The Playhouse Theatre’s stage will relight with Relaxed Fridays during September, showcasing locally written productions.
Playhouse Theatre’s artistic director Bex Hutchins said as COVID-19 restrictions put a dampener on local performances it was time to think outside the box and bring the theatre to life again, but this time in a new way.
The Relaxed Fridays program includes four weeks of local talent performing home-grown entertainment in front of a small live audience of Playhouse Theatre Subscribers, which can also in viewed from people’s homes online.
“Each night there is at least one or two new performances that have been written by our members,” Bex said.
“This way we are not breaking any copyright laws, but we are getting something out to the community.”
Bex said the plays were of various styles, including a mockumentary written by Phil Fresta, Looking for Love in a Pandemic written by first-time playwright Trish Mears, and a verbatim script written by Bex herself.
“We will also have some bush poetry, singers on another night including Stella Hutchins whose song was released on Monday, Michael Dart will also be singing; these are faces that our audience will know,” she said.
“It’s about thanking our supporters, for those who bought Mamma Mia tickets and even though that has been postponed we really want them to know we thank them for being patient.
“Even though this is not the amazing production they were wanting to see, at least know that we are feeling the pain with them, and we are doing the best we are doing the best that we can with small-scale casts.”
Bex said Relaxed Fridays performers would face a little challenge that could end in positive way, as the acts were all script-in-hand due to COVID-19 restrictions in place during rehearsals.
Michael Dart will perform on stage during Relaxed Fridays. He said the Playhouse Theatre members had been flexible and agile during the COVID-19 period and this was a prelude to getting back on track.
“It’s a really good thing the committee is doing to try and make sure they can supply content, and also support local artist during this period,” he said.
“It is quite possible that some of these plays will go on to be developed further, and that’s a great thing for the town.”
Relaxed Fridays at the Playhouse:
4 September: Looking for Love in a Pandemic
Written and directed by Trish Mears
Cast: Phil Fresta, Michael Dart, Bex Hutchins.
Directed by Bex Hutchins
Songs from Michael and Reese Dart, and Ben McDonald.
11 September: A Word in Private
Written and directed by Jan Sullivan
Cast: Pegg and Des Gellert, and Trish Garson
18 September: Australia’s Wide World of Culture
Written by Phil Fresta
Cast: Sherry Barnes, Thomas Lawton, Alana Clark, Isabella Stokes, Lester Lewis, Kyle Scheider and Bex Hutchins.
The Man from Snowy River
Performed by Phil Fresta
Taking a dig at Mother
Performed by Trish Mears and Trish Garson
Four Yorkshire Men
Songs by Stella Hutchins and Christie McLucas
25 September: The Anniversary
Written by Sue Sargent
For more information about Relaxed Fridays check out Playhouse Theatre's Facebook page.