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Youth Theatre back with a vengeance

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Theatre-lovers are out in force in Canberra, selling out Canberra Youth Theatre’s first production of the year, Little Girls Alone in the Woods.

The production, written by Morgan Rose and directed by Luke Rogers, premiered last night, in the Courtyard Studio at the Canberra Theatre.

Luke, who is also the Canberra Youth Theatre’s director, said “We were one of the lucky few theatre companies that produced a work of live theatre last year, but it is still amazing to be back in the theatre presenting an intelligent and challenging Australian work with our young artists. A work that interrogates the systems in our world that are designed to keep us safe but in turn often oppress us.”

The play sold out quickly and has been extended for two more performances – which have also sold out.

The production is an inventive adaptation of The Bacchae that puts a contemporary feminist lens on the Greek legend of Dionysus. It dares audiences to go into the woods and seek out what knowledge lies beyond the border of respectability and rules.

In an ordinary town, something is amiss. It’s not the maths exam the teens are about to fail, or the overdue essay, or even global warming. It’s a low buzz of anxiety, a quiet terror in the middle of the night. Girls have been going missing. No one knows if they’ve been taken, or if, for some reason, they have ventured into the bush themselves. The adults aren’t taking any chances. A high fence is being erected. All young women are now required to be registered with the authorities and wear a tracking device. They will be monitored and controlled; they will be safe. But this thought will not leave the girls alone: I am my own person; take me seriously.

Little Girls Alone in the Woods features a cast of 19 local young artists, and celebrates the company’s renewed focus on contemporary Australian plays that place the experiences of young people at their core.

Canberra Youth Theatre Director Luke Rogers

Luke said “what a delight that not only did we sell out our season before we even moved into the theatre, but we added an extra date, which also ended up completely selling out within a matter of hours. It has really touched the cast and crew to see the amazing interest in the production.

“There is amazing talent in each and every one of the cast members. They are so unique and creative that I can see them going very far in a career in theatre.”

He also noted that there was more opportunities for young performers coming up.

Little Girls Alone in the Woods may be up and over soon, but we have plenty coming up. Auditions for our next production, I’ve Been Meaning To Ask You are on 29 May for powerful, curious, and expressive young artists aged 9 – 13, with the production showing in July. We also have Holiday Workshops, Weekly Semester Workshops, Scratch nights, and so much more coming up very soon. There’s never a dull moment at Canberra Youth Theatre.”

Images by Sam Kennedy-Hine.

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