Not content with latent librettos, UOW’s young playwrights are having their words breathed to life by performance students in a series of plays being exhibited at the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre in June.

Final Draft, the brainchild of UOW Creative Writing lecturer Dr Joshua Lobb and IPAC’s Fiona Finley, is a collaboration between Creative Writing students and the Illawarra Performing Arts Centre’s Drama Studio.

Established to allow emerging playwrights to engage in all stages of the production process, the Final Draft program enables the students to develop their creative voices while gaining hands-on experience in the field.

Third year writer and former Drama Studio student, James Poole says the program has been particularly beneficial for his craft.

“It’s practice, and it’s practice in a very realistic, practical setting for a writer. We had a script deadline, we had editing dates, we’ve had printing issues, everything you could imagine, we’ve gone through it,”James says.

The venture has been rewarding for all involved.

In enabling creative writers to work actively with senior high school students, Final Draft generates a mutually constructive experience.

“It’s also beneficial for the people down at the Drama Studio,” Dr Lobb says.

“Because they’re young actors. They get to work with writers and see how that process works.”

Dr Lobb said the practical lessons gleaned from having the work performed beyond a classroom setting are invaluable.

“It’s a really good experience for a writer to work out when a line in a play lands- when somebody finds it funny or when they’re moved by it- and when it doesn’t. It’s much better than seeing it in just a workshop situation or just down on the page.”

This year’s production features six short plays exploring Greek Mythology, with ventures quite creatively undertaken.

Final Draft will be showcased at IPAC on Saturday, 15 June at 7.30pm.

Words & Video: SHARRI LEMBRYK

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