- Leading Australian author is playwright-in-residence at CSU in Wagga Wagga
- New productions will be showcased at the end of the residency
- Residency allows students to work with industry professionals and gain real-world theatre experience
Australian playwright Ms Van Badham is playwright-in-residence at the Booranga Writers’ Centre at Charles Sturt University (CSU) in Wagga Wagga for two weeks from Monday 11 March.
Lecturer and course director in the CSU School of Communication and Creative Industrie Dr Robert Lewis said, “We are excited to welcome Van Badham as the playwright-in-residence for 2019.
“Van will be working with our acting and performance students on a brand-new work that will be showcased at the end of the residency.
“This residency, and the course overall, provides students with real-world experiences and opportunities to work with professionals in the industry.
“The result is that our graduates are working all over the world as performers, writers, theatre makers, directors, designers, and theatre technicians.
“The Bachelor of Creative Industries provides students with the skills needed for current and future industries.
“These fundamental skills include voice, movement and acting, plus working on stage productions, film and television projects, and emergent media, and working with industry professionals like Van.”
Ms Badham is rehearsing a new play with approximately 16 first-year acting students, which will be performed at the end of her two-week residency at the CSU Riverina Playhouse.
She is also in rehearsals with approximately 14 third-year acting students and four design students assigned to the production of her play All The Flags.
Ms Badham said of the residency, “It is wonderful to be hosted here and have the opportunity to work in such a dedicated way with these students.
“I went to a regional university myself, and my experiences as a working artist since I graduated have affirmed my belief that regional universities are the best places to focus, experiment and train your craft without distraction.”
Ms Badham said the two shows in development here are very different.
“All The Flags is a pre-existing script which mashes legendary 1970s classic movie All
The President’s Men into Hitchcock’s thriller The Birds to form a screwball satire about Australian politics,” she said. “It’s being rehearsed by the third-year students.
“The second project is a ‘show-in-a-week’ project, in which I’m taking the first-year students through a development process to create, stage and show a new work for theatre by Friday night next week.
“This piece is called Party Beach!, and it’s a deconstruction of the movie genre that made stars of American actors Annette Funicello and Frankie Avalon in the 1960s.”
Ms Badham said she’s also been very productive with other projects during her residency.
“I’ve already completed a redraft of my upcoming show, Banging Denmark, for the Sydney Theatre Company since I’ve been here, and an essay to accompany that script’s publication,” she said.
“I’ll also be filing articles for The Guardian while I’m here, completing some work on a script ‘bible’ for a TV project, and hopefully getting some work done on my upcoming non-fiction book for Hardie Grant Publishing.
“It really is an honour and a pleasure - as well as a great opportunity - to be provided the time, space and beautiful views of Booranga to write.”
The residency will culminate with a performance of Ms Badham’s project play Party Beach! from 10am to 12pm on Friday 22 March at the CSU Riverina Playhouse.
The CSU production of All the Flags by Van Badham, directed by CSU acting lecturer Dr Dominique Sweeney, will have a preview performance on Wednesday 22 May. A season of eight performances over two weeks will follow at the CSU Riverina Playhouse:
- 7.30pm nightly from Thursday 23 to Saturday 25 May, with a 1.30pm matinee on Saturday 25 May;
- 7.30pm nightly from Thursday 30 May to Saturday 1 June, with a 1.30pm matinee on Saturday 1 June.