By Jed Lanyon
Australian playwright Hannie Rayson and ABC’s Michael Cathcart are undertaking a major community arts program in Healesville.
‘Hello, Healesville’ aims to collect stories from Healesville residents to showcase a snapshot of the entire town through writing and performance.
Ms Rayson and Mr Cathcart invite all Healesville locals to share their story and take part in writing and performance workshops to learn how to best tell their story to others.
“We’re looking for the quirky or the funny. You can be saint or a sinner. The more colourful the story the happier we are.
“Whether you are a district nurse, CFA volunteer, involved in the timber and logging industry, a chippie in the hills, or a wine grower in the region… The key is to provide a portrait of the town,” Ms Rayson said.
Even those who are uninterested in performing in front of others are still urged to provide their story for the project.
The workshops will give people the opportunity to learn directly from Ms Rayson and Mr Cathcart to develop or hone their writing and performance skills.
The workshops will take place at The Memo, commencing on 10 March and running every Thursday and Sunday. The project and performances will be on display on 1-2 June.
“I hope that we can help people to develop skills as they need them, structuring work and writing, inspiring them to write, edit and work up their own stories,” Ms Rayson said.
Ms Rayson is the author of several plays including Hotel Sorrento, Inheritance, Life after George and Extinction, while her husband Mr Cathcart is a presenter of The Stage Show for ABC Radio National.
“We’re moving to Healesville for three months and we’ve done a house swap with a couple of fabulous Healesvillians.
“We’ve already met the neighbours and had a party so we feel very welcomed,” Ms Rayson said.
To find out how to get involved call: 1300 368 333 or visit The Memo’s website for more information.