Essay about Working Class With The Flinders University Drama Centre

Essay about Working Class With The Flinders University Drama Centre

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In 2015, I directed Who’s Afraid of the Working Class with the Flinders University Drama Centre. This production was part of my assessment at Flinders University for my Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours) – Directing Degree. Originally when planning on critically reflecting on this production I had planned to omit the requirements and restrictions that the university placed upon the process however on further reflection those requirements and restrictions are comparable to those placed upon a director by a producer or artistic director. This process included auditions, production meetings, readings, rehearsals and the eventual staging of the production. Along with myself on this production was Morag Cook who assisted me in design, Dr Anne Thompson who assisted me in the role of director, and Andrew Bailey who was our Stage Manager.
The script Who’s Afraid of the Working Class was chosen due to its socio-political themes. As I have an academic background in politics this suited me well. The play was chosen also for its Australian and age appropriate characters. With the exception of the opening monologue, Christos Tsiolkas’ piece Suit was cut from the play primarily because of the lack of Indigenous Australian actors to cast in the main role. The opening monologue was kept as it sets the action of the play both practically in time and place but also in tone. Removing Suit places the majority of the action on the two longer pieces, Dreamtown and Trash. Both of these pieces focus on the disenfranchisement of children and young adults and the cast being young adults ensured a stronger production where the audience were not asked to suspend their disbelief as much as they might normally (removed would). It also due tighter the compari...


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...t jarring lyrics “Sweet communist The communist daughter Standing on the sea-weed water Semen stains the mountain tops”.
The production was well received by audience and staff. I would have liked to be bolder with my direction, making clearer choices in terms of accent and performance. I believe that Dreamtown was my weakest point in direction as I focused too much on the youth, gender and social class of the characters while not giving enough focus to the race and background of the characters. This meant that pacing slowed down and long scenes sometimes felt as though they dragged. I believe that I still need to find how far I should push my actors to meet my standards and the standards of the script without them getting frustrated at the process. Nevertheless I feel proud of the production as well as the actors and grateful to those who assisted me in the process.

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