The Adelaide Show Podcast putting South Australian passion on centre stage

266 – Planning a State Theatre Company season

266 - Planning a State Theatre Company season

This week’s episode of The Adelaide Show investigates what goes on behind the scenes for planning a State Theatre Company season, with director, Geordie Brookman.

Geordie also discusses his latest production which opens on November 15, 2018, The Gods Of Strangers.

Also this week, the SA Drink Of The Week is from STC sponsor, D’Arenberg.

And in the Musical Pilgrimage, we have music from The Gods Of Strangers.

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Running Sheet: Planning a State Theatre Company Season

00:00:00 Intro
00:00:08 SA Drink Of The Week
D’Arenberg The Galvo Garage Cabernet Blend. Tasting notes.
00:07:50 Geordie Brookman

It is said that if a stranger knocks on your door, you let them in – they could be a god in disguise. But, what do they bring in with them? In this case, our stranger is the Artistic Director of the State Theatre Company, Geordie Brookman, and what he’s bringing with him is insight into what goes on behind the scenes to make such an important theatre company tick.

That introductory sentence I just borrowed from the publicity information for a new play you’re directing that opens on November 15 called, The Gods Of Strangers. At the time of recording, we are three weeks away from opening night, what stage are you up to as far as blocking, scripts, costumes, etc?

We had my cousin-in-law, Georgia Adamson, on the show during the run of Things I Know To Be True (she says hello, by the way), and I asked her about learning lines. She said she gets them down as fast as possible but has noticed that if there is going to be follow up season, her brain keeps them, but if not, they are gone within days of the season ending. Can you explain the art or science or magic of learning lines? Do you need to guide any of your actors?

How well embedded are the lines, when you are directing? I saw that Judy Davis had to stand in as an understudy for Faith Healer, which she directed. She held a script. Have you ever had to do that?

Learning lines and remembering them is hard enough, but with The Gods Of Strangers, the play is in English, Greek, and Italian. How does the brain cope? Does it really rely on patterns and rhythms, or are you picking up the actual words?

Let’s unpack the story of the play.

Do you think this story could happen today, given the polarisation of the issues about responding to people seeking refuge?

Confession time. In preparing for this chat, I looked back over the last season, and cast my eye over Season 2019. I am sorry I have been under a rock. I have missed some really interesting theatre. Do you feel there is a gap in the audience or are the seasons well subscribed and ticking along without laggards like me?

I used to be a sweetheart of Neil Ward and the Festival Centre, coming along to opening nights dutifully and producing reviews and interviews when I worked in broadcast media, and I noted the older demographic of the audience then. Who is coming to see theatre now?

I see a lot of local writing or adaptation. How deep is the well?

There’s a rich variety of stories and genres. How do you balance a season?

What do you ALWAYS need to include?

How do you get such classy promotional images when a play hasn’t been staged yet?

What’s your take on mixed media? I love the simplicity of human storytelling and sometimes gadgetry can get in the way …

Next on your stage?

What do you expect to pull from your director’s toolkit when parenting?

And what do you expect parenting will teach you in regard to directing?

00:39:38 Musical Pilgrimage
In the musical pilgrimage we’ll listen to an original piece by composer, Hilary Kleinig, from the play, The Gods Of Strangers.
This is called Vito. It’s part of a scene set in the boarding house where the Italian man Vito interacts with an Australian woman Agnes, for the first time. There is a bit of misunderstanding.
Hilary will be known by many as the founder of the Zephyr Quartet, and has many strings to her musical bow, as a cellist, composer, curator, producer and educator.
So close your eyes, and enjoy the evocative mood of this piece from The Gods Of Strangers, Vito.

Here is this week’s preview video:

SFX: Throughout the podcast we use free sfx from for the harp, the visa stamp, the silent movie music, the stylus, the radio signal sfx, the wine pouring and cork pulling sfx, and the swooshes around Siri.

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