Birnam Wood Theatre Announces Arrival With 'Time's Arrow'

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New theatre collective Birnam Wood Theatre announces itself to Melbourne’s theatre industry with the global premiere of ‘Time's Arrow’, a full length play for the stage by Melbourne-based, international playwright Mark Andrew. The story of an air crash survivor ‘Time's Arrow’ boards at La Mama’s Carlton Courthouse, 8pm nightly from 1st – 12th November.

A writer’s theatre movement, Birnam Wood is the new name for an experienced unit of professional theatre collaborators designed to increase the industry profile of local writers, actors and production crew.

Director Shannon Woollard says that Birnam Wood represents a passionate desire to introduce an established collective of collaborators as a professional working entity. The objective is to achieve peer recognition within Melbourne’s theatre industry.

“Birnam Wood is an initiative for playwrights designed to showcase what’s possible within an independent theatre context,” says Shannon Woollard. “Philosophically, Birnam Wood’s purpose is to present new scripts in the best possible light using the resources available to us”.

“The best way we can advance writers, actors and production crew is to introduce good, strong scripts, produce them in a professional framework and at the same time, be an asset to other theatre and government bodies.”

Having created Williamstown’s PlaySix festival in 2006, Shannon was keen to explore new ways of gaining more exposure for the high standard of material and collaborators he found himself working with each year.

“Our goal is to marshal, nurture and organise local talent, lifting it to the next level”, says Shannon Woollard. “Birnam Wood’s role will be to fully develop text in a professional manner, making it accessible to audiences and industry alike.”

As well as building an industry profile, Birnam Wood aims to facilitate cross-pollination, fluidity and mobility between industry layers and genres for all theatre practitioners.

Making its production debut, Birnam Wood announces its arrival with a full length play for the stage.

Written by Melbourne-based, international playwright Mark Andrew, ‘Time's Arrow’ is the story of ‘Simon’ (Mike McEvoy), the sole survivor of a commercial air-line disaster. He later meets ‘Kelly’ (Cindy Elliott), a flight attendant who was ill the day she should have been working his fateful flight.

During a full account of the aftermath, ‘Simon’ tries to come to terms with the random nature of his survival through mandatory counselling sessions with ‘Laura’ (Christina Costigan). As the play dissects and probes ‘Kelly’s’ persistent feelings of guilt, Shannon Woollard says audiences will find her emotional journey easy to relate to.

A study of guilt and psychological trauma, ‘Time's Arrow’ is a fiery and intense examination of death and sex offering audiences a rhythmic tale that is relatable and accessible.

Admitting to being mildly obsessed with air crashes, risk, trauma and international jetlag, Mark Andrew used his script to explore a professional interest in human error and accident investigations.

“Pursuing the idea of vicarious trauma, and the very real, direct trauma of not being 'in' the accident, but bound up by the aftermath is a very modern, contemporary idea,” says Mark Andrew. “It is present in industrial and transport disasters, and very strongly conveyed by TV and media. I wanted this emotional resonance to flourish on the stage.”

And so the story of ‘Time's Arrow’ emerged.

Birnam Wood is donating 15 per cent of its proceeds to Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria (http://www.mifellowship.org).

Birnam Wood’s journey begins with ‘Time's Arrow’ from 1st – 12th November at 8pm nightly. Join us - tickets can purchased on 0450 327 309. Please present your boarding pass at La Mama’s Carlton Courthouse, fasten your seat-belt and enjoy your flight with Birnam Wood.

BOOKINGS:
‘Time's Arrow’
La Mama’s Carlton Courthouse
1st Nov @ 8pm (Preview)
Nov 2nd-6th and 8th-12th @ 8pm
[Sunday 6th @ 5pm]
Tickets $25, conc $17, preview $15
Bookings 0450 327 309
Presented by Birnam Wood Theatre, Melbourne (http://www.facebook.com/birnamwoodtheatre)

ABOUT ‘TIME'S ARROW’
R a n d O m N E s S c A n n O t T bE u N d O n E
Psychological trauma comes in different shapes and sizes. It dodges, feints and hides in the shadows. It may arrest you; or it may tail you, like a mood.

For Simon (Mike McEvoy), the survivor of a plane crash, trauma is the air he breathes. Kelly (Cindy Elliott), a flight attendant, should have been working his flight, but then she has always breathed differently.

'Time’s Arrow' plots the trajectory of an extra-ordinary union, forged from diabolical circumstances.

Draw an arrow arbitrarily…randomness is the only thing which cannot be undone.

Where the arrow lands, depends on where it was launched.

Cast: Mike McEvoy as ’Simon’, Cindy Elliott as ‘Kelly’, Christina Costigan as ‘Laura’. Directed by Shannon Woollard.

MARK ANDREW, SHANNON WOOLLARD AND CAST ARE AVAILABLE FOR INTERVIEWS. ACTORS BIO'S AND HEADHSHOT'S ALSO AVAILABLE.

ABOUT SHANNON WOOLLARD (director)
Shannon’s diverse theatre background stretches back more than 25 years embracing professional, independent and community events.

An actor, singer, dancer, director, producer and script doctor, he is closely involved with the writers' theatre movement in Melbourne. Shannon is Artistic Co-ordinator of Williamstown’s annual PlaySix festival, which he founded in 2006.

Over the past year he has been in script development with Amanda Mihalakopoulos on Stars of Track & Field, a full length drama. He also directed Bridgette Burton's Spirit Guy for Baggage Productions as part of the psychological feast, The Subconscious Cometh (June 2011).

ABOUT MARK ANDREW (playwright)
Currently writer in residence for the Melbourne Writer's Theatre 2011 season at the Carlton Courthouse, Mark Andrew is a playwright with over 30 productions in five countries.

His work has been published in four compendia of works by international playwrights, including the Wireless Theatre's Monologues edition (UK). His next publication will be in New York publisher's Smith & Kraus 2011 Best Plays compendia.

A frequent contributor to Short + Sweet festivals, Mark has been selected for three gala finals.

2011 also marked his Melbourne Fringe Festival debut, where 'Bomb The Base' - an engaging, yet demanding play for the stage – made its global premiere.

ABOUT Birnam Wood Theatre, Melbourne
Unconsciously founded in 2004 by Shannon Woollard, Birnam Wood is a creative theatre collective whose composition varies according to requirement and serendipity.

Its primary purpose has always been to produce vibrant new works within an independent theatre context, but with great attention to detail at every level of production. In terms of staging, resourcefulness and economy are guiding principles within Birnam Wood, although a kind of 'symbolic opulence' is always attempted in each project.

Birnam Wood has seen a plethora of designers, technical operators, builders, photographers, graphic artists and other assorted journey-folk engaged in its activities. Over the past decade, all have been actively involved with various other independent companies in Melbourne including: Hoy Polloy, Bearing Your Arts and Melbourne Writer's Theatre.

'Time's Arrow' sees all but one of the original 2004 team together again.

ABOUT Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria (http://www.mifellowship.org)
Birnam Wood is donating 15 per cent of its proceeds to charity.

Mental Illness Fellowship Victoria (http://www.mifellowship.org) is a membership-based non profit organisation. In 2011 it assisted 3,500 people affected by mental illnesses such as schizophrenia, depression and bipolar disorder who needed specialised assistance to overcome the disabilities these illnesses cause.

FOR MORE INFORMATION CONTACT:

Sean McIntyre
Wise Words Media
Media and Communications Solutions
ABN 60 363 406 503
M: +61 0413 397 441
e: sean.mcintyre AT wisewords.com.au
skype: sean.wise.words.media
W: http://www.wisewords.com.au

Mark Andrew
Playwright
0419 183 113
mark AT scenario.net.au

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ABOUT ‘TIME'S ARROW’ABOUT ‘TIME'S ARROW’R a n d O m N E s S c A n n O t T bE u N d O n E Psychological trauma comes in different shapes and sizes. It dodges, feints and hides in the shadows. It may arrest you; or it may tail you, like a mood. For Simon (Mike McEvoy), the survivor of a plane crash, trauma is the air he breathes. Kelly (Cindy Elliott), a flight attendant, should have been working his flight, but then she has always breathed differently. 'Time’s Arrow' plots the trajectory of an extra-ordinary union, forged from diabolical circumstances. Draw an arrow arbitrarily…randomness is the only thing which cannot be undone. Where the arrow lands, depends on where it was launched. Cast: Mike McEvoy as ’Simon’, Cindy Elliott as ‘Kelly’, Christina Costigan as ‘Laura’. Directed by Shannon Woollard.Mike McEvoy | 'Simon'Mike McEvoy | 'Simon'An ensemble member with Rawcus and Melbourne Playback Theatre Companies, Mike McEvoy’s work with Rawcus includes Small Odysseys (2011), Hunger (MIAF 2007) and The Heart of Another is a Dark Forest (Best Performance, Melbourne Fringe 2008). Other theatre credits include Salonika Bound (2010), She’s Not Performing (2010) and The Time is Not Yet Ripe (2008) at La Mama and White With Wire Wheels (2007). Co-Artistic Director of Melbourne Playback, Mike is also an Honours Graduate from the School of Creative Arts, VCA.Cindy Elliott | 'Kelly'Cindy Elliott | 'Kelly'Reunited by ‘Times Arrow’, Cindy Elliott and Shannon Woollard first worked together as actor and director on Anna Lall’s ‘Scuttlebutt'. Cindy’s theatre credits include an interpretation of Eve Ensler’s famous 'Vagina Monologues’, David Williamson's 'Emerald City' with experimental director Alison Robb and International Theatre Company, 'Women of Asia' as an ensemble member. Film credits include quality short films, Clinton Smith’s 'Sample People' and Rolf De Heers 'Alexandra's Project'. A Graduate Actor of Centre of Performing Arts, Cindy’s television credits comprise 'The Great Outdoors', ‘McLeods Daughters', ‘City Homicide' and a bunch of TV Commercials.Christina Costigan | 'Laura'Christina Costigan | 'Laura'Christina has appeared in countless plays from Shakespeare to Stoppard via Genet and Brecht, and numerous short films in Melbourne and Los Angeles. A writer whose short plays achieved selection at Short & Sweet Festivals, Christina’s work has also been produced at PlaySix as well as in London and Los Angeles. Christina recently produced ‘The Subconscious’ Cometh for Baggage Productions, which she co-founded in 1999. Among the series of improbable male roles during her secondary education, Daddy Warbucks in Annie - at the tender age of 16 - remains the favourite. Christina holds a BA in Drama and Media (Deakin University).MARK ANDREW (playwright)MARK ANDREW (playwright)Currently writer in residence for the Melbourne Writer's Theatre 2011 season at the Carlton Courthouse, Mark Andrew is a playwright with over 30 productions in five countries. His work has been published in four compendia of works by international playwrights, including the Wireless Theatre's Monologues edition (UK). His next publication will be in New York publisher's Smith & Kraus 2011 Best Plays compendia. A frequent contributor to Short + Sweet festivals, Mark has been selected for three gala finals. 2011 also marked his Melbourne Fringe Festival debut, where 'Bomb The Base' - an engaging, yet demanding play for the stage – made its global premiere.Shannon Woollard (director)Shannon Woollard (director)Shannon’s diverse theatre background stretches back more than 25 years embracing professional, independent and community events. An actor, singer, dancer, director, producer and script doctor, he is closely involved with the writers' theatre movement in Melbourne. Shannon is Artistic Co-ordinator of Williamstown’s annual PlaySix festival, which he founded in 2006. Over the past year he has been in script development with Amanda Mihalakopoulos on Stars of Track & Field, a full length drama. He also directed Bridgette Burton's Spirit Guy for Baggage Productions as part of the psychological feast, The Subconscious Cometh (June 2011).Birnam Wood Theatre, MelbourneBirnam Wood Theatre, MelbourneUnconsciously founded in 2004 by Shannon Woollard, Birnam Wood is a creative theatre collective - a moving grove of sorts - whose composition varies according to requirement and serendipity. Its primary purpose has always been the same - to produce vibrant new works within an independent theatre context, but with great attention to detail at every level of production. In terms of staging, resourcefulness and economy are guiding principles within Birnam Wood, although a kind of 'symbolic opulence' is always attempted in each project. Birnam Wood has seen a plethora of designers, technical operators, builders, photographers, graphic artists and other assorted journey-folk engaged in its activities. Some like the water and hang about, people such as: Chris Boek, sound man extraordinaire; Ness Harwood, props designer-Queen and stage manager par excellence; and Maureen White, lighting designer, technical operator and general Muse. Over the past decade, all have been actively involved with various other independent companies in Melbourne including: Hoy Polloy, Bearing Your Arts and Melbourne Writer's Theatre. Time's Arrow sees all but one of the original 2004 team together again. Writer Mark Andrew nd actor Christina Costigan (Laura) - although both Birnam virgins -have nonetheless been lurking in the shadows, having both had short works produced by Woollard through the PlaySix vehicle.Wise Words Media | Contact UsWise Words Media | Contact Uswww.wisewords.com.auSean McIntyre | Wise Words MediaSean McIntyre | Wise Words MediaWise Words Media are experts in 'plain-English' marketing communications. www.wisewords.com.au