Commencing with a creative consultation with Western Australian Youth as part of National Youth Week 2011 on April 3rd and 10th, the EARTH project will be directed by Jeffrey Jay Fowler. This creative consultation invited people from a variety of creative disciplines (theatre, film, set designers, game designers, writers, dramaturgs, directors) and a variety of cultures to come and be inspired by this single word at the commencement of this project.

The EARTH project will result in a new play created by a team of imaginative young West Australians with director Jeffrey Jay Fowler at the helm. Fowler’s unique style of theatre-making privileges the performers he works with by allowing them to create their own characters based on a central theme. The show “Earth” is an opportunity for the young theatre makers of Perth to express what the earth means to them, right now.

Each actor in the company will first engage in creative workshops that dissect the single key word at the heart of the project – “Earth”. They will then be lead through a series of creative processes that allow her or him to create a character that they are perfectly suited to play. Then in collaboration with Jeffrey Jay, the actors will weave their characters into a storyline and world that explores the concept of “Earth”.

This project is an opportunity for a group of young people to not only experience a professional theatre environment, but also to have a leading role in the creation of a professional quality work. Fowler has a reputation of working with young people to create hilarious black comedies set in slightly altered universes. His work has consistently garnered positive attention from both media and artistic peers in the Perth theatre community.

“Earth” will not be an enviro-hugging, drab amateur production that whines at audiences to recycle and think about the whales. This will be savagely entertaining, youth made, brand new theatre that has audiences dropping their jaws and rethinking the soil they stand on. What do the young people of Perth really think of Earth?

Fowler spent 2010 studying directing at the National Institute of Dramatic Arts in Sydney, and is determined that his first work back in his home town Perth will show the fruits of his intensive learning.

There are a million reasons for theatre makers to abandon Perth for the Eastern States, to make work where there are pre-developed audiences and more theatre companies. It’s an asset to Perth to have its young people stay, creating its own vibrant culture that reflects their experience of life in Western Australia. This project will bring young people into Perth from the outer suburbs and beyond to collaborate and create something together, proving that Perth is an exciting place where things happen, and that not all artists have to abandon ship.

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