Debt by Seth Kramer and presented by BuST Co is a story which focuses on three young men who have been friends for a long time.
While one (Greg) is stuck in the midst of his own personal life crisis, his best mates are struggling to see the good in him yet want to remain loyal. Each of his two best mates are both struggling with their own individual ways. One is secretly in love with Greg’s wife, the other is trying to come to terms with his own sexuality.
I spoke with director Greta Georgiou about the play, the company, her vision and the future..
BuST Co is the Burwood Student Theatre Company at Deakin Uni – can you tell me a little about the history of the company?
BuST Co is in it’s 22nd year and is continuing to grow every year. Our company is not limited to only Deakin students, it is open to the wider community and we encourage new people to get involved every year. BuST Co is not solely based upon musical theatre – which many amateur companies seem to be these days. Our company delivers several shows a year and although annually producing a major musical, we also produce an annual comedy revue, hold several social events and produce straight theatre as well.. which is where ‘Debt’ comes in.
Debt is a drama by American playwright Seth Kramer. What was the motivation for staging this particular play? Themes? Style? Number in cast? Story? Other?
‘Debt’ is a drama, that is correct. My motivation in staging this play was to produce a strong drama with powerful characters and underlying themes that are easy to relate to. I stumbled across this play a couple of years ago when travelling in the states and after reading it once I knew it was something that I needed to see on stage. The story is based upon male friendships which is not common amongst theatre. I believe that this is an untapped area that is generally not focused on within the public eye.
The characters are quite deep and have complex motivations and the relationships between each of the characters is really interesting to analyse.
The small cast size of 6 is what is intended by the playwright. This small size is not too common for BuST Co, however the committee decided to produce a smaller scale play to contrast with the large size of the musical we produced this year.
The play, although not stuck in one particular context or setting, does have use of typical American sayings and references to the American culture. I decided to take the text out of the American setting and to deliver it in 1990’s Australia. I believe that the themes are not only common for the American society, but also stretch worldwide and setting it in Australia made the play just that little bit closer to home to both cast and audiences.
How many students are involved in the company? and how would an interested student become an active members?
The company is made up of a committee of 12 representatives. The member base fluctuates from around 100-200 members annually (depending on interest, cast sizes, etc.)The company is not limited to Deakin students so we encourage as many people to get involved as possible. If interested in becoming involved in BuST Co there are many ways to approach the committee; you can email us any queries or questions at [email protected], you can contact the DUSA reception staff at Deakin University, building A. You can follow us on Facebook and you can stay tuned for our audition listings on Theatre People.
Is the company completely managed by the students and, if so, how are finances raised to continue to produce plays?
The company was founded by students and has continued to be run mostly by students since. The company however is not limited to Deakin students. There are several people each year on the committee that are not directly associated with Deakin university, as the company is not solely a Deakin student’s club but also an amateur theatre company open to the wider community. BuST Co is directly linked with DUSA (Deakin University Students Association) who assist us in managing our finances. We are however not funded by the students association or Deakin University itself. We raise and manage our own finances similar to other amateur companies by making profit on shows we produce, holding several fundraising events and promoting our company in as many ways as possible.
How many plays per year do BuST Co produce?
Shows in total per year vary depending on our financial status as a whole. We look at our rollover from the previous year and make a plan at the start of each new committee term. We set out how many shows we are able to produce for the year and take it from there.
Generally, we commence the year with our Annual Comedy Revue (often in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival). Following this we look to get the ball rolling on our major musical for the year. On top of this we either produce a musical variety show or a straight play. In some cases it’s 3 shows per year, but for 2009 it has been 3. The company is not set in concrete as to which shows it will/will not do. We are open to new suggestions and often look to our member base to see what they want as well as just looking at our finances. We aim to include as many Deakin students as possible and to open ourselves up to others as well.
How are jobs – actors, director, production team etc – assigned for each production?
BuST Co has recently changed the way in which it goes about this process. We have always been a company that have taken on board suggestions/ideas for shows and often accepted show proposals which have then gone on to be produced. In terms of managing things a little smoother, we now take on suggestions but it is up to the elected committee to select the show choices for the company. Once this is done, they will then advertise for an artistic team. We undergo a process of interviews held by the executive committee with all applicants and the team is selected from these interviews. The next step is advertising for cast. We post up audition notices regularly on Theatre People, around Deakin university, online and we also email all members. The cast then undergo the audition process, call backs, etc. much like any other company.
What is next for the company?
The next show for the company is going to be the 7th Annual Deakin Comedy Revue titled "Funny Bone". It is to be performed in the Melbourne International Comedy Festival in April – 2011. It is to be directed by Spencer Hadlow & Nick Rudich and to be produced by myself. Auditions will be advertised shortly so stay tuned…
Debt – a drama by Seth Kramer.
SHOW DATES: Wednesday Nov 24 @ 8pm, Thursday Nov 25 @ 8pm, Friday Nov 26 @ 8pm, Saturday Nov 27 @ 8pm