Scottish Director Casts Light on Dark Tales
A young, Scottish theatre director will bring contemporary plays from his homeland to the Drama Centre next week thanks to Midnite Youth Theatre Company (MYTC) and the School’s RENTA Programme.
Craig Steele, part of the Scottish Youth Theatre’s freelance artistic team, has been working as a RENTA with the Drama Department since May. The RENTA programme gives young people from other countries an opportunity to live and work in the CCGS community whilst gaining experiences of Australian life. While most RENTAs come straight from school, Mr Steele’s connection is somewhat unique.
His link was forged five years ago through a meeting between MYTC founder Anthony Howes and Scottish Youth Theatre artistic director Mary McCluskey. A relationship was forged and when Ms McClusky visited Perth to run workshops with MYTC performers, she saw an opportunity for young people, like Mr Steele, through the RENTA Programme.
The Scottish Plays is a selection scenes and a short play from contemporary Scottish playwrights aimed at young audiences. They include the world premiere of Mamet’s Hamlet, a short play written by David Cosgrove, and the Australian premieres of excerpts from Dying For It (also written by Cosgrove) and Something Wicked (written by Johnny McKnight).
The production also includes scenes from “the Scottish Play”, William Shakespeare’s Macbeth, directed by Head of Drama and MYTC Artistic Director Drew Stocker. Described as “twisting between dark comedy and drama”, The Scottish Plays themes are suitable for students in Year 10 and above.
Mr Steele said the ensemble cast, from Years 10 to 12, had been excited by the material and challenged by the performances. “There are rarely more than two people on stage at a time so there is a real focus on their performance skills. They are on stage for up to 20 minutes so they have to work harder.”
Mr Steele said one of the Scottish Youth Theatre’s objectives was to look at other theatre companies around the world and share knowledge and ideas. He said the boys had responded to his style of direction in just four, short weeks. “They’ve come in prepared for rehearsals and really developed their characters by working things out for themselves.
The Scottish Plays runs from Wednesday 25 to Friday 27 August, at 7.00pm, in the Drama Centre. It is suitable for Year 10 students and above. To book tickets, go to http://midnite.ccgs.wa.edu.au. There is a special 2-for-1 offer on student tickets - simply book two student tickets for any night and use the promotional code DRAMA2FOR1.