Local theatre company gets boost to stage powerful new work
Immediate release 23 July, 2015
JUTE Theatre Company is thrilled to announce a successful grant from the Arts Qld Projects and Programs Fund to develop a new production, ‘Doug is Hamlet’. JUTE is planning on staging the full production in the theatre company’s 2017 season and then touring the work to the 2017 Access Arts Disability Festival in Brisbane. The pivotal role in the new production will be played by Doug Robins, a 27 year old JCU drama graduate and professional actor, living with Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy.
“This grant could not have gone to a more important project,” says Suellen Maunder, Artistic Director and CEO of JUTE. “It takes the themes of Shakespeare’s Hamlet and reworks them into questions about our own inaction, indecision and inexorable journey from birth to the grave; whether or not we choose to move, grow and take action – whether or not we choose to be, or not to be.
” An artist first and foremost, Doug has his own inexorable journey in having Duchenne Muscular Dystrophy, yet he is using this take on his ‘being’ to co-create a funny and at times politically incorrect play that promises to be powerful and timeless. Kathryn Ash, an award-winning playwright and founding member of JUTE will be commissioned to write the script and will be drawing on Doug’s world to craft what she says will be an exciting project given the quality of the work that has already been undertaken.
“With so much of the thematic foundations already in place, I feel as though this is a play whose wings have already been spread and we’re about to take flight. “Suellen says part of the funding will be used to commission the script and the rest will go towards the creative development of the project in 2016. The script is due for completion by June next year and will have Doug in the pivotal role.
Doug Robins is no stranger to JUTE, having already been part of the theatre’s New Works Development program at the start of the year.
Peter Matheson, the dramaturg who worked with Doug on that creative development as well as Propelled, an earlier work written by Jane Modric in collaboration with Doug, says: “Propelled was a deep, image-rich intriguing theatrical plateful. Doug’s second serving promises to be this, and much more: black, comic, absurd and hilariously funny.
” ENDS For further information: Suellen Maunder CEO/AD JUTE: 4050 9444; 0419 757 231