Auditions Open for Next Sunday Best Playreading- Louis Nowra’s Classic ‘Cosi’

Auditions for the second play in the Sunday Best Playreading series, Cosi, will be held this Saturday 30 April from 11am to 2pm at The Butter Factory Theatre, Gateway Island, Wodonga.

The series of playreadings, a partnership including HotHouse Theatre, The Other Theatre Company and Albury-Wodonga Theatre Company, began last month with a reading of Betty Roland’s Australian classic drama, The Touch of Silk. Live music is provided before each reading by Murray Conservatorium.

The Other Theatre Company has chosen Louis Nowra’s play, first performed at Belvoir St Theatre in 1992. Set in a Melbourne mental hospital in 1971, Cosi is semi-autobiographical, and is a play within a play. It is a touching and biting portrayal of human relationships and mental illness. The playreading will be directed by Alexander Gibbs.

Reading Performance Date: Sunday 22 May 2016, 3pm
To be involved, interested people must be available on Sunday 22 May. There will be a three-hour rehearsal on the Sunday, followed by the public reading at 3pm.


LEWIS, 21, has just left university.
LUCY, 20-23, is doing an MA thesis and lives with Lewis.
NICK, 21-24, also doing a thesis and directs student productions.
JUSTIN, a social worker in his late 30s or early 40s. He is neat and precise.
ROY, 40-50, a mental patient who has spent much of his life in institutions.
HENRY, 40-50, a former lawyer who is now a patient. Like Roy, he has spent much of his adult life in institutions.
DOUG, 20-30, has a liking for fires, but has not been in institutions very long.
CHERRY, 25-35, has been in institutions for some time.
JULIE, 21-25, is in a mental institution for the first time because of drug dependency.
RUTH, 30-40, an obsessive personality, who is in and out of mental institutions.
ZAC, 25-30, the musician of the group who has been in and out of mental institutions.
Phone 02 6021 7433 or 0410 933 582 for any enquiries or if unable to make the audition on Saturday from 11am – 2pm.
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Reading of Rime of the Ancient Mariner to Open First HotHouse HotSpot Talk – The Brink

A 30 minute rehearsed reading of The Rime of the Ancient Mariner by Olwen Steel will open the inaugural HotHouse HotSpot Talk – The Brink tomorrow night at Cafe Grove, Wodonga from 6pm.

Olwen was born in South London in the mid-50’s, and arrived in Australia in October 1974. She has been living in Albury-Wodonga since 1987, and since making the Border her home, Olwen has explored music theatre and singing as a chorister, mostly at St Matthew’s Anglican Church in Albury, and also in various a capella groups. She has spent the past decade or so as a schoolteacher on both sides of the river in primary, special ed and high schools. She is currently studying Visual Art full time at Albury TAFE. Her hobbies include singing and leading small study tours to the Mediterranean.

The reading will be introduced by La Trobe University’s Senior Lecturer in the Department of Ecology, Environment and Evolution, Dr Susan Lawler.

It will be followed by supper and a panel discussion with Dr Lawler and Head of La Trobe University’s School of Life Sciences, Professor Michael Clarke. The panel will also include a local wildlife rescuer and carer and will discuss what the Mariner’s tale means for us today.

Dr Lawler said she had read the poem to her ecology students every year for 15 years and felt it articulated that special connection with nature and the high stakes of conservation in a deeply personal and emotional way.

‘We have a responsibility to protect and even love our fellow creatures even if they are not cute and cuddly. A spiritual connection with nature is inevitable if we allow ourselves to spend sufficient time outdoors.

‘I am looking forward to inflicting the same confronting experience on the public and giving them a chance to discuss their reactions,’ Dr Lawler said.

HotHouse Theatre Artistic Director, Lyn Wallis said the HotSpot Talk series, supported by La Trobe University, had been scheduled to complement the season’s shows.

‘The talks will be held in surprising locations and in partnership with local restaurants, wineries and food-growers. ‘They will be cross art-form and highly social exploring interesting ideas and dynamics that resonate with our subscription season, but mostly they’re about getting into some really meaty topics while enjoying some fabulous food and drinks,’ Ms Wallis said.

Tickets are $30 and $25 concession and for HotHouse Subscribers. All tickets include supper and a glass of wine. Please note the venue for The Brink is Cafe Grove and not The Butter Factory Theatre.





Going SOLO on the monologue writing trail

The HotHouse Theatre, La Trobe University and Write Around the Murray festival (WAM) SOLO monologue writing competition is on again with a $500 prize for the winner of each of the three categories: unpublished/unperformed monologues; published/performed and monologues written by high school students.

The competition is for both emerging and established playwrights who are resident locally, or based nationally or internationally.

HotHouse Theatre Artistic Director, Lyn Wallis, said the competition not only encouraged current and emerging playwrights, but also writers of other genres to work in a different form.

‘We’ve already encouraged local high school students by running a monologue writing workshop with Mary Rachel Brown who wrote the first show of our season, The Dapto Chaser. The response from students to this form was very enthusiastic,’ Lyn said.

Head of Campus at La Trobe University Albury-Wodonga, Dr Guinever Threlkeld  said the university was thrilled to once again be involved in the SOLO competition.

‘The opportunity for writers in our region to access exceptional young performers and directors to bring their work to life is a wonderful experience, not only for the writers and performers but those in the wider community that come along to watch the performances,’ Dr Threlkeld said.

Writers are invited to submit a work of three to six minutes long that can be performed by one actor.

‘Shortlisted writers will be given dramaturgical advice and the opportunity to rewrite or fine tune their monologues  for the final assessment process. As part of the Write Around the Murray Festival there will be a rehearsed reading of their monologues by local performers,’ Lyn said.

Write Around the Murray festival coordinator, Ann-maree Ellis said SOLO was a wonderful opportunity for new, emerging and established writers to have their monologues brought to life on stage by the very talented HotHouse Studio Ensemble.

‘I can’t wait to see what this year’s competition brings. The quality of writing and performing in previous years has been excellent,’ Ann-maree said.

Entries close 5pm AEST, Friday, 24 June 2016.

Solo 2016 guidelines

Solo Monologue Entry Form 2016



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Teaching artist, Alex Butt brings broad experience to HotHouse school holiday workshops

Teaching artist, Alex Butt, will lead next week’s school holiday drama workshops at HotHouse Theatre.

Alex  is an actor, director and teacher from Sydney who has worked with companies including Monkey Baa, Rock Surfers Theatre Company and Queensland Theatre Company. He has also appeared on TV and in film. His credits include  Dave and Rhonda’s Excellent Adventure (Rock Surfers Theatre Company), Pete the Sheep (Monkey Baa), Wittenberg (Brevity), 1984, Romeo and Juliet, Macbeth, Hamlet, Tragic Magic, Bard to the Bone, Chop Logic, Say It To My Facebook, Vacant (shake and stir theatre company), Enron (New Theatre) and An Oak Tree (QTC Workshop). Alexander’s film credits include Rake Series 4 (Essential Media/ABC)Farscape (Sci-Fi Chanel USA), Before and After (Abode TV/7TWO), Gotta Have: Yo-Kai Watch (Nine GO) Australia’s Next Top Guru (Boopster Productions), Don’t Be This Guy (General Legends), What May Come (IFSS) Liquid Courage (TropFest), Victim, Paradise Island Club (QANTM) and Julia (QPIX). His television commercial credits include McDonalds, Volkswagen, WebJet, The Disney Channel, Pantene Pro-V, Bonds and Weet-Bix.

The workshops will be held from Monday 11 April – Wednesday 13 April, 9am-3pm each day. Alex will be taking the group through loads of fun games and activities helping use imagination and creativity to bring the mountains of cardboard boxes to life, ready for the first and final performance on Wednesday! All the details here.