Green shoots sprout hope of theatre return
With the end of lockdown looming, theatre director Catherine Ward has been planting the seeds for her next show – literally from her Kensington home.
The 24-year-old has collected a trove of goodies – from hard rubbish to plants and “anything that might look unusual” – which are set to feature in her upcoming production called Sprout, a play by Melbourne playwright Jessica Bellamy.
Her independent theatre company 7th Floor Theatre, which runs out of Brunswick, is producing the play which explores an environmentally ravaged Australia of the future whereby one of the characters uses seeds to “make the world around her green and beautiful again”.
Like many in the live performance industry, 7th Floor Theatre has been shut down during the pandemic – but depending on where live performances fit within the state government’s road map out of lockdown, Ms Ward hoped the curtain would go up for their play which is scheduled to begin its run in November at The Williams Hall in Princes Hill.
“I’m hopeful that audiences are going to come back to our stages because they’re hungry to see live theatre,” she said.
“Our revenue has dropped immensely. We’ve gone entirely online which is very difficult for our industry, and had to pull back and make our focus about survival.”
In the meantime, Ms Ward has been busy during the lockdown foraging as many hard rubbish items as she can for the show, thanks to a huge effort by the community.
After putting a call-out on the Kensington Good Karma Network Facebook page, Ms Ward said she “never expected” such a “wonderful response” with residents happily dropping off old items from shoes and broken pottery to an abundance of plants which had “covered” her home.
“I’ve got house plants and Australian natives and beautiful full-grown succulents that will all be starring in the show.”
“The show’s ethos is a ‘buy nothing new’ production so we are sourcing donated and recycled materials for set, costumes and other design elements including the plants appearing in the show.”
Ms Ward said 7th Floor Theatre had also begun an “Adopt a Sprout” campaign for anyone who would like to support the show and plant an Australian native at the same time.
“The day they donate we will plant their sprout and audiences can choose to collect it when attending the show,” she said.
“We cannot wait to present this fantastic Australian work to audiences post-lockdown.”
For details on the “Adopt a Sprout” campaign: 7thfloor.net/adoptasprout •
For tickets: tinyurl.com/4de3wyym
Caption: Theatre director Catherine Ward has been planting the seeds for her next show – literally from her Kensington home.