FRED @ Fringe Update #4

Anna Reardon and Ryan Stewart rehearsing a scene in which the tension between their characters, Tally and Phillip, is made perfectly clear.

From the Director…

I have a confession to make.

I gave myself a pat on the back after the last Michael and Phillip Are Getting Married in the Morning rehearsal.

It’s arrogant, I know. But I’m not ashamed to take the credit: I’ve cast the perfect actors for their respective roles. Yes, there was consultation with my assistant director Phillip Hunting, as well as other FRED the ALIEN team members—there had to be. The competition for certain roles, particularly those of Phillip, Tally, and Simon was intense, with an incredible assortment of Melbourne’s upcoming young talent putting themselves forward to be a part of our show. There were sleepless nights (not an exaggeration), but casting decisions were ultimately made… and they had to be made by me.

This is why I don’t mind giving myself that pat.

Let me explain why this sense of self-congratulating feeling is justified. We ran through the first two acts of the play last week; the first time running through some of these scenes for most of the actors. I sat in awe as the cast worked their way through lines and some complicated stage direction.

David McNamara and Hayden Gridley rehearsing a humorous exchange between Michael and Simon.

This may not sound like anything extraordinary—and, in itself, it probably isn’t—but I’ve been fortunate enough to work with a diverse range of actors in the past, and not all collaborations are as cohesive as this one is. What makes the cast of Michael and Phillip Are Getting Married in the Morning so incredible is that they are fearless. This attitude is a director’s dream: actors who have invested time and effort into understanding their characters, and how they fit in the story, as well as the broader world we are creating. Because of this, an open dialogue has developed naturally, and the cast are happy to try, challenge, and experiment with a scene.

During the audition process, I told actors that by showtime, they would know their respective characters better than I do. Despite my faith and confidence in them and their abilities, they’re already getting pretty close to achieving this—and we still have three months to go!

So, excuse me, while I once again give myself a pat on the back, because come showtime, you’ll understand how extraordinary this cast of eight is.

In the meantime, remember to follow us on Facebook, Instagram, and Twitter for the latest developments in the production of Michael and Phillip Are Getting Married in the Morning.


Wayne Stellini is an executive member of the FRED the ALIEN Productions team. He has written and directed episodes of UNI-Bums, and produced FRED’s stage debut, The Writer, in 2016.

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