Veteran writer wades into the ‘Tide

Veteran writer wades into the ‘Tide

Jon Solmundson

It’s a tricky thing to weave a story that blends the real and fantastic together, but chances are there’s always someone who can help you realise your creative drive.

Mandurah youth theatre troupe Riptide took a look at their combined skills and their surrealist ambition for the 2018 Fringe show Cardboard Kingdom and realised there was a gap: They’d honed their skills in masterclasses for performance storytelling and physical improvisation – now it was time to focus on writing.

Pictures by Calum Carty and Ruby Liddelow.

To make this happen Riptide’s Scarlett Farrell and Ruby Liddelow coordinated a Drug Aware YCulture Regional project to bring experienced writing coach and performance maker Dr Alan Hancock on board for a set of four workshops.

As with all Drug Aware YCulture Regional activities, the entire concept was driven by young people. Scarlett and Ruby created the idea with their peers, wrote the grant application, developed their budget and framed activities to promote the Drug Aware message.

Scarlett and Ruby said the skills participants got from these workshops not only improved their writing for the performance, but also gave them written skills that were applicable to a broad variety of careers. These newly acquired skills would also enrich the local arts scene as Riptide members shared them with other community groups.

“[T]hese new skills will enable us to produce high quality work in the future which assists in increasing the quality of youth arts in our region and community.”

Of course, the most immediate impact was on the improved shape that Cardboard Kingdom began to take – and how that would in turn strengthen future productions.

“By the end of the project we had a structure and written material for our theatre piece. We were also able to identify key characters, storyline and plot points. This would not have been possible without the workshop.

“We feel as if a gap in our skills has now been filled, which will be highly beneficial in future projects.”

The final product was an incredible achievement, which all those who watched Cardboard Kingdom could tell you in no uncertain terms:

“I felt an enormous rush of energy witnessing this, such that I had a burning desire to jump on stage and join in. It revitalised something in me that I didn’t even realise was waning. It was quite possibly the best thing I’ve seen at Fringe so far.” – Isolated Nation ★★★★★

Got a great idea for your own regional arts project? Get in touch – Drug Aware YCulture Regional could fund your project up to $6,000.

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