9 September 2022

Young playwrights' mighty adventures set to light up the Goulburn stage

| Katrina Condie
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Group of playwrights

This year’s Mighty Playwrights and their mentors are looking forward to wowing Goulburn audiences. Photo: Goulburn Mulwaree Council.

With the help of performing arts mentors, school students from around the Southern Tablelands have spent eight weeks crafting their own plays, and audiences are set to be wowed by their stories at the new Goulburn Performing Arts Centre.

Now in its third year, Goulburn Mulwaree Library’s multiple award-winning Mighty Playwrights Program continues to elevate the voices of young creative storytellers, guiding them to mould their own ideas into original stage plays.

This year’s short plays, performed by the Lieder Theatre Company, can be seen in all their splendour on the Goulburn stage on Wednesday 21 and Thursday 22 September.

Every child has a story to tell, and library manager Erin Williams says the seven short plays are set to entertain the whole family.

“It will be a truly unique night of theatre that will surprise you in its depth, humour, and impact,” she said.

“Even though these seven short plays have been written by young people, the stories themselves are really mature and will be enjoyed by everyone who comes along to see them. They are funny and thoughtful and heartwarming, and really are worthy of a big theatre audience.”

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Designed to be a creative celebration rather than a competition, the Mighty Playwrights Program asks schools to nominate an upper primary student with an active imagination.

“The program seeks out those who carry a bright creative spark, but may not yet be proficient communicators or writers,” Ms Williams said.

“The young playwrights emerge with a genuine play script and a new awareness of the power of their own words.”

Previous Mighty Playwrights have gone on to become avid writers, school leaders, leaders in the library’s peer reading program, and actors and stage managers of major local theatre productions.

This unique literacy experience is the only program of its kind in Australia, connecting regional schools, public libraries, and community theatre.

Aged 10 to 12 years, this year’s Mighty Playwrights are Ellie Bale from Windellama Public School, Riley Jordan Fermor from Goulburn North Public School, Indie Miners from the Crescent School, Stella Moore Thompson from Tirranna Public School, Zara Ridley from Wollondilly Public School, Keida Voorden from Tallong Public School, and Adele Wakefield from St Joseph’s Primary School.

The young playwrights have spent eight weeks in the library, working with a mentor to create their play scripts, using only their own ideas and creativity.

“The stories they have created are full of humour, drama, tension, and fun. All the same things you’d expect to see in a smash hit movie or theatre production anywhere in the world,” Ms Williams said.

A huge team of four directors, 20 actors, and 12 designers and crew members from the Lieder Theatre Company have transformed the scripts into full-scale stage productions, complete with amazing lighting, original music, and all the bells and whistles available at the new GPAC.

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The playwrights are so proud and excited, and a little bit nervous, of course, to see their work up on the big stage.

“They have visited rehearsals with the Lieder Theatre Company to meet the directors and actors, and get a sneak peek of what their shows are going to look like on the stage, and that’s been a lovely experience for them and for the actors playing the characters they created,” Ms Williams said.

“The Lieder Theatre Company is doing an incredible job of bringing these stories to life. It’s a very big task, doing seven completely different shows all on the same night.

“Audiences will see a spaceship on the moon, a time machine, a dog pound, music concerts, a zoo, schools and homes, and even a teleporting dog!”

This year’s production will also see the birth of the Mighty Tunesmiths, a team of teen musicians from Hume Conservatorium being mentored in composing original themes and soundscapes for each play.

The Goulburn Regional Art Gallery’s Afternoon Art Club students have provided original illustrations for the theatre program and published a book of this year’s scripts.

Ms Wiiliams said the new GPAC is a world-class facility.

“It’s really special for everyone involved, including audiences, to see such high quality locally written work, performed with great skill by a local theatre company, in such a wonderful venue,” she added.

If you’re moved by the power of live theatre, the Mighty Playwrights promises to be a night of fun and community spirit that will delight audiences of all ages.

Book your tickets now!

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