YOU’D have thought that Stephen Pike, the busy programming manager for The Q, would have his time cut out for him, but he’s been made director-in-residence at Canberra Grammar School and is going full steam ahead on a new production of “The Burning”.That, of course, is the prizewinning play set during Germany’s 17th-century witch trials, written by another leading Canberra talent, Duncan Ley, a former Patrick White Playwright’s Award nominee who recently saw his play, “Home at the End,” staged at The Canberra Theatre’s Courtyard Studio.
The play is a two-act “powerful courtroom drama,” and the cast is comprised mostly of Canberra Grammar boys, with four girls from Canberra Girls Grammar alternating in the two female roles.
Pike says “The Burning” is very similar to Arthur Miller’s play, “The Crucible,” but shows the greed of the church and how easily it could condemn people whose property it wanted to take.
While the initial theory was that the students would rehearse with Pike throughout the holidays, “boys will be boys,” he says, so since the holidays, it’s been an intensive race to the end.
Pike told “CityNews” today that his position as director-in-residence was a one-off, designed to give the student experience working with a new director, and that he understood that the school would repeat the exercise in the future with a different director.
“It’s a very talented group of drama students,” he said, “and there are lots of gutsy roles for boys… nearly all the boys who auditioned have some part to play in the production.”
“Everyone has a different approach to directing,” Pike said. “I’m a little bit more of a visual director than an academic one, but the students have had plenty of ideas, so it ended up being a two-way street.”
Duncan Ley’s “The Burning” at the CGS Tim Murray Theatre, Monaro Crescent Red Hill, Thursday, October 24 to Saturday, October 26 at 7.30pm and 1.30pm on October 26. Bookings to http://ezyboxoffice.com/canberragrammarschool