The current season of Shakespeare Under the Stars is giving Townsville’s up-and-coming theatre makers the chance to work alongside some of their best locally-grown peers.
Trainee theatre technician Daniel Lobley is excited to be working with Award-winning export Thomas Roach, as lighting operator for this year’s production, The Tempest.
Daniel is a ‘Bridgee’, an affectionate term for students of TheatreiNQ’s Bridge Project, which aims to prepare young regional talent for a career in the professional theatre industry. Now in his second year of training, Daniel chose the technical stream of the project.
“I’ve really enjoyed being a member of TheatreiNQ,” says Daniel.
“It’s great fun and you learn a lot of things! You have to be prepared to put in hard work but it’s good because you get a lot out of it!”
As a technician, Daniel has worked on several TheatreiNQ productions including Orphans, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui, The White Rose & the Red and Blood will have Blood. Being a Bridgee has also opened doors to other exciting opportunities such as stage managing the combined Catholic Schools’ production of Beauty and the Beast
Daniel’s light bulb moment!
Daniel’s current focus is on lighting.
“At the start of this year something just clicked for me,” he says.
“I was like… this is actually kind of interesting! During Orphans I helped director, Terri Brabon, with the lighting design but for Arturo they said ‘have a go!’ So, I got to do the full design and operate the show!”
During TheatreiNQ’s run of The Tempest, Daniel will perform the role of lighting operator under Award-winning lighting designer,and Bridge alumni, Thomas Roach..
“Tom is a fun personality and has so much knowledge! There’s so much I can learn off him,” says Daniel.
“The fact that he’s been so successful makes me feel that I can do the same thing!”
Lighting up the park
The Tempest will see Theatre iNQ return to Queens Garden, where they perform Shakespeare Under the Stars each year. The outdoor location poses many challenges not associated with an indoor venue.
“There are so many factors that you can’t control, such as background noise, animals, cars and weather,” says Daniel.
“Light and sound work differently in an outdoor area. Sound just goes everywhere. We’ve been rehearsing in our theatre and the sound has been perfect so when we come out to the park we have to adjust everything until it sounds right.
“Lighting is the same. You can’t ever get it as dark as you can in a theatre …so you’ve got to work around that, plus the lights look different outside. When you’re in the park, your light spills all over the garden!” he laughs.
Engaging young talent
Every current Bridgee has a role on- or off-stage in The Tempest, whileseveral talented high school actors are also making their Shakespeare debut.
Director Terri Brabon said the success of the Bridge Project is evident in the deep talent pool of past Bridgees Theatre iNQ is now able to cast from.
“When we first started, and there were no graduate Bridge kids, we bought in friends of ours from Melbourne to keep that professional level of the company up,” said Terri.
”But since we’ve had graduates going off to NIDA or WAAPA or wherever, I’ve not employed a professional that wasn’t a past Bridgee. I don’t need to!”
“WAAPA and NIDA are asking ‘when is the next crop of Townsville kids auditioning?’ The Bridge Project is very disciplined, so they go to university ready to work.”
Theatre iNQ will present The Tempest until 25 September 2022.
This article was supported by the Regional Arts Development Fund (RADF). RADF is a partnership between the Queensland Government and the Townsville City Council to support local arts and culture in regional Queensland.