Stu­dents lord­ing it

Western Suburbs Weekly - - Theatre - Tanya Macnaughton

WAAPA mu­sic theatre grad­u­ates are ex­pected to be able to au­di­tion for any­thing, not just the lat­est big mu­si­cal.

Mu­sic theatre act­ing pro­gram co-or­di­na­tor Crispin Tay­lor, who has taught and di­rected at WAAPA for 17 years, said they pre­pared grad­u­ates for ev­ery­thing from mu­si­cals and state theatre com­pa­nies to film and tele­vi­sion.

“I cer­tainly don’t just teach act­ing for mu­si­cals,” Tay­lor said.

“I teach act­ing in a classical ap­proach and that’s why we in­clude at least two straight plays dur­ing the (three-year) course.”

Sec­ond year mu­sic theatre stu­dents will flex these skills when they present Lord of the Flies at En­right Stu­dio from March 17-23.

Tay­lor said they al­ways started sec­ond year with a non-mu­si­cal work and Lord of the Flies was a play he had wanted to do for ages.

“I just hadn’t worked out con­cep­tu­ally how I was go­ing to do it and then it came to me,” he said.

“There have been ac­claimed all-male pro­duc­tions and allfe­male pro­duc­tions, but never pro­duc­tions that split the cast.

“In any one per­for­mance, the girls will do the first act and the boys the sec­ond or vice versa.”

Tay­lor said the re­hearsals had proven a fas­ci­nat­ing process where the usual sense of com­pe­ti­tion with any dou­ble cast­ing had trans­formed into a sense of col­lab­o­ra­tion and co-op­er­a­tion, with each male and fe­male ac­tor work­ing to­gether to cre­ate their char­ac­ter.

“Nor­mally you don’t copy an­other ac­tor’s work but in this case they’re just feed­ing off each other, which is great,” he said.

The pro­duc­tion, not suitable for chil­dren, shows a group of young British school boys who be­come ma­rooned on a desert is­land and have no adults to su­per­vise them.

Tay­lor said they de­vel­oped, or dis­in­te­grated, into a so­ci­ety that re­vealed the dark­est side of na­ture.

“We’re hav­ing a ball and as you can imag­ine, as the play goes on the tribes as such be­come more and more feral,” he said.

“There is this sense of Mad Max about it; it’s kind of Big Brother meets Sur­vivor.”

Ben Stu­art and Pru Daniel with di­rec­tor Crispin Tay­lor.

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