Random news items from an old site that cover 1994-2000.
After a brief visit to NZ to workshop 'Fond Love and Kisses', I quit my University job, packed up my wee flat and went home. Plans? Do more writing, never get a full-time job again (well for a while at least) and hang out with my friends...
At last the play goes on... I recently went to Canberra to workshop the play with Elbow Theatre and had a great time. Iain is a very good director, the cast were right into the play and the script was holding together nicely. The performance dates:
Canberra: 23-25 November at the Corrong Theatre
Melbourne: 29 Nov - 16 Dec at La Mama
A ten month contract at Swinburne University in the Learning and Teaching Services dept. Good money, quite technical. I'm going to save a lot of money and figure out what to do with my life. Well I know what to do with my life (write plays!) but tying that in with the cash is a tricky business...
After years of mucking around (four to be exact!) 'Ride on Time' a radio play for Radio NZ, has finally been recorded. Stephan Danby took the play into the Studio with a great cast, and should be putting all the noises in soon.
After much reading and soul searching, Evan and I decided that there wasn't enough good material to warrant going to the effort of doing the production at LaMama, and have canceled the project.
Ah, the ironies... Never having brought a stitch from Country Road in my life, now I have to find $500 worth of clothes! Yes, I wrote a small work which will soon be hosted on the Country Road Australia site. Also won a brand spanking new HP Pavillion (700 mghz PIII, 15 G ultra ATA, fancy 133 mghz bus, and a CDRW) as well as a new printer and scanner. Excellent. See the work in my 'works' section.
Yes, I've changed it all again! Identical content, different flavour. I decided the other one was too gloomy, and I also wanted to put some more of my own photography in it.
I was going to do the whole thing in flash, but decided that I'll put the flash effort into a web trailer for 'deviations', so there's just this html version for the time being. Also there's just a touch of database activity in the background - I'm starting to get my head around cold fusion (a web server application).
Sick pay, paid holidays... That's all new for me! Yes, VUT have decided it was a good idea to get me in on a .6 contract. Seems like a good idea since I was doing @ 20 hrs a week here and there anyway. I'll be doing more or less exactly the same in the terms and 'other things' over the summer.
Hope you can make it along... I'm making a flash trailer for this one.
At the Corrong in Canberra: Mid November
At Lama in Melbourne: 26th November to 16th December
Someone desribed the Corrong as the LaMama of Canberra. Someone else once described LaMama as the Bats of Melbourne, so that must make Bats the Corrong of Wellington??
Yes, someone thought the casino project was the best thing that happened in postgrad coursework at Swinburne in 1998. And they gave me some money too, which was nice!
Much respect to Lisa and Fran for getting me interested and providing encouragement along the way...
Elbow Theatre recently applied for some development money to spend a couple of weeks going through my new stage play 'Deviations' with me, and were successful. Sometime later in the year I will go up to Canberra and spend two weeks with them on the script. At the conclusion of the workshop period there will be a staged reading (a requiremnt of the grant) and hopefully they will feel inspired enough to mount a production.
Elbow Theatre was started by Ian Sinclair and Ken Spiteri in 1998, and has done productions in Melbourne, Canberra and a Seson at B Sharp in Sydney. Ian has also worked in the UK, and tutors at Aust National University as well as directing. Ken is a friend of my good friend Stephen Bain - they met in Paris doing a course with Enrique Pardau...
After a satisfying and productive seven months with SAI, I've moved back from the brink of corporate respectability. Now I'm teaching again (sessional al VUT tafe and Swinburne Uni) in Electronic Design and Interactive Media - which just means web publishing.
My goal is now to complete a few drafts of some plays I have hanging around and do some of my own web projects and freelance work.
After lots of good noise, Deviations got knocked back for the short season of up and coming writers at Playbox in 2000. However I did do a useful rewrite after some good advice from Tom Healey (Acting Associate Artistic Director). Also received some very positive feedback (but again, no production) form the Griffin Theatre in Sydney. It is still lurking somewhere in Jane Waddells plans for Circa Studio...
I've got a full-time 7 month contract filling in for the html guy at SAI in Melbourne. THis should be a big challenge and a good introduction to the big bad world of cammercial web design.
Evan Watts and I had this idea that we might do an evening of themed short plays at LaMama. The plays would be from 3 seconds to 3 minutes long and respond to the provocation 'Burnt'. We have convinced Liz Jones at LaMama that it's a good idea, so have to find the plays now. We advertised through the Various State Writers Centres, and the ANPC's magazine.
Within the space of three weeks 'Deviations' got two play readings, one as part of the Adams Playreading Season (run by Playmarket NZ) and the other organised and directed by Evan Watts at LaMama.
I got a video of the Wellington reading (directed by Jane Waddell and with a cast including Victor Rodger, Cameron Rhodes and Anna McPhail) and quickly rewrote it for the LaMama reading. The LaMama reading went very well, with a nice full audience including many from my Writing class. The cast was James Laidlaw, David Treddenick, Zoe Burton and Melanie Beadie.
I read 'A Holden '68 Special' in an afternoon of playwrights reading their own works in Playboxes 'Writers in the Raw'season.
Bill Manhire, the Vic Uni lecturer for the 'Creative Writing' Course at Vic Uni, included a poem of mine (from 1986...) in his anthology of best works from the Course. The poem "for the old" I wrote at the fresh age of 18. Not very notable in itself, but the only poetry I've had published so far, not that I ever tried very hard...
Directed by Murray Lynch and with an excellent cast, my first solo stage play premiered at Circa on the main stage. I returned to NZ for 6 weeks to 'help' put this on (That means stay out of the way and attend publicity interviews!).
Making the big break to Melbourne, via 6 months in Manchester.
Directed by Lisa Warrington (who used to teach me at Otago Uni) and dramturged by the excellent Simon O'Connor. This play caused lots of controversy at the conference on account of appropriation issues. While I wrote it as a satire on land rights (and very critical of the pakeha) it came in for a lot of attention from Maori actors in the cast. I made substantial changes to the script and was seen by some to be 'giving in' to racial pressure. I even heard someone say I was 'a victim of cultural imperialism'. Quite a stressful time!
Directed by Carol Dee and with Jonathan Hendry and Bronwyn Bardley in the cast.
Written by Stephen Bain and myself. Murray Lynch got some money out of the QEII arts council to make this short film. Stephen and I took the main roles (since we wrote them for ourselves!) and Nancy Brunning took the role of Flic, the explosive girlfriend.
Stephen Bain, Merophie Carr and myself wrote and produced this play at Bats
and later took it for a ride to Hamilton (Merophie's hometown).