Step back in time to The Home Front, a piece of improvised theatre exploring the lives of women in Australia during the Great War at Canberra’s The Street Theatre for a limited season from 18 June 2014.
Away from the battlefields of WWI, over the course of a month, we follow three women facing their own challenges in a small Australian country town. Working through themes of women’s liberation, and the resilience we build in times of war, The Home Front is a unique story every night.
This unscripted work gives audiences the opportunity to experience a new story with different characters every night. The actors don’t know who they will portray until the performance starts. Characters are built at the beginning of each show from suggestions made by the audience.
These offers may take the form of personality traits, training or skills, whether they have loved ones away at war or information about their relationships with other townsfolk.
Over the season we will meet many different women from November 1916. Perhaps a tight-lipped city-bred aunt visiting her niece and helping to care for the children; or a woman who would have gone to war if they had let her, but now raises much needed funds for ‘our boys’.
Maybe a young dreamer waiting for letters from her fiancé fighting far away or a deserted mother raising children on her own by selling home-grown produce; or a nurse who couldn’t serve overseas because she fell pregnant before the ship sailed.
The director guides the actors through the performance, creating spontaneous theatre by introducing unexpected props, emotional shifts and plot twists throughout. The actors must respond immediately to whatever direction they receive, ensuring that each performance is unique.
The piece raises issues of resilience, women’s liberation and relationships between women and community. One hundred years on are we so different from these women? Come and share the laughter and the tears and discover how one war changed individuals as well as a nation.
The Home Front was developed through The Street Theatre’s Made In Canberra and First Seen initiatives.
Director: Heidi Silberman Actors: Catherine Crowley, Lynn Petersen, Ruth Pieloor Stage Manager: Luisa Pauletto Lighting Designer / Operator: PJ Williams Set & Costume Designer: Imogen Keen Language Dramaturg: Dianna Nixon Co-Producers: Catherine Crowley, Heidi Silberman
The Home Front
The Street Theatre, 15 Childers St, Canberra City West
Season: 18 – 28 June 2014
Bookings: (02) 6247 1223 or online at: www.thestreet.org.au
For more information, visit: www.thestreet.org.au for details.
Image: courtesy of The Street Theatre