It is something that a lot of people talk about wanting to do – but how many of you actually go and see that brand new locally written play?

I thought so.

This is not intended to make anyone feel bad. We have to choose what shows we see. It’s not in our budget or available time to see everything so we generally make safe choices and go see a show you already love or know is going to be great.

Whilst that is all well and good – in order to support the future of our industry, especially our Australian one, we need to support local original works.

I saw Writer’s Block by Kellie Eatock (it was fabulous) last Saturday night and it really got me thinking about this issue. It was closing night and I stuck around for the speeches where Kellie shared that she had been working on this piece for five years! Five years without any incentive of money – just a passion to tell this story.

Sometimes I feel as a community we forget how hard it is to write a show whether it be a musical or a play. It isn’t just the countless hours of writing, tweaking and editing but it’s pitching the idea to producers and theatre companies. It’s also assembling a team of creatives to design the set, costumes and lighting. Then it’s finding actors to do workshops and readings with. Then there is the marketing and the list goes on and on…

Here is my list of things you can easily do to help support these works:

  1. Look through Theatre Buzz AU articles or any other theatre publication and find shows and google them. Like their facebook page, follow their instagram account and give them some love. Social media presence is important in attracting producers/companies who would be willing to put on these shows!
  2.  Subscribe to newsletters from various venues/theatre companies. In the newsletters it will tell you what is on and give you a brief synopsis of each of the works. This way you will find out about shows you may not of known existed.
  3.  Go and see something that you think won’t be your cup of tea. Maybe it will prove you wrong? The only way to find out is if you book a ticket.
  4. Follow various new work events or competitions like New Musicals Australia and check out the shows that have been selected and if you enjoy them share the pieces with your friends.

If your weekend isn’t already booked out with shows I urge you to find a show that you normally wouldn’t see and go! It’s all about supporting all kinds of theatre not just the big blockbuster shows. Let’s make a difference!

Written by Jackie Turner

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