Five Questions with Brendan Hogan

 

We sat down with award winning playwright Brendan Hogan to ask him five questions about his play The Last Boy on Earth which is being performed this July School holidays as part of the 2019 HotHouse season.

What inspires you to write for children and families?
There are lots of plays for really young kids, and there are lots of plays for young adults and older, but where are the plays for those kids aged 10-14? Not musicals or school productions, but actual funny, challenging plays. Kids in this age bracket are very aspirational in what they what to see and be engaged by. They’re not quite ready for the heavy adult stuff, but they also don’t want to be patronised by kiddy stuff. I want to give the audience something that the whole family can genuinely enjoy and be affected by.

The play is very funny. Do you have fun in rehearsals working with the young people in the cast?
One of the most satisfying things about writing a play is seeing what the actors bring to it in terms of other layers and jokes. Kids are great to work with because they have a different perspective and ask all kinds of tricky questions I hadn’t really thought of. We know we are onto something when, after hours and hours of rehearsals, we still find and create new moments that make us fall to pieces with laughter.

The play is set in the near future. What do you think the world will really be like 2043?
It’s fair to say a future where everyone, except for a young boy, has died, is not your normal fodder for a family friendly comedy. Do I really think the world will be like that in 2043? I hope not – I’ve got things I need to do! But there are other elements of the show I do think ring true, even in 2019, such as our inability to properly manage our waste and our dependence on technology to solve all our problems for us.

What are you looking forward to the most about doing the play at HotHouse?
HotHouse is one of the best regional theatres in Australia and it’s right on our door step. As a playwright, you always write with the hope of having your work performed in front of a large audience in a professional theatre. The reality is that for most playwrights, those opportunities are few and far between. It’s been a thrill to work with professional producers, designers and crew. In the end, however, I’m looking forward to opening night and seeing the audience respond to what we have created. We think it’s great and we hope other do to.

For those who saw the play last time – why should they come back and see it again?
It’s a different show to last time. Bigger and better! The story has been tweaked and Ben, our musician, has been working on a completely new score for the show and will be performing live for the audience. Sophie has designed an amazing set, which has to be seen to be believed, and Rhys has been working hard on a new lighting design which is a world away from the couple of lights we had in the tiny Masonic Hall in Yackandandah. Visually and emotionally, the story will be different and we can’t wait to show everybody just what we’ve done with it!

The Last Boy on Earth plays from 9 July at the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre for six performances only.

You can read more abo0ut the play here. 

The Last Boy on Earth is suitable for humans and aliens aged 8 earth years and above

Bookings can be made here

The production contains: Haze, Loud noises, and Strobe lighting.

Meet HotHouse Theatre’s new Artistic Director and CEO – Karla Conway

Thursday 6 June 2019

Today the Board of HotHouse Theatre announced the appointment of Ms Karla Conway to the role of Artistic Director/CEO. Karla will relocate to the region in early July and commence full-time in her new role from the 8th of July 2019.

Karla is a director, dramaturg, theatre-maker and respected arts leader. She studied Theatre at the University of Missouri-Columbia USA, and graduated from NIDA (Directing) in 2009. Since then, Karla has worked professionally in numerous leadership roles: as Artistic Director/CEO of Canberra Youth Theatre, Creative Producer for Warehouse Circus, and currently, as Program Manager for Canberra Theatre Centre. Alongside this, Karla has maintained her freelance practice as a director/dramaturg of theatre, contemporary dance and circus for professional artists and companies including The Street, Warehouse Circus and Australian Dance Party.

Karla has created numerous innovative works as a theatre-maker, including site-specific works for the National Library and the National Gallery of Australia, and has collaborated with artists and companies across the country on works for: Sydney Opera House, Black Swan State Theatre Company (WA), The Street (ACT), Action Transport Theatre (UK), Long Cloud Youth Theatre (NZ), and Academy of Interactive Entertainment. Among her many productions include international collaborations, interstate and international tours and a body of work amassing over 40 award nominations and wins – including three Canberra Critics Circle Awards. She will also bring to the role a depth of experience in developing and supporting emerging and mid-career artists.

Ms Conway said: “It is extremely humbling to be entrusted with leading this formidable company, and one that is so fully embraced by the community and the country. I look forward to ensuring HotHouse continues to evolve as one of the nation’s most prolific breeding grounds for new Australian theatre and new voices, and as a creative sanctuary for artists across the country”

Paul Robb, Chair of HotHouse said: Karla was an outstanding applicant for the role of Artistic Director of HotHouse. Karla is graduate of the NIDA Directors course, previous Artistic Director of Canberra Youth Theatre, and most recently was a senior member of the programming team for Canberra Theatre Centre.  Her own professional practice as a director and creator of theatre has covered a wide range of theatre genres. We look forward to welcoming Karla and her family to the region, and working with her in the next exciting stage for HotHouse.