‘The Writer’ – Behind the Scenes

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Co-writer/co-director Phillip Hunting’s original concepts and treatment for ‘The Writer’ in mid-2012. After developing his idea with Michael Davidson, the pair showcased their play to a small audience of peers. But it wasn’t until late 2015 that they approached Wayne Stellini about producing ‘The Writer’ for a larger audience. Months later, Phillip took a revised version of the script to his colleagues at FRED the ALIEN, who voted to produce ‘The Writer’ for Melbourne Fringe and The Boardwalk Republic in 2016.

Behind the Scenes 1

First rehearsal! Left to right: Danielle Robinson (face-down), Kerrie Gee, Andrew Tomazos, Soren Tromp (lying down), Bethany Griffiths, David McNamara, Michael R. Lister.

Behind the Scenes 2

Cast read-through with writers/directors Phillip Hunting and Michael Davidson (top right corner).

Behind the Scenes 2a

The cast during a script reading exercise.

Kerrie Gee rehearsing her role as the imaginative Evil Queen Elizabeth.

Kerrie Gee rehearsing her role as the Evil Queen Elizabeth.

Behind the Scenes 3

Director Phillip Hunting demonstrates some impeccable archery techniques for one of the many imaginative sequences in playwright Geoffrey’s mind.

Behind the Scenes 4

Cast members Andrew Tomazos, Anna Reardon, Bethany Griffiths, and Soren Tromp in an intensive character development discussion.

Behind the Scenes 5

Soren Tromp and Bethany Griffiths as the torturous Yin and Yang.

Behind the Scenes 6

Michael R. Lister takes a moment between rehearsal periods to go over his lines.

Behind the Scenes - Improv

Directors Michael Davidson and Phillip Hunting observe a cast improvisation exercise for an up-coming scene rehearsal, as Michael R. Lister (extreme right) goes over his lines.

Director Michael Davidson (extreme right) has a group discussion with some of the cast.

Director Michael Davidson (extreme right) has a group discussion with some of the cast.

Behind the Scenes 7

Andrew Tomazos discusses a scene with director Michael Davidson.

Behind the Scenes 8

Blurring the lines of reality and fantasy: The cast rehearse an intricate dream sequence.

Behind the Scenes 9

You know the show’s going to be good when the director (Phillip Hunting) literally jumps in!

Behind the Scenes 10

The cast take a breather during a long day of rehearsals, workshopping, and scene blocking.

Behind the Scenes 11

An intense interaction between Alice (Danielle Robinson) and Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister), as Yin and Yang (Soren Tromp and Bethany Griffiths) look on tauntingly.

Kerrie Gee, Aaron Trevaskis, and Michael R. Lister workshopping the dynamics between their characters, Elizabeth, Richard, and Geoffrey.

Kerrie Gee, Aaron Trevaskis, and Michael R. Lister workshopping the dynamics between their characters, Elizabeth, Richard, and Geoffrey.

Behind the Scenes 14

All’s fair in love and warefare!

Behind the Scenes 15

Director Michael Davidson guides the cast through a dream sequence.

Behind the Scenes 16

Director Michael Davidson briefs the cast for an up-coming complicated scene rehearsal.

Behind the Scenes 17

Sam (David McNamara) finds himself the rope in an epic tug of war.

Behind the Scenes 18

In one of a number of imaginative sequences, Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister) fends off Elizabeth (Kerrie Gee), as the actors (Bethany Griffiths, Soren Tromp, Andrew Tomazos, and Anna Reardon) help Sam (David McNamara, getting a ride courtesy of Tromp) win the battle!

Behind the Scenes 19

Directors Phillip Hunting and Michael Davidson go through the script as the cast get ready to rehearse a scene.

Behind the Scenes 20

Like father like son: Sam (David McNamara) marvels as his story comes to life.

Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister) and Alice (Danielle Robinson) chat as Sam (David McNamara) attempts to catch some Pokémon.

Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister) and Alice (Danielle Robinson) chat flirtatiously as an oblivious Sam (David McNamara) attempts to catch some Pokémon.

Behind the Scenes 15

Director Phillip Hunting gives feedback to Michael R. Lister and Danielle Robinson after a scene rehearsal.

Behind the Scenes 16

David McNamara and Michael R. Lister rehearsing a tender father and son moment.

Behind the Scenes 18

Inside Geoffrey’s mind: Isabella (Anna Reardon) and servant Hannah (Danielle Robinson), as actors (Bethany Griffiths, Aaron Trevaskis, and Soren Tromp) wait in the wings.

Behind the Scenes 17

Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister) in a therapy session with his counsellor (David McNamara) as Yin and Yang (Soren Tromp and Bethany Griffiths) taunt not only him but the character in his imagination too (Aaron Trevaskis, standing in for an absent cast member).

Behind the scenes 23 August (01)

1 of 3: The cast rehearse a dream sequence; one of a number moments in which the lines of reality, imagination, and hallucination are blurred.

Behind the scenes 23 August (02)

2 of 3: The cast rehearse a dream sequence; one of a number moments in which the lines of reality, imagination, and hallucination are blurred.

3 of 3: The cast rehearse a dream sequence; one of a number moments in which the lines of reality, imagination, and hallucination are blurred.

3 of 3: The cast rehearse a dream sequence; one of a number moments in which the lines of reality, imagination, and hallucination are blurred.

Behind the Scenes - a August 23

Yang (Bethany Griffiths) taunts Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister)… which means Yin can’t be too far away.

Behind the Scenes - b August 23

Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister) tries to explain is masterpiece-in-progress to Alice (Danielle Robinson) during a bout of writer’s block.

Behind the Scenes - c August 23

Alice (Danielle Robinson) comforts Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister).

Behind the Scenes - d August 23

Yin and Yang (Soren Tromp and Bethany Griffiths) entertaining Sam (David McNamara)… or are they?

Behind the Scenes - e August 23

Andrew Tomazos and Anna Reardon read over their lines in preparation for their pivotal scene rehearsal.

Behind the Scenes - f August 23

Kerrie Gee watches from the wings as Anna Reardon and Andrew Tomazos rehearse an emotional scene.

Behind the Scenes - g August 23

In this scene rehearsal, a mischievous Yang (Bethany Griffiths) watches on as Adam (Andrew Tomazos) pleads to Isabella (Anna Reardon), whilst Yin (Soren Tromp) distracts Sam (David McNamara).

Behind the Scenes - h August 23

Andrew Tomazos and Aaron Trevaskis rehearsing their characters’ Adam and Thomas’ medieval bromance.

Behind the Scenes - i August 23

Yin and Yang (Soren Tromp and Bethany Griffiths) divert their attention away from Geoffrey’s protagonist, Adam (Andrew Tomazos)… but only for a moment.

August 29 - 1

Michael R. Lister and Aaron Trevaskis rehearsing Geoffrey and Richard’s ‘man to man’ talk.

August 29 - 2

In this rehearsal, Yin and Yang (Soren Tromp and Bethany Griffiths) playing mind games. (Also pictured: Anna Reardon, standing in for another cast member).

29 August - 3

Director Phillip Hunting guides Soren Tromp and Bethany Griffiths in Yin and Yang’s torment. (Also pictured: Anna Reardon, standing in for another cast member).

29 August - 4

Up close and personal: Yin and Yang (Soren Tromp and Bethany Griffiths) literally get in Geoffrey’s head.

August 31 - A

Bethany Griffiths and David McNamara take a moment from rehearsal to film a thank you video for one of ‘The Writer”s backers.

August 31 - B

Left to right: David McNamara, Michael R. Lister, Bethany Griffiths (back to camera), and director Phillip Hunting find a quiet, cluttered corner of the FRED the ALIEN space to go over some lines.

August 31 - C

Director Michael Davidson and actor Kerrie Gee give feedback on Aaron Trevaskis’s wardrobe options.

August 31 - D

1 of 2: Michael R. Lister, Aaron Trevaskis, and Kerrie Gee rehearse the opening scene of ‘The Writer’.

August 31 - E

2 of 2: Aaron Trevaskis, Kerrie Gee, and Michael R. Lister rehearse the opening scene of ‘The Writer’.

August 31 - F

Bethany Griffiths and David McNamara share a laugh with director Michael Davidson before rehearsals get underway.

August 31 - H

Ready for a run-through: Director Michael Davidson (standing) briefs Aaron Trevaskis and Kerrie Gee, whilst David McNamara, Bethany Griffiths, and Danielle Robinson go over their lines in the wings.

August 31 - I

Michael R. Lister has a quick chat with his producer (and rehearsal photographer Wayne Stellini), as his co-stars Soren Tromp and Anna Reardon wait in the wings for their cues.

August 31-i2

Michael R. Lister teases his producer (and rehearsal photographer Wayne Stelliini), as his co-stars Soren Tromp and Anna Reardon wait in the wings for their cues.

August 31 - J

We’ll let you caption this one!

31 August - k

Aaron Trevaskis’s copy of the script, featuring the actor’s notes regarding a complex sequence that demonstrates Geoffrey’s creative process.

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Danielle Robinson and Michael R. Lister rehearse a tense scene.

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Director Michael Davidson gives Michael R. Lister and Danielle Robinson feedback.

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Director Michael Davidson observes closely as Michael R. Lister and David McNamara rehearse Geoffrey’s counselling session.

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David McNamara helps Anna Reardon go over her lines.

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David McNamara quietly recites his lines and Bethany Griffiths reads over a scene (back corner), as director Michael Davidson guides Danielle Robinson and Michael R. Lister in the centre of the FRED the ALIEN rehearsal space.

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Director Michael Davidson takes mental notes as Anna Reardon and Andrew Tomazos rehearse a pivotal scene.

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Cast and directors break into groups to fine tune their respective scenes.

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Andrew Tomazos, Anna Reardon, and Aaron Trevaskis go through a carefully choreographed scene.

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David McNamara, Bethany Griffiths, Michael Davidson, and Phillip Hunting didn’t make the cut in another audition. The Wiggles’ loss is FRED the ALIEN’s gain!   😉

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With less than a week until showtime, Aaron Trevaskis, David McNamara, Michael R. Lister, and Andrew Tomazos go through their lines nervously moments before a full run-through.

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The run-through begins: Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister) reunites with his ex Elizabeth (Kerrie Gee) and meets her new partner Richard (Aaron Trevaskis).

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The cast line up to depict what’s going through Geoffrey’s mind.

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Richard (Aaron Trevaskis) tries to ease the tension between Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister) and Elizabeth (Kerrie Gee, in the wings).

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A content Adam (Andrew Tomazos).

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Geoffrey’s (Michael R. Lister) imagination comes to life in this scene between Isabella (Anna Reardon) and Hannah (Danielle Robinson).

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The seriousness of the run-through is broken with a moment that had the cast and crew burst out in some much-needed laughter.

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Sam (David McNamara) gets ready to pounce!

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Sam (David McNamara) with crayon in hand.

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Sam (David McNamara) proves that the crayon is mightier than the sword.

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Michael R. Lister and David McNamara have a chat before their scene rehearsal begins, whilst Andrew Tomazos and Anna Reardon (background) go over their lines.

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The lines between reality and fiction are blurred: Sam (David McNamara) in the middle of a dispute between Isabella (Anna Reardon) and Adam (Andrew Tomazos), as Yin (Soren Tromp) looks on from a distance.

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Here ye! Here ye! Soren Tromp relishing his role as the town crier.

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Art imitating life: Adam (Andrew Tomazos) and Isabella (Anna Reardon)’s relationship begin to fall a part.

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Yin (Soren Tromp) and Yang (Bethany Griffiths) taunt Adam (Andrew Tomazos).

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Cast and crew gather to share notes and thoughts after an intense run-through. (David McNamara pokes fun at producer and rehearsal photographer Wayne Stellini when his directors aren’t looking.)

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When the directors are away, the cast will play! Danielle Robinson and David McNamara unwind in the rehearsal space. (Photo: (c) Anna Reardon 2016. Used with permission.)

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All part of the act: Making faces.

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The cast unwind as preparations for a full run-through are underway.

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Rehearsing Sam’s (David McNamara) most poignant scene.

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Director Michael Davidson observes Michael R. Lister rehearse a pivotal moment in the performance space, The Clover Club at Gasworks Arts Park.

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Michael R. Lister, Aaron Trevaskis, and Kerrie Gee in a full dress rehearsal.

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Soren Tromp reading from the Narrator’s Book.

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Geoffrey (Michael R. Lister) conducting some research.

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…And that research comes to life! Anna Reardon representing one of the many figures of Geoffrey’s (Michael R. Lister) imagination.

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A panoramic shot of the performance space, The Clover Club at Gasworks Arts Park, in which directors Phillip Hunting and Michael Davidson relax after a long day of rehearsals, fine-tuning workshops, and tech runs.

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Directors Michael Davidson and Phillip Hunting take a moment after a long day of rehearsals and tech runs. This photograph was taken on the eve of their script coming to life at Gasworks Arts Park for Melbourne Fringe and The Boardwalk Republic for a four-show run.

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Up they go! Marketing for ‘The Writer’ outside The Clover Club at Gasworks Arts Park.

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The silhouette of Geoffrey with a mocking Yin and Yang behind him has been the central image of ‘The Writer’ marketing campaign, developed from the original design by Malcolm Hunting (next photograph).

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The original design by Malcolm Hunting, featured here in the first marketing piece for ‘The Writer’. It was released on Wednesday, 8 June 2016 on the FRED the ALIEN Productions Facebook page to announce our participation in Melbourne Fringe. It was also submitted to and used in the Melbourne Fringe Festival Guide (page 76) before the FRED team updated it for all other components of our marketing strategy.

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The cast maintain their playful energy and focus during the ten-minute interval of our third performance (Friday, 16 September 2016), in which the ‘Writer’ team were overwhelmed by the incredible turnout and infectious enthusiasm of our audience!

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The cast relax before the final performance of ‘The Writer’ (17 September 2016).

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1 of 2: Fun and games backstage.

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2 of 2: Fun and games backstage.

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1 of 2: After the final show, the cast relax and make fun of one another once the house is clear.

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2 of 2: After the final show, the cast relax and make fun of one another once the house is clear.

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The stunning cast of ‘The Writer’: Andrew Tomazos, Michael R. Lister, Kerrie Gee, Anna Reardon, Soren Tromp, Bethany Griffiths; and sitting, Aaron Trevaskis, David McNamara, Danielle Robinson.

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After ten weeks of intensive read-throughs, workshopping, rehearsals, blocking, run-throughs, and FRED the ALIEN’s most aggressive marketing campaign, ‘The Writer’ team pose for one final photograph together after the end of the show’s run on Saturday, 17 September 2016 in The Clover Club at Gasworks Arts Park. Pictured (standing, l-r): Writers/directors, Michael Davidson and Phillip Hunting; actors Andrew Tomazos, Michael R. Lister, Kerrie Gee, Anna Reardon, Soren Tromp, and Bethany Griffiths; producers/stage managers Wayne Stellini and Fulya Kantarmaci; (sitting, l-r) actors Aaron Trevaskis, David McNamara, and Danielle Robinson.

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