Program Feature

31 May 2016 /

Water is the blood in the veins of the Riverina’s irrigation pipes, canals and rivers – and in the end it’s people. So what happens when the water level dips below the water line?

Seven of the Riverina’s best writers have set about telling the stories of seven fictional characters and their strenuous relationships with water in a new production – Basin.

Basin explores secrets, love and loss through the eyes and words a small town’s inter-generational voices: a piss-pot, an immigrant, a dreamer, a gossip, a diviner, a survivor and a charity worker. The play follows the characters’ search for redemption so they can embrace the future.

The production was written by seven Riverina writers: Marty Boyle, Sulari Gentill, Diana Lovett, Freda Marnie Nicholls, David O’Sullivan, Craig Palmer and John Riddell with acclaimed playwright Vanessa Bates. The writers hail from all corners of the Riverina region in south west NSW including Batlow, Cootamundra, The Rock and Wagga Wagga and their expertise ranges from established novelists to freelance writers and journalists. Basin is directed by Scott Howie.

The writing process occurred over four weekend workshops, much like a television show’s writers’ room, with the goal to produce a script for a play revolving around water in some way.

The characters will be brought to the stage by actors Virginia Anderson, Haya Arzidin and Stephen Holt – all from Wagga.

Virginia is making her triumphant return to the stage, Haya is a student in Charles Sturt University’s Acting for Stage and Screen program, and Stephen is a long-time actor who was most recently seen in the 2014 production of Away and 2013’s Backyard Ashes.

To top off an engaging and socially relevant production, Basin’s crew includes Wagga’s Sophie Kurylowicz on lighting design and Cootamundra’s Dave Burraston on sound design.

The play will tour throughout the Riverina over the next two months and will have special delegates only performances as part of the ARTLANDS DUBBO 2016 Festival Program.