Five Questions with The Reginas

Emily Weavers and Coralie Schell aka The Reginas spoke with us about their cabaret performance coming to the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre 11-13 December 2019. This is an original work developed over the past two years and premiering with HotHouse Theatre.

What inspired you to make this work?

When asked this question previously, we have always answered that it started with the ‘me too’ movement. But how did we get to the ‘me too’ movement? Sadly, we have know too many women who are living with or doing the best to live with the fact that they are victims of sexual assault. These people are at arm’s length as well as very near and dear to us.
We considered the ‘me too’ movement to be something very important in our community giving voice to many women who have been silenced. We wanted our show to represent women as strong people, determined and resilient.
So we looked close to home, within our own families. We had lots of women that we could’ve written a fabulous story about. In the end, we chose Freda. Freda seemed to be someone that just put up with shit… Shit that had been derived from men with heavily ingrained misogynistic attitudes. She made us question what a strong woman looks like.

What is this show about?

It’s about Freda (Coralie’s grandmother). It’s about Coralie’s mother. But it is more than that. It is a discussion about women, feminism, hatred, and where people sit with these concepts.

Why is this story important now?

The world is still dealing with people that believe that treating minority groups like second class citizens is ok. Women are still getting raped/murdered, and told it’s their fault.

What is the key learning you are taking away from the theatre making process?

It’s taken two years to put it all together. We’ve learnt the importance of time management! Also, we have learnt a great deal from the business side of producing a show. We have learnt that there are so many things, such as lighting and sound, that help tell a story, not just words. We are lucky to have amazing people willing to back us, people who are so generous with their time and knowledge, and people who support us with their positivity! Only with this do we feel our show can be successful.

What does an organisation like HotHouse Theatre mean to you?

Of course the Celsius program has made a major difference to us being able to show Edlmayr. The grant has given us access to things like advertising, recordings and equipment. Being part of Celsius, we have felt 100% supported by all members of the HotHouse staff. Without this, we’re not sure if Edlmayr would have ever got off the ground. All of a sudden people took us seriously as local and independent artists and since then, given that this is our first ever go at putting on a theatre piece, we have been well supported throughout the process and beyond. We have felt like part of the family and this sense of belonging and friendship has made our cabaret that much more worthwhile. Thanks HotHouse!

Edlmayr by The Reginas plays from 11 December at the Butter Factory Theatre for three performances only.

Bookings can be made here.

view of actors Rachel and Ben through a doorway into an empty room

Five Questions with Rachel McNamara

We nabbed some time with Rachel McNamara ahead of Rabbit Hole coming to the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre 26-28 November 2019. She is and has been part of HotHouse Theatre’s programs to support independent theatre practice in the region.

What inspired you to choose this work?

We chose this work for a few reasons. The first is that it’s a brilliant play.  The second is that it’s a text that lends itself to working using the Strasberg method and we wanted Gabriella Rose Carter to direct the work.

I was lucky enough to attend an artist retreat with Gabriella Rose Carter a few years ago – who trained in New York at the Strasberg Institute – and we had been trying to find the right play to work on together. Rabbit Hole is a play that she had always wanted to direct.

Thematically it’s a story that I really want to tell. My father died suddenly just before I began my training as an actor and I’ve always been somewhat drawn to stories about grief. As a mother of a four year old, I feel so deeply for Becca and her circumstances.

And we chose the play because we were able to use the amazing talents of Ben Tari – who I met at channel seven many years ago and who relocated to Albury with his family just at the perfect time – and Gretchen Prowse who is a phenomenal HSC drama teacher….but also an exquisite actress. All three of us had been working as teachers and felt we were ready to return to craft of the right role came up….and David Lindsay-Abaire has written just those characters!

What is this show about?

Rabbit Hole is a love story. It’s about a family growing back together after loss. It’s about how we make space for grief in our own lives and the lives of others.

Why is this story important now?

We have all been touched by loss in some way. Loss of a loved one, a pet, a friendship, a dream… And the way that we move through loss and support each other in the face of loss speaks to the core of our humanity.

This place is a reminder that there is hope, that we can laugh and grow back together and that we all grieve differently.

What is the key learning you are taking away from the theatre making process?

That it’s possible to live regionally and work professionally. That we can create unique models of making work so that we can work with artists that we admire.

What does an organisation like HotHouse Theatre mean to you?

So much!

Outpost, CELSIUS, artist talks, workshops and masterclasses… all these programs have validated and galvinised us as a community of theatre makers.
And the best is yet to come. As someone who wants to make powerful theatre and have great conversations, I’m so excited about the 2020 HotHouse Theatre season.

Rabbit Hole by David Lindsay-Abaire plays from 26 November at the Hume Bank Butter Factory Theatre for three performances only.

Bookings can be made here.