September: the air is cold with that recognizable Toowoomba wind is rolling in over the hills, many students are taking their mid-semester breaks, but one group of students can be seen. These students trudge into the dining hall at 7:14, eat their late meals wearing their uniform of all black, and bemoan the day’s torments amongst cold meals and instant coffees. You may know who these students are based on these simple descriptors. USQ’s Third Year Actors. The reason for their struggle? USQ Artsworx Shakespeare in the Park Festival. For us, yes, I too am a member of this ancient family, the entirety of our three years of training comes to fruition in this single week of production. For Toowoomba, the event is an opportunity to experience culture on a scale not otherwise accessible. The opportunity to sit in a park, with a dinner and some drinks, enjoying some quality performance by trained actors, with beautiful set, costume, props and lighting, is something that the public of Toowoomba repeatedly show up to support and enjoy. Having defined the cultural landscape of Toowoomba for many years, the festival is also a unique opportunity of learning for the Actors, which, for us, is pretty dang swell. We battle against the elements to bring a quality piece of theatre using some of the most difficult theatrical texts in the English Language, again, awesome opportunity.
This year, we were lucky enough to perform Shakespeare’s Much Ado about Nothing, A play that basically spends 5 acts partying. The show was massively energetic, with bright colours and badass characters, acting like fools as much as possible. In this regard, for an ensemble of young people, and an audience of college residents, it was the perfect choice. We had all kinds of fun with this show, and the audience enjoyed it immensely too. It was an energetic, crazy, action-packed and hilarious project to be a part of, and I wouldn’t change it for the world. The end result was strange, zany, sexy, awesome, hilarious and colourful. Truly an awesome experience for us, and the audiences.
Now to move from making you feel bad about the experience that you might not have gotten to be a part of this year, Shakespeare in the Park will be on AGAIN next year!
2015 3rd Years will be performing King Lear a fascinating and beautiful tragedy, with an awesome darkly comic undertone. The show’s on in March, from the 19th to the 23rd. You can already buy tickets, at the following link for what is sure to be a freaking awesome show.