New talent on stage and screen

Australian Theatre for Young People (ATYP) is a great organisation where young people can get involved, at any time, as actors and playwrights. They have been around for 50 years now and are still inspiring, nurturing and promoting new talent on their stage at the Wharf in Walsh Bay – giving voice to a new generation of Australian writers, theatre makers, filmmakers and performers.

Emma Campbell in a scene from short film, Stick (Photo: Courtesy ATYP)
Emma Campbell in a scene from short film, Stick (Photo: Courtesy ATYP)

Fresh Ink is ATYP’s program for emerging playwrights. Young people are invited to write a short monologue in response to a theme. Last year’s theme was being “Out of Place”. Selected monologues are printed in the Voices Project compilation and performed on stage at the Wharf, by emerging actors. Adaptations of several of these stage productions for screen are now being filmed. Participants are careful to maintain the integrity of the performance as a monologue, however shooting the performance for screen is a different process for the actors and offers much visual potential.

 Martha Goddard is a Sydney-based filmmaker who has recently graduated from the Australian Film Television and Radio School (AFTRS). Her focus is on directing narrative drama so she jumped at the opportunity to direct a monologue as it’s a unique form and one she believes is perfectly suited to a short, engaging web series. Viewers can gain unique and personal insights into various situations and character’s lives.

She chose to work with Carolyn Burn’s monologue, Stick. In a local support group, Louise has the talking stick and shares a darkly comic perspective on what it’s like to be a teenage girl with Crohn’s disease. There are a lot of real-life video diaries on YouTube that talk about dating with a colostomy bag and the anxiety behind not finding a bathroom. These are things Martha has never had to consider but there are hundreds of thousands of people who do.

Carolyn’s writing is biting with a darkly comic edge. Martha believes it is “utterly riveting stuff”. The actor, Emma Campbell, gave a beautiful, nuanced performance.

There has been a lot of support for this project by the film crew, including a beautiful score and elegant cinematography. Martha is really excited by the final product. She feels it is really important for young artists to have a platform on which to present their work to the community.

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