Forum discussion led by Disability Slapstick Plan at the National Play Festival, Sydney 2018

Eva Sifis

I took part in a panel discussion covering tips for budding stage writers from our directors David and Jon and touching upon our respective experiences through the development of this work from myself, Trevor and Jess. We held an audience this morning in the Arts and Community centre across the street from Darlinghurst Theatre thereafter breaking before preparing to go on stage.
From the very first moment the doors opened to allow the audience to file through, it seemed a relaxed and casual affair as we remained seated at our table on the sunken stage chatting amongst ourselves. There was no fan fair of an entry from the wings to take our allotted spots on the stage. The audience was seated, the doors closed, lights lowered and Artistic Director of Playwriting Australia, Tim Roseman, stood to introduce us and then we were away…
I was conscious of a faint flutter within my belly with my first lines sounding strange and a little stilted. After looking out at the audience, dutifully bringing their attention back to the speaker a few times though, I warmed to my role and recalled the joy of being on stage.
In Betty’s room tonight, as we enjoyed a meal of vegetarian tortillas cooked with her expert love, impressions were exchanged. We were, as one, surprised at the uproarious laughter resulting even from the first page. I do recall a sobering of audience responses as the storyline/s unfurled/refurled (there is unique format to the trajectory of the tale). I supposed this came from the requirement to remain cognisant of the drama.
The responses received have been genuine in congratulations. People have been fascinated with the structure bringing a topic (that has the potential to be combative) to awareness gently in a roundabout fashion I can imagine may take some musing to eventuate.
I so look forward to Saturday night when we have the plum position of last on the bill!