A season of short plays opens at Centrepoint Theatre

Viv Aitken and Kristin Reilly in the Angie Farrow play "Breaking News", part of the "Among Strangers " season at ...
Scott Meyers

Viv Aitken and Kristin Reilly in the Angie Farrow play "Breaking News", part of the "Among Strangers " season at Centrepoint Theatre

Centrepoint Theatre is set to host three short plays by Massey University's Dr Angie Farrow.

The all-female After Eden company will perform two award-winning works by the playwright and premiere a third in a programme called Among Strangers that are directed by Tracey-Lynne Cody. 

"While the plays are not naturalistic or traditional, they are all accessible," Cody said.

The chorus from Angie Farrow's play "Esther" part of the "Among Strangers"  season at Centrepoint Theatre.
Scott Meyers

The chorus from Angie Farrow's play "Esther" part of the "Among Strangers" season at Centrepoint Theatre.

"We've worked with Angie developing the material for the stage in rehearsal, so we've been workshopping the scripts as well."

Cody said the plays had both a mythic and a surreal quality.

"They've been written with young women in mind, and while the three create quite distinct worlds, they all explore themes of female identity and social responsibility in a rapidly changing world."

A scene from Angie Farrow's play "Esther" from left Marti Robinson, Viv Aitken, Katherine Lyons, Harriette Barker,  ...
Scott Meyers

A scene from Angie Farrow's play "Esther" from left Marti Robinson, Viv Aitken, Katherine Lyons, Harriette Barker, Hannah Pratt and Ashleigh Matheson.

The nine After Eden actors with be playing multiple roles. In the play Breaking News, which won Best Youth Production at the 2015 Norfolk Island Theatre Festival, the central character, an ambitious newsreader who bites off more than she can chew, is played by five actors.

Esther, which won the teenage category in the 2016 Playmarket Plays for the Young competition, was the story of a search for a famous woman who had gone missing, and had a prominent Greek-style chorus component.

The new play, August Moon, was a comedy.

Ashleigh Matheson and Hannah Pratt in the comedy "August Moon" one of three plays in "Among Strangers" premiering at ...
Scott Meyers

Ashleigh Matheson and Hannah Pratt in the comedy "August Moon" one of three plays in "Among Strangers" premiering at Centrepoint Theatre .

"This has been the most challenging because it's character driven. In it, a community embraces the return of a missing girl, but there are doubts that she is who she claims to be," Cody said.

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The ensemble cast was mix of experienced community actors, including multiple Globe Award-winner Hannah Pratt, and performing arts graduates from UCOL and Massey University. Cody said they were excited to be able to perform on Centrepoint's mainstage.

"I've been focused on enhancing the physicality of the plays while making sure we tell a ripping story."

Original music for the trilogy had been composed by Daniel Ashcroft.

Among Strangers plays this week until Saturday 16 at Centrepoint, and performs for Massey's lunchtime Arts on Wednesday session on September 20. The trilogy then heads to Wellington for a season at Bats Theatre from September 26 to 30.

 - Stuff

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