‘Two Short Plays, One Ticket’ is the tagline of the double-bill being presented by Michael Brasser Productions at Chapel off Chapel in February. Recent graduates of the Howard Fine Acting Studio have collaborated to present Philip Ryall’s The Centenarian, the story of a Sydney couple preparing for their Gran’s 100th birthday whilst keeping an eye on their inheritance, and the Australian Premiere of Bryan Goluboff’s Off-Broadway hit Big Al, a play about two struggling writers who pitch a screenplay to Al Pacino.

Director of The Centenarian and actor in Big Al, Shane Savage holds this project very close to his heart. “To be able to work with a team of such amazing creatives to turn my vision into a reality is incredibly gratifying.” Savage states that the project has provided him and his fellow actors with “a chance to take our training into the professional world and really put into practice the technique we’ve recently studied at the Howard Fine Acting Studio.”

However, the director of the double-bill also explains that taking on the three roles of Actor, Director and Associate Producer for this project has proved challenging. “It’s difficult to know which hat to wear at which time” Savage explains, “It’s a delicate balance, but it‘s all manageable with a supportive team and little sleep!”

Savage strongly believes that audiences will be able to relate to the characters in both Big Al, and in The Centenarian. “Big Al focuses on pursuing one's dreams, and what one would be willing to sacrifice to achieve them,” he shares. “Similarly with The Centenarian, Shirl and Clive are trapped in a life that they never planned for themselves. The audience can relate to their suburban Australian struggle, and cheer them on as they begin to figure things out. With both plays, the theme of death is quite imminent, and everybody can relate some way or another to the grief.”

In regards to the reasoning behind the choice of this double-bill, the director says that “both plays complement each other perfectly. They both follow a similar structure and explore the same themes of love, death, dreams and ultimately, sacrifice.”

Savage hopes that audiences will “be completely transported into the world of these characters and also be entirely absorbed and entertained. I would also really like audiences to leave the theatre thinking.” Savage explains that both plays end on “a rather open note,” not necessarily the generic ‘happy ending’ that we may expect, and therefore his wish is that the audience will leave the theatre wondering what will happen next for the characters. “It’s always nice to put a story back on to the audience and let them draw their own conclusions.”

For Savage, the experience of mounting the two productions has been highly enjoyable. “Both of these plays are so well written that it’s a pleasure to work with,” he contends. “I’ve never been so privileged to work with a team that is so passionate, dedicated and willing to work. Everybody is driven by love for the work, and it’s so rewarding to be able to share my joy with them, and receive it in return.”

Big Al by Bryan Goluboff
The Centenarian by Philip Ryall

Strictly Limited Season in February 2013
Thursday 7th Feb 8pm (Gala Opening)
Friday 8th Feb 8pm
Saturday 9th Feb (Matinee) 3pm
Saturday 9th Feb 8pm
Sunday 10th Feb 6pm

CHAPEL OFF CHAPEL
12 Little Chapel St,
Prahran, Melbourne
Victoria, 3181

$28 Full, (+Transaction Fee)
$24 Conc. (+Transaction Fee)
$24 Group10+ (+Transaction Fee)
Book tickets at www.chapeloffchapel.com.au

 

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