Leading playwright to pen play for CSU students

Wednesday 21 Dec 2016

Robert LewisA leading Australian playwright and screen writer will pen a play for Charles Sturt University (CSU) students to produce and perform in 2017.

Lecturer in acting for stage and screen in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries in Wagga Wagga, Dr Robert Lewis (pictured left), is delighted that Mr Stephen Sewell (pictured below) has agreed to collaborate with CSU students to create a unique new work to be performed first in Wagga Wagga and later at the Sydney Theatre Company (STC).

"This is a fantastic initiative and it is wonderful that Stephen Sewell, one of Australia's most acclaimed playwrights, has agreed to write a play for our students," Dr Lewis said.

"Having directed several of his works, most recently a world premiere of The Photo (2013) in Tasmania, I thought that a commissioned work by Stephen would enhance the Bachelor of Stage and Screen (Acting) students' performance skills while engaging in a brand new work.

"To perform in a play written by one of the country's most significant playwrights will be an exciting opportunity and venture for the approximately 20 final-year acting students."

The stage and screen department in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industries has an existing relationship with the STC.

Stephen SewellIn the past, students appeared in productions by arrangement with the Media Entertainment and Arts Alliance (MEAA) as part of their education extension program, and at the end of each year, final-year students would perform their monologues to agents at one of the studios at STC.

"Next year, we're exploring other avenues to connect students with industry and to showcase their talents," Dr Lewis said.

"Instead of monologues, the students next year will perform in a brand new, significant play to an audience. This will showcase how they deal with new work, how they work as an ensemble, and how they engage in the process of bringing to life a new play that has never been seen before."

Rehearsals for the new Stephen Sewell play will commence in July 2017, and the first performances will be at the Riverina Playhouse from Thursday 12 to Saturday 21 October, and at a studio at the Sydney Theatre Company sometime after, once the dates have been finalised.

Dr Robert Lewis has published performance and training films through Artfilms, and various articles on the subject of voice and movement integration.

With the Voice Theatre Lab and Persona Collective, Dr Lewis directed new plays, adaptations and site-specific works. Dr Lewis's voice and movement training film The Third Space features a comprehensive booklet of practical exercises, and his e-book, The Active Centre, examines multi-tasking muscles in voice and movement training.

Throughout his academic career, Dr Lewis has directed many productions including  OthelloRomeo and JulietRichard IIIA Dream PlayLove and InformationDustBlood Wedding, and  Marat/Sade.


Media contact: Bruce Andrews, (02) 6338 6084

Media Note:

Contact CSU Media to arrange interviews with Dr Robert Lewis.

The photo of Mr Stephen Sewell is courtesy of the ABC.