Some Of Our Earlier Productions

THE ODD COUPLE

SEPTEMBER 2010

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UNCLE VANYA

JUNE 2010

 

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CHATROOM

MAY 2010

Drill Hall Theatre president, Michael Borenstein’s production of Chatroom, a play by Enda Walsh, is currently showing at the Drill Hall Theatre Mullumbimby. Borenstein, a director/actor, and community welfare worker for over forty years, was looking for a play that would return youth theatre to Mullumbimby — a play that would resonate with young audiences because they could identify with current youth issues such as cyberspace relationships and online communication. Chatroom achieves this objective.

Borenstein managed to secure the talents of six young actors to flesh out the characters and provide some incite into adolescent online-lives.

Fletcher Gooley plays William, an opinionated manipulator in Chatroom. Fletcher brings much experience to the play, having performed in the theatrical productions: Blood Wedding, Small Poppies, Beowulf and the film Beauty and the Beast.

Reuben Haig plays Jack, the down-to-earth voice-of-reason, ignored and ridiculed in adolescent cyberspace. Reuben enjoys Drama at school and says he tries not to take life too seriously. It’s hard to believe Chatroom is Reuben’s first foray into acting on stage.

Marnie Johnston plays opinionated and manipulative Eva, a pivotal character in Chatroom’s dramatic tension. Marnie brings a wealth of experience to the role of Eva. Marnie graduated from Brent Street’s Talent Development High, plus featured in short films and commercials. She also did work experience on ‘Home and Away’, which she says was the best learning experience of her life.

Savannah Mitchell plays Emily, a vulnerable survivor of anorexia. Savannah leads a full and active life, filling her days with school plus teaching and participating in dance. Apart from taking Drama at school, Savannah a natural actress, says this is her first time on stage.

Henry Gooley plays depressed Jim. Henry has embraced Drama at school and has performed in many school productions. Henry is also an aspiring writer; having written two short stories and is currently writing a novel. He’s also a Dungeon Master of the online game ‘Dungeons and Dragons’.

Akasha Ahrens brings a touching poignancy to the role of Laura. This is hardly surprising considering she’s been treading the boards since she was a five-year-old at Angela Mitchell’s ‘Theatre Theatre’ in Lismore. Akasha featured in Shearwater School’s ‘Wearable Arts’ and Grease. She also shone in Goonengerry School’s short films from 2002-2006.

Michael Borenstein was a teenager himself when he discovered a life-long passion for theatre. Harold Pinter’s The Birthday Party, was the play that launched him into the creative world of theatre. Only nineteen, with directing/acting blood surging through his veins, he went on a theatrical journey spanning from the 1960s to the present day.
Always community-minded, and as a youth worker, Borenstein was instrumental in engendering a love of theatre to many Byron Shire youth. As well as founding Federal Theatre Company in the late 1970s, Borenstein also ran a youth drama group to accommodate the needs of local children. Tarzan & the Chickens and The Pizza Pie Show, being excellent examples of youth performances.

When asked what plays and playwrights exerted the most influence over him, Borenstein cited Sam Shepherd’s early works especially Angel City, Tom Stoppard’s The Real Inspector Hound and After Magritte, local playwright Rod Gibson’s The Fine Art of Kissing the Ground, and more recently the works of Melbourne playwright Stephen Sewell. In fact Borenstein is considering a Sewell play for his next Drill Hall production — one of many plays to be performed in the Drill Hall’s current 2010 line-up, which includes: Uncle Vanya and Honour.

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BOLD GIRLS

SEPTEMBER 2009

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COMPETITIVE TENDERNESS

MAY 2009

Dawn Snow has a fierce reputation—she reformed the prison system in Uganda.  Now, with local government reform high on the agenda, she is called upon to perform a similar task within the City of Greater Burke.  COMPETITIVE TENDERNESS is topical, satirical and even a little anarchic.  Hannie Rayson’s inspired farce takes a swipe at bureaucracy, corruption, romance and just about anything else that comes her way.

HANNIE RAYSON has written this play in response to the way in which managerialism has impacted on all our lives in general and on local government in particular. It’s about how once we were citizens but now we are customers.  “The question needs to be asked, she insists, is managerialism actually working? Or are we witnessing merely an excess of bureaucratisation? Competition policy has seeped into the collective consciousness, like an eleventh commandment. It is rapidly becoming a world where we worship at the altar of individualism, material capital and user pays.”

In addition to Competitive Tenderness, Hannie Rayson’s stage plays include Room to Move, Hotel Sorrento, Sloth, Falling from Grace and Scenes from a Separation, co-written with Andrew Bovell.  Hannie lives and works in Melbourne.

 

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A PINT OF PINTER

March 2009

 

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IMPRO-OLYMPICS

 

SEPTEMBER 2008

 

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WINTER IMPRO-OLYMPICS

 

August 2006

 

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ALL I REALLY NEED TO KNOW I LEARNED IN KINDERGARTEN

FEBRUARY 2002

All I Really Need To Know I Learned in Kindergarten has been adapted to the stage by Ernst Zulia from an essay I wrote in 1985.

On a quick critical read, the essay might be dismissed as a bit simple minded, naive, cute and intellectually superficial but it breaks the    simple rule that important things are hard to understand.

The essay asks the question asked by school children: “Why am I here? Why do I have to go to school?”

We are sent to school to be civilised, to be initiated into the mysteries of society.

We are sent out of the home to meet the truth of the world.

Almost always the “world” turns out to be school. And no matter what the place of beginning in the world is called – pre school, kindergarten, first grade—the experience is the same.

From the first, we are told in language we understand, what has come to be prized as the foundation of community and culture. The teacher calls these first lessons “simple rules, but they are in fact the distillation of all the hard won, field tested fundamentals of civilisation.

Not only are we told about these things, but we soon discover that we are going to be asked to live these precepts every day and they are not, it turns out, simple after all.

What we learn in Kindergarten will come up again and again in our lives as long as we live. In far more complex forms – lectures, encyclopaedias, company rules, courts of law, sermons and handbooks.

Across the course of our lives we will wrestle with questions of right and wrong, good and bad, truth and lies. Again and again we will come around to the place where we came in – to that room where the elemental notions about the human enterprise were handed to us with great care when we were very young – in kindergarten.

Robert Fulghum

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DIVING FOR PEARLS

MARCH 1999

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THE DEEP BLUE SEA

MAY 1998

 

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