Local drama teacher – slash – theatre devotee Shelley Keehn’s two worlds will collide when she Directs the Australian Gothic thriller Wolf Lullaby for Townsville Little Theatre this September.
Shelley was inspired to bring the gut-wrenching script to life by its relevance to the curriculum taught to senior drama students across Queensland.
“I often find myself wishing that we had more curriculum-relevant live theatre, so we can take our students along and then write our Assessment Task responses to it, so I decided to make it happen,” said Shelley.
“The live experience is so much more immersive and helps students gain a far greater understanding of the wonder of theatre and of the particular content focus.”
In Wolf Lullaby a young child is murdered and the suspicion falls upon his nine-year-old sister, Lizzie. Convinced her daughter is guilty, Lizzie’s mother must make the difficult decision between ignoring her intuition or presenting her daughter to the police.
“Wolf Lullaby is an incredibly well-written play that reflects the darker aspects of the human psyche back to us, making us face and question ‘human nature’ and our ideas of good and evil, real and imagined,” Shelley said.
Shelley’s cast includes a list of seasoned community actors and some new-comers in the ensemble.
“The very talented Lucy Gounaris has been cast as Lizzie Gael, the 9-year old murder suspect,” said Shelley. “Lucy has the most incredibly expressive eyes that enable her to communicate to the audience the fluctuating emotional and psychological state of this complex little girl.
“I’ve also cast possibly the youngest Lizzie ever as her understudy, 14-year-old Yasmin Babington, one of my Year 9 Drama students, who blew us away at the auditions and will perform the lead in the Saturday matinee.
“Zia Macey plays Lizzie’s mother, Angela Gael, who is as central to the story as Lizzie herself,” said Shelley. “Zia was amazing at the auditions and I can’t wait for audiences to be wowed by her Meisnerian moments of truth! My male lead cast members are the very well known Colin Livesey, as Sergeant Ray Armstrong, who investigates the murder and interrogates Lizzie, and Dylan Megaw who plays Warren Gael, Lizzie’s Dad. Their characters help to convey the psychological effects on the community that a child murder case evokes and their respective acting experience and enthusiasm for telling this story is the wealth they bring to this production.
“I also have a surprise in the form of the ‘Wolf’ character but will keep that under wraps for now… Let’s just say that my cast is much larger than any other production of Wolf Lullaby.
“Audiences should expect to be wowed, shocked, intrigued, absorbed and to leave needing to discuss their experience and the nuanced dramatic meaning of this psychological thriller.
Townsville Little Theatre will present Wolf Lullaby at PIMPAC on 4-7 September. This production is also open to members of the public. For information and tickets, click here.