Arts and Design

Theatrical production to be part of unique University assessment

University of Tasmania students will soon be in the spotlight during a dramatic stage production forming part of their academic assessment.

Twenty-eight representatives from the School of Creative Arts are undertaking final rehearsals of The Skriker before the curtain lifts in Launceston.

Written in 1994 by acclaimed British playwright Caryl Churchill, the dark and confronting production is centred on an ancient fairy who is fixated on tormenting two troubled young women.

The storyline navigates adult themes including mental illness, young motherhood and other issues facing everyday society.

Jane Woollard, Head of Theatre, School of Creative Arts, said The Skriker would be performed and produced as the major assessment for second-year performance students, and second-year technical theatre students.

During the performance season, first-year students would also operate the lighting and sound.

The Skriker gives students an opportunity to put into practice the performance and technical theatre skills they acquired in the first year of their studies,” Dr Woollard said.

“Performance students have been analysing the rich textual and thematic landscape of Churchill’s play and exploring rehearsal techniques.

“Technical theatre students have been able to represent the world of the play through the integration of costume, built structures, sound and light.

“These are invaluable learning experiences for emerging practitioners in the Creative Industries.”

Director and University Associate Lecturer in Production Grace Roberts said The Skriker was textured with many different layers of existence, creating multiple unique worlds within the one script.

“Our design encapsulates the sense of the separate, yet connected, literal locations fused with the representational frames of mind,” Ms Roberts said.

“Caryl Churchill’s plays are known for evoking powerful emotions through which real stories are told.

“Our portrayal of this classic text is one which will engulf the audience both mentally and physically. The Skriker is not for the faint hearted.”

The Skriker will be performed in an unconventional setting at the Annexe Theatre, Inveresk, presenting a fully immersive experience for the audience by bringing them face-to-face with performers.

The production will be running May 9-12 2018, commencing at 7pm. Entry is $5 to the public and free to University staff and students.

Source: UTAS

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