Every regional country city has a hall and every hall committee member has stories to tell.
Australian actor and writer Damian Callinan is working with the Wagga Civic Theatre to produce a play based around the wonderfully quaint world of Australian country halls.
“It all started when I was in the Riverina for the Wagga Comedy Fest and I was telling Carissa Campbell about the ideas in the metaphorical drawer I have,” he said.
“When I mentioned the hall committee, she said ‘That’s the one’.
“I do a lot of regional touring and I love the small hall experience. I have a real affection for it because people turn up with their supper, the hall committee decides the seating plan has to be enacted and I love all those quirks.”
Mr Callinan travelled the Riverina gathering stories from Ganmain, Downside, Ladysmith and heard some “absolute belters”.
“In Ganmain one bloke told me how he would sit in a hessian lined box soaked in wax and kero to weigh it down as a motorbike would drag it around the hall,” he said.
In a couple of weeks, the Wagga Civic Theatre will host auditions for professional actors to start pulling the play together.
Stan met his wife Marie there at a dance. That night his mates disconnected a patron's horse from the sulky and then reconnected it so the horse was on the other side of the fence. Soon after those shenanigans he started traveling into Wagga to take dance lessons. It paid off as not long after they were married in the hall.Damian Callinan is at Ladysmith Memorial Hall. November 8, 2016
“We are looking to cast the play with a combination of Wagga area 18+ actors and other professional actors with extensive stage experience,” Mr Callinan said.
“We are looking for two actors who need to be able to play a diverse range of characters, improvise and thrive in a group devised rehearsal process.”
Mr Callinan said he will come with a rough script and the aim is to improvise on the floor themselves.
“It’s going to be interactive,” he said.
"No one can get in if no one has the key and the audience will have to bring their own supper.
“We will tour the plays in the halls as it is made specifically for that setting.”
For more information about auditions click here.
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