WRITING a play that runs just five minutes and has its characters doing and saying things that engage an audience would seem to be a difficult job. But screen and media diploma students at Newcastle TAFE have found it enjoyable.
The 10 students in this year’s course will show how well it can be done in The Ties That Bind, a program of short plays and films that will be presented at the Civic Playhouse nightly from Thursday to Saturday at 7.30pm. Each student has contributed a play and film to the show, which has free admission. And the team members, aged 18 to 29, also appear in multiple works.
The screen and media course replaces one that focused on acting, with the aim of showing students how technology can be used to bring them closer to the people they are trying to engage with or entertain. And, as the show title The Ties That Bind suggests, the plays and films focus on relationships.
The name of Cassandra Clarke’s show, Friendemies, for example, reflects the relationships of three girls who went through high school together. One gets along well with the other two and wants them to help her in a project. But they are at odds with each other, as a result of the bullying of one of them at school.
Jaydon Davies’s Thirsting for Blood is very different, using characters from the classic vampire story Dracula in an amusing way, with the title vampire and Van Helsing, a vampire hunter, unhappy because their respective children are marrying each other.
And, as the title of Biddy O’Sullivan’s play, We Were Mint to Be, indicates, it is full of plant-based puns and references, with most of the characters having flower names.