Regional Arts Connect is back and in full swing for 2018. The year will see us continue to work with community organisations and groups in 4 remote and rural areas of NSW: Walgett, Wilcannia, Lake Cargelligo and Curlewis, with one simple mission – to increase arts opportunities for young people living in these areas, and up-skill the communities to deliver these opportunities themselves beyond the completion of our project. With last year being made up of community consultation, drama facilitation training and planning, 2018 is where we go full steam ahead to put all of that into practice!
First up for a visit this year was the Lake Cargelligo Drama Group. In the closest of all our towns (just a 4.5 hour drive away), Lake has a population of 1,300, and within that, a thriving Drama Group that have been putting on plays and musicals since the 1980’s with sell out shows each year. So where do we come in? Even though the drama group are primarily an adult group, they have found that more and more young people are wanting to join, and so we’re working closely with them to help that happen in the best possible way.
Last year the community underwent some professional development with our Community Producer Alyson, by participating in 2 evenings of drama facilitator training, and assisting Alyson in the delivery of a week long school holiday program in partnership with Lake Youth Centre. From that, we are so thrilled that there are now community run monthly drama workshops for young people at the Youth Centre.
To accommodate a young cast, it was decided that the groups production for 2018 was to have a family focus, with young people and adults uniting on stage and performing equally alongside each other. How amazing are Lake Drama Group?! We love this, as not only does it mean more opportunities for young budding actors, but encourages a whole new audience of young people. Talk about arts exposure!
After lots of readings of plays something magic happened – for the first time ever the whole group agreed on the same play – the fabulous Love by Finegan Kruckemeyer. Being a play that is about a small Australia community and aimed at audiences of all ages, it’s no wonder why it was Love-d (see what I did there?).
So, with this decided, our first trip out was all guns a blazing to get the production process going! In just 3 days we assisted with a community read through of the script, casting of the play (with a young person in the lead!) assigning and defining production roles and beginning the production schedule. Now it’s over to Lake Drama Group to begin rehearsals, and we can’t wait to see the story begin to come to life in our next visit.
As we travel around Regional NSW we feel so inspired by the commitment from groups like this one in Lake, in supporting young people and the arts. With the wealth of experience and knowledge in theatre making that Lake Drama Group already have, we’re thrilled to support them in passing that on to the younger generations, and inspire the development of young artists.
Click HERE to check out the animation we made in the holiday workshop.