Buvette Masthead

Exploring the connection between young and old

Madeleine Wood

Could the older and younger generations have more in common than we realise?

A new play by the Canberra Youth Theatre and the Canberra Dance Theatre GOLDS (65+) group is exploring that notion, coming together for the first time for the new production, The Verbatim Project.

While ‘verbatim’ sounds a bit like an amazing French meal, it’s actually a style of documentary theatre that is constructed from the stories of real people.

In the lead up to rehearsal, Director Katie Cawthorne spent countless hours preparing and interviewing every single cast member on topics such as love, anxiety, expectations, and family. She then spent more time analysing and pulling out themes from interviews, to truly catch the connection between the characters.

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The play is based on stories, thoughts and opinions on issues of life.

Assistant Director Sophie Benassi says that one of the scenes will be based around a GOLDS member’s poem titled ‘White Feathers’, written about a father passing.

“This play is based off real stories and real people,” she says.

“It’s set to interviews and working with different tempos. One of the cast members said that this role is different to anything he has ever done before, because there are no characters, they are playing themselves. In this piece you will see young people act alongside people such as German born 65-year-old GOLDs member David Turbayne.

“Watching this you will scratch your head enticing deep thought; feel like crying with the rawness and realness of the performances, and maybe even chuckle with joy.”


Sophie says she hopes people “come as they are and have an experience.”

“The piece has a lot that can resonate with people, and take away whatever is personal and relatable,” says Sophie.

Young cast member Yarno says he had no idea what to expect when coming to rehearse, but is now so inspired with what the GOLDs members bring to the piece, and that “they break the stereotype”.

“[I’m] awestruck by the ability and the motivation of the GOLDs, dancing at a senior age and their willingness to be involved,” he says.

“Throughout the piece you’ll be able to see how naturally these two groups interact in an organic way.”

the essentials

What: The Verbatim Project
When: 21 to 24 July 2016
Where: Ralph Wilson Theatre, Gorman Arts Centre, Batman St
Braddon, ACT
How much: $15 per adult, $13 concession
Web: cytc.net/production/the-verbatim-project/

Production images: Jacob Creece


Madeleine Wood

Madeleine is a lover of coffee, baby animals, striped tops, pasta, pop culture, skiing, water sports, the colour black, indoor plants and of course, writing. She loves spending her free time out to eat with friends or curled up on the couch with a book and her dog on her lap. Coming from a family of farmers and country-goers, she often finds herself explaining why she has holes in her jeans at family gatherings. More about the Author