The creative development of a new mixed abilities theatre work by Merrigong Theatre Company at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre involved two Illawarra-based professional actors and three actors from the Illawarra Disability Trust’s drama program, Altogether Drama. The work included innovative audiovisual and physical theatre components.
The development process was split into two parts – the first in August 2012 (two weeks) and the second in July 2013 (two weeks). After a few days of discussion around themes for the work, this first development focussed on the establishment of a creative language with much improvising with movement and the interactive video. A work in progress showing and community discussion was held at IPAC on 12 September 2012.
The second stage development focussed more on the major theme of the work – loneliness – and establishing through-lines of narrative for each character. The second development phase culminated in a showing as part of Merrigong’s Ruff New Works in Progress on 20 July 2013. Ruff showcases new work in development for possible future seasons.
The project started off as Blaze, became The Star Project and is now The Man Who Dreamt the Stars. The Man Who Dreamt the Stars opened Merrigong’s 2014 season at IPAC.
Artists who worked on the project were: Anne-Louise Rentell (director), Alicia Battestini (performer), Drayton Morley (performer), Rachel Murphy (performer), Phillip Prentice (performer), Malcolm Allison (performer), Toby Knyvett (AV and LX Designer), Daryl Wallis (Sound Designer), Imogen Ross (Costume Designer), Lee Pemberton (Movement Director).
Image 1 Blaze/The Star Project work in progress, photo by Nina Kourea, courtesy Merrigong Theatre Company 2012 ©
Images 2 and 3 The Man who Dreamt the Stars. Merrigong Theatre Company in association with the Illawarra Disability Trust at Illawarra Performing Arts Centre. Photographer: Paul Jones. February 2014 ©