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Oct 18

Another world premiere for Merredin theatre

Word nerd: Cummins Theatre manager Desiree Munro, budding Melbourne playwright Sasha Bowen who has written a rough draft of a script for a play about Merredin, and councillor Caroline Blakers presenting a $1500 cheque on behalf of the shire.MERREDIN is to host its second world premiere of a home-grown play at Cummins Theatre next year.
Nanjing Night Net

Following on from the successful collaboration between Spare Parts Puppet Theatre and the local farming community, which resulted in the premiere of the evocative play Farm in September, Merredin shire has funded a budding playwright to produce a script for a second play.

This time the subject matter is Destination Merredin, taken from the title of the successful community day and activities leading up to it earlier this year.

A self-confessed “big word nerd” and budding playwright, Sasha Bowen from Melbourne spent a 10-day residency at Cummins Theatre last month getting a feel for Merredin and its community, which she confided was something of a culture shock.

“I really loved being here, I got a real feel for the place,” Ms Bowen, a corporate and advertising copy writer, said of her visit.

“I got off the plane and drove and drove just to get here.

“The distance really made an impression on me, it was like ‘wow, the Wheatbelt is really, really big and it’s beautiful’.

“The subject of Destination Merredin is also very broad so there’s plenty to work with.

“I’ve had a few ideas and I’ve stamped out the bulk of it [and] I’ll go back to Melbourne now and work on it – give it a polish.”

Ms Bowen said she was due to send the finished script to Cummins Theatre manager Desiree Munro in December.

Last week Ms Munro and councillor Caroline Blakers presented Ms Bowen with a $1500 cheque from the shire for her residency.

Ms Munro said this time the collaboration was between Cummins Theatre and Stages WA, with Lotterywest providing funding.

She said they had advertised the residency and shortlisted applicants, eventually selecting Ms Bowen to write the play.

It would be directed by a professional director from Perth and performed by local actors, with a world premiere at Cummins Theatre next year at a date still to be finalised, Ms Munro said.