THE SET – Building new ideas

Article by Cassandra Ramsay @cassramsay 

The Set. It says something about a work, metaphorically, literally, financially.

The Settlers – CJ Fraser-Bell, Coco Meacham, Danielle Andrews and Katie Ciesiolka – and Corrugated Iron Youth Arts (all Darwin-based) are taking that concept and turning it on its head.

the set concept image3

During this year’s Crack Theatre Festival audiences will have the opportunity to create a fantasy work as a part of this interactive performance installation, and each night The Settlers will explore and perform before tearing it down to do it all again from scratch the next night.

“We wanted to explore our own craft and deconstruct how we view ‘the set’ as part of a theatrical work, so we took it out if the theatre and into the hands of the audience” says co-devisor/performer/stage manager extraordinaire CJ Fraser-Bell.

“By sharing stories and creating together, we’ll get a better understanding of how ideas of place and objects are shared by people and the many different forms of narrative.

“Now we get to create a show to reflect the set, not the other way around.”

CJ, a first time producer, has found invaluable support from Corrugated Iron Youth Arts throughout the process. “They’re a champion for young people’s performance in Darwin” she says.

Each performer has worked with the company in one way or another as ‘a corro kid’ over the years, but The Set is something new for everyone involved. “We’ve got such a diverse mix of experience and skills so as we began working on the show we all just decided to go with the flow and have fun.“

Coming to Crack Theatre Festival is an exciting prospect for the team too. “Crack Theatre itself is all about reactivating disused spaces and giving new life, which is really important to us and undercurrent for The Set.

“This project is a development exercise as well as a performance, so we’re just really happy to say yes as often as we can to each other and our audience.”

If you’re heading down to the festival, be sure to bring along your treasured, hated and random objects and take part in a new world each night as you add your piece to The Set.