WAY

Published Script

‘The texture and intelligence of the writing, its refusal to be simplistic’. WAY is a multi-narrative, researched, 1-person play that interweaves a fictional character with those based on research. Lynne is a documentary-maker. As she pitches her film to the broadcaster on her mobile, struggles with relationships and her own precarious life circumstances, we meet the women in her film who initially appear on the screen. There’s Maysie who lives in her car, Zahra who lives in a women’s refuge, Lily whose couch surfing options have run out and Julie who sleeps with her dog Clancy at Southern Cross Station. As the women’s lives fall down around them like the walls of the homes they can no longer afford, Lynne’s on-going battle with the broadcaster, the reality of her mother living in Care and her financial difficulties create an underlying, spiralling tension. ‘Sally McKenzie has a case to make about real people… She engages us by seamlessly interweaving a personal story which has itself a rising tension as it builds toward a crisis’.

Production

‘Sally McKenzie grips the audience’s attention for a complex seventy-five minutes with an astonishing sustained theatre performance’. Documentary-style footage integrates with live action. Soundscapes ‘capture everything from the cityscape noise to the lingering fizz of a dissolving aspirin’. Videos, contextualised as Lynne’s film, initially grab focus as the actor moves between characters. As WAY progresses minimal costume changes are done in view of the audience. ‘Sally McKenzie is riveting; she inhabits each individual character with a change of cardigan or jacket, subtle shifts of physicality, voice and above all, through revealing their different attitudes to life and the struggles they face. Equally subtle is Sean Mee’s direction. Everything about this spare, beautiful production draws our attention to the inner life of the play’. WAY is a response to the housing crisis gripping Australia. It opens conversations on both content and form. ‘The women in WAY speak to us directly through the prism of a filmmaker’s interviews’.

Resources

Published Script. A hard copy of the play is an ongoing resource and invaluable reference tool. Use the script to analyse social and political contexts.

Production Resource Notes. These include notes on content, research stages, writing process, form, rehearsal and production processes. Also interviews with key creatives. Stage director Sean Mee discusses conventions such as character and place transformations. An interview with playwright Sally McKenzie highlights the creative development approach to this new Australian work. Sound designer J. David Franzke talks about how he uses recordings from public places in the WAY sound design.

Complimentary Q&As with the playwright-actor follow selected performances. 

A video of a live performance will be available online. Professionally shot and edited, with high-quality sound, access is via an online link.

REVIEWS/FEEDBACK    

‘Sally McKenzie’s play WAY is forged out of those rare qualities, originality, integrity and compassion; they underpin the remarkable writing, performing and direction’. Helen Morse, Actor ‘Sally McKenzie’s remarkable skill is exemplified as she throws herself into playing five distinct characters, leaving the audience with no doubt about their unique stories and struggles’. Tash Bradshaw, Theatre Travels ‘It’s theatre of passion and urgency’. Paul English, Actor ‘As a play, it could easily have tipped over into agit-prop or political pamphlet.  It doesn’t – due to two factors that demonstrate the professionalism and ingenuity of its creator’. Michael Brindley, Stage Whispers

INFO

PLAYSCRIPT

  • discounts for multiple playscripts
  • ongoing resource
  • interrogate contexts/form 
  • new Australian work  
  • analyse play-making techniques
  • express post

PERFORMANCES 

  • VCE Drama Playlist 2024, Unit 3
  • season: 1st to 12th May 2024
  • Q&A after 3rd, 5th, 7th, 8th, 10th May performances
  • book via link below or call 03 9662 9966 
  • 45 Flinders Lane, Melbourne, 3000
  • Melbourne, fortyfivedownstairs             

RESOURCES

  • published script
  • Production Resource Notes (PRN)
  • PRN delivered online
  • Q&As with playwright-actor
  • register interest in online video
  • video professionally shot & edited

ABOUT

theCoalface is a boutique arts company run by practicing artists. Based on a profound experience in and understanding of theatre, our projects often give voice to marginalised individuals and communities. We produce new works and publish plays, including Scattered Lives.