One of the ways students can continue their connection with Hillbrook is by engaging with our Community Theatre Company, Basement Arts. This amazing place has rooted itself in our community by sharing collaborative experiences, building connections and allowing self-expression through the language of theatre. These are the reasons we find ourselves returning to the PAC Basement year after year.

Earlier this year we had the pleasure of co-directing our first play – ‘Carbon Dating’ by Ron Elisha – with a wonderful cast and crew (as always) bringing together old and new friends.

We always begin this experience by reading through the chosen script with the cast. A play often takes a very real shape during this first read through, with nothing more than the words on the page and an eager cast embarking on a journey together. We discover who these characters are, calling upon our own perceptions to construct this new persona. We share an intimate piece of ourselves with the rest of the group and often learn a little about ourselves along the way.

Language gives us that power, and theatre empowers us to share that part of ourselves with an audience, the wider community. While there’s no doubt that theatre and language are intrinsically linked, it is more than just in the written or spoken word.

The role language plays in theatre is in sharing oneself and being a part of a greater whole, more than just the individual. The language of theatre allows us to transcend the limits of time and place.  Audiences could be privy to a character’s entire lifetime, or be led down a mysterious alleyway, only to emerge on the street, witnessing the first gay rights protests in Australia (as we all did in Hillbrook’s past student, Laura McBeath’s Death Drop). Theatre can bring to life experiences well beyond the realm of the ordinary or allow us to explore the magic in what could usually be perceived as the mundane.

Theatre is how we employ language to tell stories, spread messages, bring happiness and create positive experiences for those in our community. It is always a great journey to be a part of and one that is best shared.

by Bridget Porter (2013) and Callum Mulvey (2014) – Past Hillbrook Students