Jul 18

Theatre avenue for young talent at HissyFest

HissyFest 2014 Hissyfest writer Michael Lill

HissyFest 2014, James Chapman

IMAGINE you are sitting in a theatre, the lights go down, the crowd goes quiet and the curtains lift revealing the first of 10 short plays.

Performers from across the Hunter Valley have come together to create 10 very different plays for this year’s HissyFest.

Writer and festival producer James Chapman described the event as a non-competitive opportunity for Hunter artists to have an opportunity to show their work to the public.

“It’s mainly for young people this year. We wanted to show what they can do and give them the chance to write, direct and act,” he said.

Mr Chapman said some of the directors had experience, while others had none, but it was a collaborative environment where they shared knowledge and helped each other.

While at acting school he wrote and directed Ones and Zeros, which he will perform.

Based on a dead-end job, which involves conversations about panda sex and monkey poo, the play is made complete by an office romance.

“It’s a weird play, pretty surreal,” Mr Chapman said.

On the other end of the spectrum is writer and former drama teacher Michael Lill’s play Fruits and Nuts.

Memories of his HSC and year 11 students inspired him to create a story that had not only depth and humour but also a sense of vulnerability.

His play focuses on a lonely young woman who out of desperation is making a video in hopes of finding herself a partner.

“Imagine a young woman in a room; she’s intelligent, articulate and attractive but still lonely,” Mr Lill said.

He said he hoped the audience would be able to go on the journey together to discover her character to be likeable while still being entertained.

■ HissyFest takes place at Civic Playhouse on Friday, November 7, at 7pm and Saturday, November 8, at 2pm and 7pm. Tickets are available through Ticketek or at the door for $30 or $20 concession.

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