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How would you survive in a post- apocalyptic world? The University of Wollongong’s performance students are asking this question in their latest production debuting this week.

Fallen, which has been created entirely by third year students features a group of individuals who are trying to come to terms with a broken world. Using everything from dance to slam-poetry, as director Lucas Johnson says, the piece explores a number of themes related to living in a destroyed world.

“Fallen is based on the lives of six individuals who are trying to contemplate why they are in this sort of landscape (a post-apocalyptic world), why they are here and what has caused them to be in this land of grey,” he says.

“It is inspired by my early studies of a Czech choreographer Jiri Kylian. I studied him in high school.”

A long time in the making, the production marks Lucas’s first time as a director, an experience he says although worthwhile, has come with its stresses.

“This is my first time directing,” he says. “I thought it would be easier but like everything it has had its moments. Its’ been an experience and a eye-opener.”

It is however, something he feels he just had to do.

“Its’ always been something I’ve wanted to do. Ever since I have been here, I have seen a couple of student productions and I have been impressed with what they have done. I guess I also wanted to see what it was like to do my own work after looking at others.”

Fortunately, Lucas had the help of the performance staff at the university picking him up when he had fallen.

“I get a lot of support from academics. A lot of support from the technical staff as well. Its’ really good to do it in an safe environment like this because I find that its really good to be able to bounce back between one of the academics or my supervisors.”

Fallen has given six third year students the opportunity to become involved in the piece. Lending their various talents to the show, performer, Billie Scott said, it has been a good opportunity for him and his fellow students.

“Its’ been an experience,” said Billie. “Its’ been interesting. It’s a collective group so its’ about creating it. Its’ been trying but yet satisfying.”

Billie also believes it has been a great chance to put their theoretical studies where the stage is.

“All the skills we have learnt to create our own theatre and to create our own work and material that is what is being used,” he said.

Assistant Director turned performer Rachel Baker said, it has given her the chance to learn how to deal with the realities of working in the arts.

“I’ve done directing and performing separately in the past but in this show because of unforeseen circumstances I have had to slot in as a performer,” said Rachel.

“Its not as stressful because I knew the play before hand, but I’m a little bit stressed out right now, but that’s ok.”

Fallen will be performed at the University of Wollongong Performance Space Thursday 14 March – Saturday 16 March at 8pm each night.

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Words: ANDREA HOGAN
Pictures: ALEX PIKE
Video: TARIK ELMERHEBE

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