Final year CSU stage and acting students preparing for SASS spectacular at Riverina Playhouse

SASS: Director Grace Juhasz with other final year acting students Marcus Maye Wright and Jhi Rayner are gearing up for the last assessment of their degree: the Stage and Screen Showcase. Picture: Les Smith
SASS: Director Grace Juhasz with other final year acting students Marcus Maye Wright and Jhi Rayner are gearing up for the last assessment of their degree: the Stage and Screen Showcase. Picture: Les Smith

Final year stage and acting students from Charles Sturt University are gearing up for 17 mammoth performances at the Riverina Playhouse as part of their end-of-year Stage and Screen Showcase (SASS).

The inaugural SASS Festival is a highly regarded showcase of creative and independent stage and screen talent, which will see four seasons spanned over two weeks at the Riverina Playhouse from October 11 to 21.

CSU acting lecturer Robert Lewis said students had to select and direct their own plays, with some ranging from comedies to drama and experimental theatre.

“The students had to choose a play that was challenging, that would stretch them as artists,” he said.

“Although they're acting majors in the stage and screen course, I think the skill of directing lets them focus on the acting craft. As directors, they’re in charge of the whole process and they have an understanding of the acting craft on the other side of the table.

“There’s a few plays that look at relationships and there are some that explore contemporary issues; it’s a very eclectic season of work.”

Third year acting and stage student Grace Juhasz selected a playwright by LB Hamilton and said it was about covering an issue pertinent to today’s society: same sex marriage.

“I picked a play by LB Hamilton entitled A Midnight Clear and it’s about covering same sex relationships and religion at the same time,” she said.

“The main character Luke has just been beaten up. His ex comes in who is Paul and they used to be in a relationship together. Paul has broken up with him and is now Christian and religious.

“It really covers the stigma of same sex couples and how religion impacts on those.

“It’s a nice play because it doesn’t sabotage religion; it’s just looking at two people from completely different worlds and how their worlds are linked together.”

“For my play, it’s huge because of the plebiscite. People have their own opinions and views but it’s not until it’s put forward to you when you’re sitting there in a situation thinking, it’s all there in front of my face.”

Tickets can be booked at the Civic Theatre Booking Office, by phone on 6926 9688 or are available at the door.