Theatre | Tantrum's trajectory | Ken Longworth

TRAJECTORY CONTRIBUTERS: Alex Travers, Stephanie Rochet and Allison Van Gaal. Photo by Eryn Leggatt
TRAJECTORY CONTRIBUTERS: Alex Travers, Stephanie Rochet and Allison Van Gaal. Photo by Eryn Leggatt

WHEN Stephanie Rochet begins rehearsing her play Amour in Newcastle at 7pm, it’s an early 6am starting time for her fellow performer, Francisco, in his homeland, Chile.

And when the play is performed as part of the Crack Theatre Festival, Francisco will have to be ready at 4.30am Chile time. 

Amour is part of a triple bill of short plays being developed by people associated with Tantrum Youth Arts that will be staged under the title Trajectory at the festival. It’s a love story about two Chileans separated by 13,000km, who use technology to keep their relationship intact.

As the program’s title suggests, the plays have been developed over a period of time.

The other two works in Trajectory are Sleep, Perchance to Dream, by Alex Travers, which takes a very different look at Hamlet’s Ophelia, and Welcome, by Allison Van Gaal, about a boy in a world that doesn’t accept difference.

The writer-directors took part in theatre workshops conducted by professionals, with Stephanie Rochet’s tutor being Maria Jose Duran, a Chilean national who was in Australia earlier this year. Duran is coaching Francisco during the across-the-globe rehearsals.

The Crack Theatre Festival is part of This is Not Art, an annual Newcastle event that gives young people the chance to develop their skills in art forms, with the other sections being the National Young Writers Festival and Critical Animals, a creative research symposium.

This is Not Art, which is staged by Octapod, celebrates its 20th anniversary this year. The four-day event, from September 28 to October 1, has record entries.

There are 25 theatre events, including performances, workshops and talks, which will be presented at five announced venues, and several secret locations. The Watt Space Gallery will host 18 theatre productions, with most having two or three shows. Trajectory can be seen at 5.30pm on September 29 and 3.30pm on October 1. Like most TiNA events, this one is free.

The nature of some of the theatre works has them being staged to restricted numbers. My Sandman, for example, is a one-on-one performance piece which shows how music and soundscapes can trigger responses among awake or sleeping people, with the performers interacting with one person for 15 minutes.

A few works use a number of spaces. Kraken Play, on October 1, has four performers stranded on Newcastle Beach at 10am.

They talk about their woes and seek help to build a raft, moving around the city to find materials they need, and hopefully being able to depart from the beach around 4.30pm.

For more information visit