It’s a rare person that doesn’t remember the joy of playing dress-ups as a child. Going to the dress-up box and pulling out a favourite Batman cape or the butterfly wings grandma lovingly made last birthday. Crowns and swords, skirts, shoes and tops, they afforded us all a passport into another world, permission to be someone else for a fleeting moment. But dressing up goes way beyond mum’s old dress. In childhood as much as adulthood, changing the outer costume, putting on a suit or a pair of heels for example, allows us to explore an alternate world, perhaps even to be someone else for a while. It acts as a key to opening mental doors. Pretty well every morning millions of people stand in front of their wardrobe or cupboard and pose the mental question “what do I feel like wearing today?” The result depends on the role we will be playing that day, be it business, sport, family or leisure based. It also depends on mood and an image we want to project. To quote Amneris in Elton John’s Aida “I am what I wear and how I dress”. We identify ourselves with how we present to the world – sometimes to cover the truth and other times to reinforce it.
30 years of regular productions see many personalities and identities pass through the door of a theatre company. To kick off their 30th anniversary celebrations, Players Theatre Company will begin the year with one of their most exciting projects to date. In their brand new variety show, IDENTITY, the company will be exploring the challenges and joys of shifting identity. The show will feature songs such as 'Shy' (Once Upon A Mattress), 'Doors' (Closer Than Ever), 'Don't Be Anything Less Than Everything You Can Be' (Snoopy), ‘Cross the Line’ (Big the Musical), ‘The Life I Never Led’ (Sister Act) and ‘Coming Together’ (Jason Robert Brown) to name just a few, as well as several works by composer/lyricist Scott Allan. The all-singing, all-dancing company of 10 men and 10 women (some of whom will be making their performing debuts in one or other of the genre presented) will fantasise, reflect and comment on the perceptions each of us have of ourselves and those around us. The directorial concept for the production is centred on the ability we all have to change identity. Two giant toy boxes feature on stage; identical in every way with the exception that one toy box is used and worn whilst the other is brand new. Throughout the show, cast members store and retrieve props and simple costume pieces from the boxes. Reflecting real life itself, every item has the ability to trigger the creation or destruction of an identity.
The creative team for IDENTITY consists of Penn Valk (director), Laura Carroll (musical director) and Victoria Rendall (choreographer). The collective qualifications and experience of these three multi-talented women can only be described as seriously impressive. Musical, directorial and chorographic credits abound, along with degrees and diplomas in a variety of subjects. With this cast, these creatives and this show, Players Theatre Company could not be off to a better start for their anniversary year. Their next production URINETOWN also promises great things. Auditions will be held March 12th-14th, information for which can be found on Players Theatre Company’s website (www.playerstc.net) or here on Theatrepeople.
All of Players Theatre Company’s performances take place in the Christine Strachan Theatre (South Oakleigh Secondary College) Bakers Road, South Oakleigh. IDENTITY premieres Friday, March 9th at 8pm with further performances at 8pm on March 10th, 15th and 16th and a 5pm show on Saturday March 17th.
Players Theatre Company
March 9th, 10th, 15th & 16th at 8pm
March 17th at 5pm
Christine Strahan Theatre
South Oakleigh Seconary College
Bakers Road, South Oakleigh
Bookings: 0434 669 594
Tickets: $25 (flat rate)