Flinders centre stage again at State Theatre Company

Flinders graduate Xavier Samuel with Professor Julian Meyrick.
Flinders graduate Xavier Samuel, who starred this year, with Professor Julian Meyrick.

Following a headline grabbing 2014 which saw one of Flinders University’s most famous drama graduates, Twilight Saga: Eclipse star Xavier Samuel, star in Anton Chekhov’s The Seagull, Flinders grads will again be front and centre in the State Theatre Company of South Australia’s 2015 Season.

STCSA’s 2015 program, launched last week, includes directing roles for Corey McMahon, Geordie Brookman and Nescha Jelk; and acting roles for James Smith, Amber McMahon and David Heinrich.

Mr McMahon makes his directing debut in a Samuel Beckett Tryptych, which includes Footfalls, Krapp’s Last Tape and Eh Joe, while Mr Brookman will direct both Ray Lawler’s Summer of the Seventeenth Doll and Harold Pinter’s Betrayal.

Mr Smith, meanwhile – who received excellent reviews this year for his performance in Lally Katz’s Neighbourhood Watch – returns in Vivienne Walsh’s This is Where We Live, while Ms McMahon and Mr Heinrich both star in Keith Robinson and Tony Taylor’s The Popular Mechanicals.

The news follows the announcement earlier this year of Flinders’ new three-year partnership with STCSA, which made it the exclusive University Partner and Red Carpet Program Partner of STCSA.

The agreement also saw the university continue its sponsorship of the widely acclaimed Flinders University Young Playwrights’ Award.

Professor Richard Maltby, Executive Dean of Flinders University’s Faculty of Education, Humanities and Law, said Flinders was proud to maintain its record of supporting the arts in South Australia both through the three-year agreement and the creative contributions of its top class drama graduates.

“Flinders has been nurturing the State’s creative talent since the University’s beginnings, and as playwrights, directors, producers and actors, our graduates have made played key roles in the State Theatre’s successes,“ Professor Maltby said.

“Our partnership with the State Theatre is very much a working partnership. Rosalba Clemente, Head of Acting at Flinders, is a former Artistic Director of STCSA, and played opposite Xavier Samuel in last year’s production of The Seagull ”

State Theatre Company SA Chief Executive Officer Rob Brookman said the three-year deal would contribute to STCSA’s financial stability and helping it to nurture and develop South Australian artists to build creative capacity for the future.

“This enables a more seamless transition from study to work and, for us, a closer relationship with talented members of the next generation of South Australian theatre artists from Flinders University Drama Centre, which has been a centre of excellence for professional acting and directing for more than 40 years,” he said.

The deal created opportunities for Flinders University students including:

  • 400 contact points over three years for students studying through Flinders Drama Centre
  • Access to guest speakers/lecturers/workshop leaders including STCSA’s Artistic Director Geordie Brookman and CEO/Producer Rob Brookman
  • Opportunities for final year students from the Flinders University’s Directing degree program to be seconded as Assistant Directors to STCSA productions
  • Theatre orientation days for 1st Year students
  • The opportunity for Year 1 – 3 directing students to observe up to one week of rehearsals of a main-stage production
  • The opportunity for Flinders creative writing or directing students to sit in on commissioning program workshops for new works
  • The opportunity for Directing students to attend the Young Playwrights’ Award dramaturgy workshop, learning first hand from a professional Director about the development process of the winning scripts
  • The opportunity for mentorship of one final year Directing student per annum by an STCSA Artistic Associate
  • Complimentary seven play subscriptions to STCSA productions annually for final year students
  • The opportunity for all students to sit in on technical rehearsal and dress rehearsals of STCSA productions.
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