, particularly in our current political environment.

 

PERFORMANCES
Friday 2nd August @ 7:30 pm, Tickets $30/$22
Saturday 3rd August @ 7:30 pm, Tickets $30/$22
SPECIAL PERFORMANCE: Sunday 4th August @ 5:30 pm
followed by a Q&A with Hannie Rayson
(including wonderful snacks and drink), Tickets $40/$32
Friday 9th August @ 7:30 pm, Tickets $30/$22
Saturday 10th August @ 7:30 pm, Tickets $30/$22

Sunday 11th August @ 2:00 pm, Tickets $30/$22
Friday 16th August @ 7:30 pm, Tickets $30/$22
Saturday 17th August @ 7:30 pm, Tickets $30/$22
Sunday 18th August @ 2:00 pm, Tickets $30/$22

 

 

 
 
The Q&A with Playwright, Hannie Rayson, Director, Richard Vinycomb and Michael Cathcart
from the ABCs THE STAGESHOW
at the DRILL after the performance on Sunday 4th August 2019

 
In Rehearsal

PLAYWRIGHT

Hannie Rayson

Hannie Rayson is a graduate of the University of Melbourne and the Victorian College of the Arts (VCA). She holds an Honorary Doctorate of Letters from La Trobe University. Rayson was a cofounder of Theatreworks, and has served as writer-in-residence at the Mill Theatre, Playbox Theatre, La Trobe University, Monash University, VCA and New Writing North (Newcastle-upon-Tyne, UK).

Her plays have been performed extensively around Australia and several have been produced overseas. They include PLEASE RETURN TO SENDER, MARY, LEAVE IT TILL MONDAY, ROOM TO MOVE, HOTEL SORRENTO, FALLING FROM GRACE, SCENES FROM A SEPARATION (co-written with Andrew Bovell), COMPETITIVE TENDERNESS, LIFE AFTER GEORGE, INHERITANCE, TWO BROTHERS, THE GLASS SOLDIER, and THE SWIMMING CLUB. The Manhattan Theatre Club in New York through the Alfred P Sloan Foundation commissioned Hannie’s most recent play, EXTINCTION. Hannie’s plays have won AWGIE Awards; Green Room Awards; Helpmann Awards; NSW Premier’s Literary Awards; Victorian Premier’s Literary Awards and the Age Performing Arts Award. LIFE AFTER GEORGE was the first play ever to be nominated for the prestigious Miles Franklin Award.

Hannie’s memoir, HELLO, BEAUTIFUL! was published by Text Publishing in February 2015. She adapted the story for a one-woman show, also called  HELLO, BEAUTIFUL!  which opened at The Malthouse Theatre in May 2016 and toured Victoria. Hannie continued to tour HELLO, BEAUTIFUL! nationally in 2018.

Hannie also writes for newspapers and magazines and in 1999 she won the Magazine Publishers’ Society of Australia, Columnist of the Year Award for her column in HQ Magazine

Her television scripts include SLOTH (ABC, Seven Deadly Sins) and she co-wrote two episodes of the award-winning series SEACHANGE (ABC/Artists Services). A feature film of Hotel Sorrento (1995) was nominated for ten Australian Film Institute Awards, winning two, including Best Screenplay adaptation.


DIRECTOR

Richard Vinycomb

As a young Victorian College of the Art drama graduate I first worked, as artistic director of Crosswinds a regional professional touring company in the eighties. Works we researched and performed further sparked my interest in contemporary Australian playwrights – new plays often by young women who had a passionate voice. I later performed at the Adelaide Fringe, at La Boite in Brisbane, developed and directed new Australia Council funded shows exploring well researched issues such as the future of the family farm (Hanrahan Be Damned, 1996).  I loved working across artforms, teaching drama and also got strongly involved in starting local playback theatre in Byron in the nineties.  

As for some special scripts, in 2003, I directed “Strange Fruit” by Juliet Lamont, fondly remembered by some, as part of opening the Byron Community Theatre. (We were so proud that Juliet was awarded best Australian emerging playwright that year!).  Later an old community theatre mate showed me his play that won a green room award in 1988 (On Shifting Sandshoes). And so 21 years on, and still current, we re-staged it as the first play at the renovated  Mullum Civic Hall – such fun to see his camping holiday comedy/tragedy come to life again!…

So after a break and several encouraging nudges from friends, I was recently looking at stories that I thought were relevant and challenging for our times. I was so thrilled to read this play from Hannie. We had crossed paths at the VCA and I had always admired her work. And even though the theme of “extinction” on many levels seems to have some inevitability, there are always the glimpses of hope, and wonderfully, there have been many co-incidences and parallels even during this casting and rehearsal period. One such example is the rise of the global movement “Extinction Rebellion”. 

It is so good to be with such a talented theatre crew in Mullumbimby – in this most collaborative artform.


CAST

James Grant

I am so grateful to be able to work with this team and explore the character of Andy. The rehearsal process has been really supportive and the freedom that Richard provides has been exciting.  The journey of researching and developing Andy as a character has expanded my perspective on a wide range of topics, from ethics to genetics to what it means to love and be loved. 

Hannie’s characters are each complex and flawed, honest and real.  Delving into this project has coincided with my introduction to parenthood which, underscored by the thrum (and aftermath) of what was deemed ‘The Climate Change Election’, has magnified my appreciation for this precious, rare Earth we all call home.

Cate Feldmann

My character, Heather Dixon Brown, claims that she uses her head not her heart. So, I am definitely playing against  type!

Acting and various roles for The Drill Hall Theatre Company and other roles on stage and film are what nourishes me. After being in ‘Hotel Sorrento’ , another Hannie Rayson play, the opportunity to be in ‘Extinction’ was too good to refuse. It is enriching to be a part of a wonderful ensemble in a play with such a complex, but unfortunately extremely  relevant topic in today’s frightening gallop towards ….Extinction.

My recent forays in the acting world include ‘Genoveva’ in the Netflix series ‘Tidelands’ and a wonderful stint on horseback with the ‘Australian Outback Spectacular’.   My most recent appearance at The Drill Hall was in the joint Welsh production of ‘Do Not Go Gentle’.

Steven Browning  aka Avikal

I lost my virginity in the old Drill Hall Theatre. My on stage acting virginity that is. After opening my salon Mullum Madness in 1992 I started doing or styling hair for local theatre productions. Cast and crew continually suggested that I should be on stage not backstage. After participating in my first acting workshop the fire was ignited.

With multiple Productions under my belt, I was persuaded to go to the big smoke and make money from my art. Arrived in Melbourne in 2002 assisted Penelope Chater in teaching the Yar/Laban technique for four years also landed roles in film and television. Auditioning for roles in theatre, where my heart lies, was my main focus, and I was thankfully successful.

Since being home in the shire I have fostered Byron Bay Theatre Company and have won a best leading actors Award at the Gold Coast theatre awards for my role in ‘Art’. I have worked also with a number of different theatre companies, have really enjoyed the process, so it’s lovely to be back wearing somebody else’s shoes again!

Diva Corey

Originally from Canada I grew up watching famous musicals and theatre in Toronto where I developed a love for the Stage and Film. 

I studied Cultural Anthropology at the University of Toronto, and took short courses in Acting at Humber College and acted in several short films.

I have now been living in Australia for the last ten years. After building a business and raising kids, I reignited my passion for acting and have spent the last couple years studying Stanford Meisner Technique and on screen acting with Rob Horton and Mark Piper at the Byron Bay Film and Television School. Working on short films, tv and commercials.

I love the process of finding my character, exploring a script and forming something from words on a page into real life is such a creative, transcending and exciting process. I am so thrilled to be a part of the cast of Extinction.


CREW
Music composition and performance:  Ken Naughton
Lighting:  Odin Runga-Covington & Dan Redgrave
Sound:  Alex Benham
Stage Management: Josh Moyes, Louis Bell, Jill Benham, Seth Freeman


PRODUCTION TEAM
Promotion:  Suzie Mylecharane
Design: James Guppy
Production: Peter Gough
Set Construction:  Mike Russo
Social Media: Margaret Robertson
Website Management:  Alex Benham
Front of House:  Michael Borenstein & The Drill Hall Team

 


 
Interview with Hannie Rayson on Bay FM
Arts Canvass with Karena Wynn-Moylan

Interview with Hannie Rayson and Richard Vinycomb
on ABC North Coast Breakfast with Joanne Shoebridge
 

 
July 17 2019
Interview with Richard Vinycomb about the play ‘Extinction’


August 8 2019
Byron Shire News


PROGRAM



AND SOME COMMENTS FROM PLAYWRIGHT HANNIE RAYSON
Arts Centre Melbourne 16 May 2016

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Hannie Rayson’s Speech at the GPAC’s 2016 Theatre Season Launch
3 December 2015

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1 August 2016


PHOTOGRAPHY BY JOHN MCCORMICK

Performance rights for EXTINCTION exclusively licensed by
HLA Management Pty Ltd, P.O. Box 1536, Strawberry Hills NSW 2012 (hla@hlamgt.com.au)