A few days ago, I sat in HotHouse Theatre's studio space and heard the play read aloud by actors for the very first time, which is always a thrill. It’s also terrifying. Much like an amusement park ride (including the sensation of butterflies in my stomach immediately before).
Hearing other people give voice to the characters has helped clarify the story for me—and more importantly, the voices that are missing. I know I have more work to do on the script. I know this gives me wonderful opportunities.
And while I couldn’t stop myself from making some small revisions, I also know that it’s important to leave it with the actors for now and see what they find in the script, without the writer in the room.
While I’ve shot back to Canberra for a few days, director Travis Dowling has been working with the HotHouse actor ensemble and the delightful Susie Dee, as well as HotHouse artistic director Jon Halpin, to prepare the public debut of The Pyjama Girl play.
It’s a great opportunity for audience members to see something so early in its development and have their say on it—and this is important to me because many people in the community have expressed a sense of ownership or connection to the story.
At the same time, the talented emerging actors taking part in the read are getting to learn more about the process of developing and workshopping a script.
When I hit the Hume Highway on Friday night (the same road travelled by the Sydney detectives in 1934 when they were summoned to investigate the murder of the woman found in the culvert) to travel the familiar road to Albury/Wodonga, it will be with a great sense of anticipation.
So, if you’re in the area, head along to the Butter Factory Theatre (Gateway Village, Wodonga) to hear HotHouse present a rehearsed reading of The Pyjama Girl. Twice! 3 pm and 7 pm. Entry is a gold coin donation, going to Betty's Place Women's Refuge.