Romance formed over a year of mutual bus travel, a constantly sneezing passenger and an irritating mother entertaining her child are just a few of the stories to emerge from an eclectic new theatre project called Stories From The 428.
Throughout the month of February, 16 writers from Stories From The 428 rode the Sydney bus route searching for the extraordinary within the very ordinary.
With the scripts written and almost 50 actors cast across the season it is over to the directors to have the production ready in less than two weeks.
Creative producer Augusta Supple (Off the Shelf, Brand Spanking New) has brought together the talents of a multi-generational and inter-connected selection of dynamic Sydney-based writers. They have taken inspiration from overheard conversations, overseen text messages and even scenes outside of the bus window and next month their work will be transported to the stage.
The writers were given no limitations; free to create microdramas, monologues or vignettes, or perhaps a piece with no words at all.
The collaboration of writers, directors and actors will feature in two full-length theatre productions, with a different programme each week of the two week season.
From Sydney’s many bus routes the 428, which winds its way from Circular Quay to Canterbury via the eclectic Inner West, was chosen because it stops right outside the venue – Marrickville’s Sidetrack Theatre. The project is also a celebration of the area, the community and this space; infamously located underneath a flight path but a characteristic of the neighbourhood nonetheless.
Thousands of people use buses, trains and trams to get to work and school, to meet friends and family, everyday. In Sydney, the bus system is often a source of great frustration, though it remains a social necessity. Stories From The 428 is a mostly funny but sometimes sad reflection of the many different stories that exist everywhere in our everyday world.
Stories From The 428 provides its playwrights a much needed platform to create for an audience and to engage with the local community. It is proud to be supported by Sydney Buses, Marrickville Council, Queen Street Studios, ACTT, Coopers Hotel and The Flower Room.
The writers include four members of the multi award winning 7-On Playwrights collective: Donna Abela, Vanessa Bates, Noelle Janaczewska and Ned Manning. Also involved is controversial theatre blogger and graduate of the NIDA Playwright’s Studio Joanna Erskine, Philip Parson’s Award winner Tahli Corin and ATYP’s National Playwrights Award winner Matt Edgerton. Bringing a fresh and young edge to the project are Kit Brookman (involved in Griffin Theatre’s recent 24 hour play generator and Brand Spanking New 2009), Jasper Marlow (a writer in ATYP’s Fresh Ink development) and Brooke Robinson (currently completing an MA in Creative Writing at UTS). Patrick Lenton, whose play Implausible People was performed at the Old Fitzroy Theatre in 2008 and who has written for Brand Spanking New and Off the Shelf, is also on board, as is Phil Spencer, a writer, performer and founding member of For We Are Many, a British/Australian Theatre Collective. That leaves Rebecca Clarke (Best Newcomer in the 2005 Sydney Theatre Awards), Lexi Freiman (co-writer of Invert at the 2009 Melbourne Fringe Festival), Sime Knezevic (NIDA Playwrights Studio 2008, Australian delegate at World Interplay 2007) and Alison Rooke (who holds a Master of Creative Writing from UTS and is currently completing her first novel).
Week One – 24-28 March
The writers – Vanessa Bates, Kit Brookman, Rebecca Clarke, Sime Knezevic, Ned Manning, Brooke Robinson, Alison Rooke and Phil Spencer.
The directors – Zoe Carides, Glenn Hazeldine, Augusta Supple, Ian Zammit.
The Cast – Anna Lise Phillips, Rob Jago, Stephen Peacocke, Emma Jones, Jan Langford-Penny, Brendan Hawke, Leo Domigan, Felix Jozeps, Bridgette Sneddon, Julian Ramundi, Suz Mawer, Amy Kersey, Jovana Miletic, Felix Gentle, Adam Demos and Helena Stamoulis
Week Two – 31 March – 4 April
The writers – Donna Abela, Tahli Corin, Matt Edgerton, Joanna Erskine, Lexi Freiman, Noelle Janaczewska, Patrick Lenton and Jasper Marlow.
The directors – Louise Fischer, Anne-Maree Magi, Scott Selkirk, Ngaire O’Leary, Augusta Supple
The Cast – Jan Langford-Penny, Mairead Berne, Eamon Bryant, Lib Campbell, Mark Dessaix, Luke Carson, Clare Blumer, Daniel Nemes, Mary Sherman, Felino Dolloso, Bruno Xavier, Nick Curnow, Carla Nirella, Will Snow, Jay Duncan, Lucy Goleby, John Keightley, Patrick Magee, Emma Harris, Sophie Hayden, Cheryl Ward, Matilda Ridgeway, Maggie Blinco, Phillip Hinton, Matthew Charleston, Josipa Draisma, Toby Villis and Alice Keohavong.
Further information about the project is available at www.storiesfromthe428.com.