We recently welcomed Avila College Year 12 student Maddie to MTC as part of our Work Experience program. Maddie spent a week inside the rehearsal room with the Yellow Moon team, and kindly shared her impressions of the experience with us.
As an avid theatre goer, I’m always excited to see what is presented on stage during a play. Whether it be the actors, the set, the lighting or the costumes, I always find it fascinating. But one thing my week of work experience at the MTC has shown me is that there is so much more going on behind the scenes than what we see on stage. For me, work experience was about getting a better insight into the rehearsal process of a professional show and this past week was certainly that.
Yellow Moon is a non-naturalistic play, which is evident in the minimalistic set that transforms numerous times, the lack of props, and actors who transform into multiple characters including narrators. The non-naturalism is heightened by the traverse performance space – with the audience on either side of the playing space allowing the audience to fill in some of missed action with their own imagination and make the story relevant to their own lives. The play was originally written for students, however any audience (aged 15+) would related to the moments between the two runaway teens, Lee and Leila. Even the older characters Frank and Jenni give us an insight into the world of a parent. Yellow Moon is truly a captivating tale and accurately portrays the struggles teenagers are faced with today.
I was enlightened as to what goes on the rehearsal room – it was a lot more than actors just reciting their characters dialogue and a director telling them where to stand. The cast of Yellow Moon delved deep into the story and spent hours discussing the motives of their characters, nutting out the nuances that showed where each of these characters had come from and what they had experienced.
But it was sitting in on a production meeting that truly showed how much work goes into a show. As I looked down the makeshift table in Rehearsal Room Three (created from the transformable set of Yellow Moon), I saw a group of people who all contributed in different ways to the show, from managing a limited show budget to hiring a fight choreographer, to the angle of a leg on a bench to ensure an actor’s safety. The research that goes into a character’s costume and the setting of the play was also done with incredible depth and it truly made me realise just how much thought and planning every department puts into their work.
Yellow Moon * is playing at Southbank Theatre, The Lawler from 2-16 May.*
Applications for MTC’s Work Experience program have closed for 2014, with places for 2015 opening in Term 4, 2014.