The idea behind developing our Hall into an alternative performance space from the main theatre was to encourage new and more experimental works (with less cost to the directors and actors). It could be a teenager wanting to try out their new script; it may be a director who wants to experiment with a collection of short scenes; perhaps our actors want to get in amongst the audience ... but whatever it is we look forward to seeing what appears.
To launch this new concept we present two short plays written by Kylie Rackham.
Director Sharon Maine
Audition notices will be posted soon
Ravaged combines three stories – based on the real events of Black Saturday. The characters are confronted with a force which changes everything and results in them needing to re-evaluate their lives and consider what is really important.
Four strangers come together In the most challenging of circumstances. Responders to a car accident, they must not only deal with the immediate situation, but the aftermath of the crisis. The play examines the notions of responsibility, and explores what we are capable of when we are put to the test.
An article from TDF Theatre Dictionary
Black Box Theatre
It’s essentially a magic box.
What do David Mamet, the Wooster Group, and The Vagina Monologues have in common? Not a lot, actually. But they did all get their start in black box theatres.
A black box is a bare room with a movable seating area, a movable stage, and a flexible lighting system. It became popular during the explosion of experimental theatre in the 1960s, when storefronts, church basements, and even old trolley barns suddenly became intimate performance venues. This was an enormous break from the traditionally elaborate proscenium theatres, which still make up the majority of Broadway houses.
The concept of the black box has its roots in the European avant-garde of the early 20th century, through such pioneers as director/playwright Harley Granville Barker and designer Adolphe Appia. Barker’s ideal was, actually, “a great white box,” a vision that Peter Brook brought to life with his landmark 1970 production of A Midsummer Night’s Dream.
As per the name, however, black boxes are often painted black and are square or rectangular in shape, with the idea that this is the most neutral setting in which to give productions a wide array of design and staging choices.
Today, there are scores of black box theatres in the United States alone, including Soho Rep in New York and Steppenwolf’s Garage Theatre in Chicago. They are also prominent at colleges and universities—for example, the Walt Disney Modular Theater at the California Institute of the Arts—where students are encouraged to immerse themselves in a variety of theatre styles and interpretations.
These future artists can tell you that there are five basic ways to stage a play: with the audience on one side (proscenium style), two sides (center stage), three sides (thrust), four sides (theatre in the round), or environmental staging, in which the audience and actors intermingle. The beauty of a black box theatre is that you can have any of those possibilities within one theatre space, sometimes within the same show.