FINALLY FRIDAY: Courthouse on a Fony journey


PLAYWRIGHTS Ross Mueller and Georgina Capper took their four Fony 2013 cast-members on a journey as they wrote the production specifically for the actors’ talents.
Mueller, Courthouse ARTS’ artistic director, told the Independent the team chose their cast-members prior to finalising the details of the play.
“It was a really different process for them to have been really present in the making. During the audition process we could say, ‘This is what the play’s about but we don’t know if this character’s male or female until we get the right people in the room’,” Mueller recalled.
Fony 2013 was a comic mystery set in a school room that dealt with topical issues of young people, he said.
“There are essentially four young people in a room and we know the principal is going to be back in 60 minutes. At the end of the play there’s going to be an answer to who was responsible for this disaster that happened yesterday,” Mueller explained.
The content touched on the issue of bullying but Mueller and Capper avoided writing “a piece of theatre education”, instead using the issue as a framework for the play.
“We know bullying is bad and we should stop so there’s no point putting that on stage. But it’s a perfect starting point for a piece of drama involving people under the age of 26 nowadays,” Mueller said
The content reflected the “rapid pace of development” of culture in the last decade.
“Anybody who’s ever been to school or used the internet will be able to understand this play.”
Mueller said cast-members Jesse Bickerton, Didem Caia, Charlie McIntyre and Thomas Russell Shears met the criteria for the Courthouse ARTS ensemble project of being over 18 and available to tour to Sydney in June.
“Two of the four are studying and one is pretty much working full time. They’ve all had to sacrifice some things to be involved,” Mueller said.
The team met twice a week for six weeks to rehearse the production in the lead-up to its Geelong season between 29 May and 8 June.