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Fom front of stage to behind the scenes, Erin Wigley and David Bull turn their hand to directing. Photo: SUPPLIED

Short plays an outlet for up-and-comers

A series of short plays coming to audiences in March will give emerging directors a platform to showcase their talents, while dealing with topics such as menopause, trauma, and lost hopes and dreams.
Thames Music and Drama will showcase Emergence between March 17-19, consisting of four short, original plays by up-and-coming directors.
Thames MAD president Diane Connors said the event was a concept put forward by one of its committee members, Asha Peppiatt, keen to mentor anyone interested in learning about the skills and techniques of directing.
“The MAD committee are constantly searching for ways to provide the means of facilitating the development of stagecraft – not just on stage but in many of the other extremely important roles that make up the production team. It’s all part of our succession plan,” she said.
“There is a lot to directing – so many facets. The short play is a good place to start; although, staging four short plays in one sitting means they all have to make some concessions and think creatively about their sets.”
Each piece will be between 20-30 minutes long and will be put on stage by Laura Hamilton, Peter Marshall, David Bull, and Erin Wigly – who will be showcasing The Change, a play written by Diane.
It highlights the challenges women face when going through menopause – but from a male perspective.
“Menopause is something I have been experiencing for a few years now. I felt like it needed more air time, as no one seems to talk about it, yet half the population goes through it,” Diane told The Profile.
“I decided to have the men share their experiences with watching mothers, wives, partners go through “the change” to [provide] a different perspective; a little twist in the tale… and partly to not make it a play about women complaining about their symptoms.”
Diane said Emergence had been “such a collaboration”, and an opportunity for artists to tackle more sensitive topics.
The other three plays tell the story of a middle aged woman recovering in hospital from an eating disorder; a mid 30s female describing her experience in the aftermath of a sexual assault; and men dealing with their own personal disappointment of lost hopes and dreams.
“It is just brilliant to be able to encourage, support, and profile local writers and stage stories that no-one else has seen yet,” Diane said.
“This will be their world debut.”
Auditions for two of the plays – The Change and Best Laid Plans by David Bull – take place this weekend, and Thames MAD is encouraging anyone keen to perhaps fufill a New Year’s resolution and act on stage for the first time to get in touch.
DETAILS: The Change auditions: Saturday, January 28, 1pm-3pm. Contact Erin on 0274494740 for info. Best Laid Plans auditions: Saturday, January 28, 3pm-5pm. Contact David on 02041376534 for info. All auditions will be held at the Tararu Rooms, 604 Tararu Rd, Thames.