PAST READINGS

FROM DOWN UNDER TO DOWN STAGE



Thursday, July 24, 2014

TRUE LOVE TRAVELS ON A GRAVEL ROAD
by Jane Miller

Directed by Matthew Foster
Featuring Peter Dettmann, Laura Iris HillPhoebe Leonard,
Kelly McCreadyAdam RennieDavid Sedgwick

"We are never more ruthless than in the pursuit of happiness." Set in rural Australia, True Love Travels on a Gravel Road is about ordinary people who go to extraordinary lengths in pursuit of a dream without regard to the consequences. Jake has been patronised and pegged as the town “tard” all of his life, but when he falls in love with Maggie, anything seems possible. Maggie dreams of escaping to Graceland. Jake’s quest is to make this dream a reality and prove himself in a town that has labelled him a loser. Jake's and Maggie’s desire to escape implicates the town’s locals, including Maggie’s straight-talking mother, hard man and philosopher Richard, as well as Jake’s boss and his wife.

Jane Miller’s plays have been produced both around Australia and internationally, beginning in 2006 when Perfect Stillness reached the finals of Short & Sweet in Melbourne, where it won the People’s Choice award for Best Overall Production. Since then, it has been produced in Malaysia, Delhi, Dubai and the United Kingdom. In 2007, Hope Fades But The Duck Never Dies was a finalist at Short & Sweet Sydney and The Painter won the Audience Choice award at MelBorn (Melbourne Fringe Festival). In 2008, The Bookclub was produced during Carnival of the Damned...Funny at Dante’s (Comedy Festival) and A Cup of Sugar was included in the Melbourne Writers’ Theatre’s MelBorn08 short play festival. Jane made her La Mama debut in 2010 with a sell-out season of Happily Ever After, directed by Beng Oh, which subsequently went on to tour. True Love Travels on a Gravel Road was awarded an R E Ross Trust Playwrights’ Script Development Award in 2011 and had its premiere production at fortyfivedownstairs in Melbourne in 2013. Jane is currently studying a Masters in Writing for Performance at the Victorian College of the Arts.



Thursday, June 26, 2014

CAKE: A Wedding Comedy
by Peter Buck Dettmann

Directed by Simonne Hurse
Featuring Olivia Etzine, Matthew Foster, Peter James,
Ella Morton, James C. Stewart, Alex Taylor

Billy and Carolina are getting married. Carolina and Don have a secret. Harold is accidentally on drugs, and amidst all the chaos, the chances of survival for Kate’s beautiful wedding cake look increasingly slim. A frantic, foul-mouthed farce, Cake: A Wedding Comedy fuses the energy and precision of blank verse with the earthy bluntness of the modern Australian vernacular.

Peter Buck Dettmann is an actor and writer from Sydney, who has lived in New York for the last three years. He holds a BA from Yale College with a major in Theatre Studies, and has also trained with NIDA in Sydney and the Stella Adler Studio in New York. He and his partner Phoebe Leonard are founding members of Randomly Specific Theatre, which will have its first production in October, when they produce Secondary Pitch, a new play by Larry Phillips.



Thursday, May 22, 2014

GINGERBREAD
by Anthony Noack

Directed by Matthew Foster
Featuring Samuel Douglas Clark, Matthew Foster,
Simonne Hurse, Georgina Richardson, Leanne Watson

In a modern city, a modern couple prepare a modern dinner for their modern guests. But when one guest insists on his right to bring his particular bedroom fetish to the dinner table, secrets are exposed and the evening ends up where none expected. Exploring themes of freedom, coercion and liberty, Gingerbread is a funny and exciting new play that tests the limits of what we are willing to accept.

Anthony Noack is a playwright from Melbourne, Victoria. His plays include Brighter WhiterThe Gift, which premiered at the Melbourne Comedy Festival in 2011, and Banana Republic, which premiered at the Melbourne Fringe Festival in 2012. Anthony’s first novella Eaglemont was published through Ginninderra Press in 2009, while his short film script Twenty Five Cents received production funding through the Australian Film Commission and premiered at the St Kilda Film Festival in 2007. As a freelance writer, Anthony has also contributed to a range of publications, including The Age and Sydney Morning Herald newspapers. Anthony currently lives in New York City where he works in the murky world of cabaret theater.



Thursday, April 24, 2014

IF THE TRUTH BE TOLD
by Margaret Hickey

Directed by Matthew Foster
Featuring Ro Dempsey, Alexis Fishman, Laura Iris Hill, Simonne Hurse, Tina Mitchell

A series of five monologues, all told by women of various ages and occupations; a scrapbooker from Surfers Paradise, a glamorous CEO's wife, an elderly woman stricken with jealousy, a crude and opinionated mum, and a die-hard Bulldogs supporter. These are stories of women who teeter and fall over that verbal precipice, 'If The Truth Be Told'. Often hilarious and always heartwarming, their voices are uniquely Australian, but their stories are recognizable to every woman who has ever taken a risk, suffered loss, or loved too much.

Margaret Hickey is a playwright and author from regional Victoria, whose plays include If The Truth Be Told and The PoolHer first novel, A Grand Prospect, was published in 2008, earning rave reviews from, among others, Geoffrey Robertson QC, Cate Kennedy and ABC Radio. Margaret's short stories have also enjoyed great success; Fill Her Up received a Special Commendation at the Scarlet Stiletto Awards, and Kate and Mouse was named Best Australian Short Story 2010. Several of Margaret's monologues, including some from If The Truth Be Told, have been performed at Melbourne's La Mama Theatre as part of Baggage Productions' Madwomen Monologues series. In addition, Margaret has seen her work published in many newspapers and literary journals across Australia. She has also garnered the attention of renowned Australian playwright David Williamson, who described her as “a very talented writer with a knack of bringing to life her characters by a combination of astute observation of human truths and foibles, and a wonderful ear for the idiosyncrasies of the Australian language.”



Sunday, January 27, 2013

PERFECT STILLNESS by Jane Miller
Directed by Matthew Foster
Featuring Lisa Davey, Peter Dettmann, Nathan Spiteri

THAT OLD CHESTNUT by Michael Booth
Directed by Matthew Foster
Featuring Caitlin O'Connor, Peter Dettmann, Laura Iris Hill, Phoebe Leonard




Sunday, January 20, 2013

THE LUNCHTIME MEETING by Bridgette Burton
Directed by Pat Shay
Featuring Rachel Barrer, Laura Iris Hill, Marc LeVasseur

THE CYCLE by Kathleen Foster
Directed by Matthew Foster
Featuring Rachel Barrer, Michael Poignand

ONE FLESH by Micharne Cloughley
Directed by Kristen Kress
Featuring Hamish Briggs, Leah Filley, Natalie Trent, Sofie Somoroff



Sunday, January 13, 2013

MOTIVATIONAL DATING by Christina Costigan
Directed by Pat Shay
Featuring Zach Bubolo, Ro Dempsey, Leah Gabriel

BONDING LEAVE by Nicolle Bradford
Directed by Pat Shay
Featuring Nicolle Bradford, Kathy Ferman, Joe Menino, David Sedgwick

TWO BY TWO by Dan Giovannoni
Directed by Matthew Foster
Featuring Alexis Fishman, Stuart Williams, Adam Zivkovic