Bunbury youth find their voice thanks to Drug Aware YCulture Regional

Bunbury youth find their voice thanks to Drug Aware YCulture Regional

Matthew Tomich

There’s a thriving youth theatre scene growing just outside of Perth.

Mandurah has Riptide, Albany has Southern Edge Arts, Broome has Theatre Kimberley. Now Bunbury is the stage to watch for emerging performers.

Earlier this year, young Bunbury theatre artists ran a series of Drug Aware YCulture Regional-funded masterclasses in voice and movement performances to kick off Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centres’ new youth theatre program.

Robyn, Lauren, Jacqueline and Erin at Bernadette’s Workshop. Credit Sean Smith.

The masterclasses served to recruit and train new theatremakers as part of BREC’s Youth Theatre program. Guided by artistic director Kathryn Osborne – co-founder of Perth theatre company The Last Great Hunt and artistic director of Riptide youth theatre company in Mandurah – the newly formed organisation plans to debut a new production later this year.

As with all arts programs funded by Drug Aware YCulture Regional, the masterclasses were driven entirely by young artists in the regional community. Under the auspices of Bunbury Regional Entertainment Centre, 19 year-old Bunbury theatre maker Lauren Wroth and 20-year old Ziandra Garcia approached us with their idea to run a series of masterclasses with Perth-based movement artist Bernadette Lewis and voice artist Luzita Fereday.

Young theatremaker Jacqueline at open rehearsals. Credit Sean Smith.

The duo managed every step of planning the masterclasses – from making contact with the workshop leaders, planning budgets and managing bookings to promoting the masterclasses through local media, promoting the Drug Aware message in the Bunbury community, balancing the books and submitting the funding acquittal. The group also held open rehearsals inviting interested members of the community to see how a theatre production comes together.

Erin & Jacqueline at Bernadette’s workshop. Credit Sean Smith.

“We’ve certainly learnt a heap of new skills and have been given so many opportunities to learn and create,” said project coordinator of the process. “It has definitely given each of us a self-esteem boost, since we’ve not only learnt how to work as a team, but have also been encouraged to provide our own individual creative input.”

Jacqueline, Robyn & Lauren at Open Rehearsal. Credit Sean Smith.

Since the masterclasses, the duo have set their sights on inviting mentors in other aspects of stage production, including set design, music composition, stage management and makeup. The company is continuing work on their first original production, combining classic fairytales into a single theatre piece. If you’re ever in Bunbury, be sure to keep an eye out.

Aged 12-26 and have a great arts idea? Need some extra funding to make it happen? Apply for Drug Aware YCulture Regional – there’s up to $6,000 to make your arts dream a reality.

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