Heroes

The Cube, Wodonga

Thu, Fri, Sat August 14-16, 21-23, 2014

Synopsis:

Celebrated Australian actor John Wood (Gold Logie winner; Blue Heelers, Rafferty’s Rules) is starring in a new comedy “Heroes” being staged here on the border at The Cube Wodonga in August 2014.

John will be proudly supported by a cast of over 40 talented local performers.

Presented by The Other Theatre Company and directed by Miguel de Oliveira, the show is written by local Mt Beauty based playwright Megan Rigoni, with original songs and music crafted by a number of very talented Australian musicians.

“Heroes” is set amongst the staff of the fictional “Drummer’s Hardware Store” in a regional centre somewhere in rural Australia. We have a glimpse of the struggles, trials and tribulations of these every-day Aussie heroes as they deal with their relationship and health issues.

It is a contemporary portrayal of everyday Australian males dealing with health issues, grief, loss, and depression.

“Despite the serious themes, there will certainly be plenty of belly laughs for the audience – “Heroes” is above all, an uplifting comedy” said director Miguel de Oliveira.

Two dollars from every ticket purchased will be donated to RUOK? day, a not for profit organisation which encourages us all to ask that question of our family, friends, colleagues and strangers to promote the health and wellbeing of our communities.

 

Cast:

John                                      JOHN WOOD

Alice                                      AYESHA HARRIS-WESTMAN

Mike                                      PETER UNIACKE

Ted                                        ANDREW BAILY

Marilyn                                 NATASHA QUINN

Dexter                                   AARON BYKERK

Madeleine                             MADELINE MACLEAN

Victor                                     BRIAN TRABANT

Jenny                                     NATALIE SCHRICKKER

Nev                                         ROD HALSTED

Cinnamon Customer           NICOLE O’FARRELL

Customer Son                       BRANT DIXON

Sheddies                                 CLIVE PAUL, MARK COWIE, GEORGE PENDER, ROHAN O’FARRELL, SCOTT BISHOP, GLENN ROSE, GREG ARNOLDUSSEN

Dancers                                  TEAH MARTIN, DANA MARTIN, CHELSEA SKILTON, BRIDIE CLARK, REBECCA WILLCOX, SARAH FRASER, COSIE BOLAND, KRISTY GRAHAM, EBONY MOORMAN

 

Director (notes):

It is an honour for The Other Theatre Company to produce the latest work of local playwright Megan Rigoni, Heroes.  It is also a pleasure to work with celebrated Australian actor John Wood. Fortunately for us, John is no stranger to The Border. In recent years he has starred in Strange Bedfellows the Musical (2010) at the Regent Theatre and The Symphony of Life (2012) at The Butter Factory.

Despite the serious themes, Heroes is above all an uplifting comedy. We hope you enjoy the original songs as presented by the cast and the wonderful dancers from the Wodonga Calisthenics Academy. Thank you to all the people and businesses that have contributed to this show including the backstage crew and the wonderful staff at The Cube Wodonga. We hope you enjoy the show and look forward to seeing you next time. MIGUEL DE OLIVEIRA

Megan Rigoni (Playwright):

Megan has been writing for theatre in education and arts and health since 2000. Inspired by the power of theatre to inform and illuminate an audience her work addresses health, social and environmental issues. In 2012, she wrote “The Symphony of Life” which paid tribute to leading cancer support group Brave hearts on the Murray. Whilst honouring their work, it showed the many brave faces of the cancer journey. Heroes shares a similar focus. Whilst acknowledging the very important work of men’s health and mental health support groups, Heroes highlights the importance of humour and “mateship” in supporting men through grief, loss and tragedy in their lives.

Megan is employed at Bright P-12 College teaching year 2/3.

Heroes grew from the men in our lives. It grew from their place in our hearts and the strength, love and friendship that they provide.

Heroes has been over two years in the making. In it’s inception, the research included books and film and documentaries and speaking with a range of people including health professionals and academics. Rural health workers spoke about the devastation of drought on farming communities and the effects of suicide on families and farming communities. I researched war and the psychological effects of war, the scars that men carry and the war that continues to rage within, long after they have returned home.

Friends shared their stories of separation, divorce and loss. And men dealing with serious health spoke about their pain and hardship. But they also spoke about the love of their family and friends. And each one, in the shadow of his pain, reflected humanity, life, humour and love. Through conversations with friends I created fictional characters that were real. Men are important to their families, friends and communities. At times, their lives are not easy. In fact, few are spared some measure of loss, pain and grief. Heroes is a way of expressing support to those men.

I’d like to acknowledge the heroes who have inspired this story,

Chris, Isabelle, Ben, Charlotte for their love; Kate and Elle for sharing the journey; David and Kitty Vigo for their mentoring and kindness; Chris Thompson for dramaturgy; John Lyons for laughter…and some great lines; Mike King and Chris Pidd for sharing their stories; Norman Ricklefs for shedding light on some very serious issues; David Harley, Rolland Passuello for their trust

And the marvellous creative team who have bought the play to life. John Wood for his friendship and expert guidance. The talented Kate Vigo, Alicia Marshall, Penny Cleary, Rudi Katterl and Joe Davis for their collaboration. Miguel de Oliveira for his great direction and support and The Other Theatre Company – a professional and tireless team.

Finally to the wonderful health organizations that carry our men on their backs when they need it most…you are all HEROES!

Message from Wodonga Council:

Wodonga Council values art and culture and the contribution it makes to a dynamic, diverse and holistic community. The Arts and Cultural Contribution Program, through which Heroes received funding, is one way the council seeks to support a range of cultural organisations, arts development and entertainment opportunities. Wodonga is a culturalIy enriched and actively engaged city and we wish The Other Theatre Company all the best with this production. Wodonga Mayor Cr Rodney Wangman

Message from Albury City:

Albury City is proud to have contributed $3,000 to Intereach to assist in the production of Heroes. This funding was part of the 2013 Community and Cultural Grants Program. This production is much more than music and dance, it aims to highlight mental health issues and men’s health, in an entertaining and light-hearted way. With the rising incidence of depression and suicide among Australian males, a project of this nature is very relevant to us all. Heroes also promotes the vital importance of the supporting organisations such as The Men’s Shed, The RUOK? Foundation, Beyond Blue and the many local medical services that offer help and support to families in the region.

We hope after seeing this wonderful production, we are all inspired to engage with the people in our lives. By raising awareness of the issues of health, grief, loss, depression and suicide it will nurture acceptance and empathy for those who are suffering with an illness. Albury City Mayor Cr Kevin Mack

Crew:

Director                                MIGUEL DE OLIVEIRA

Producer                               NATASHA QUINN

Original Music                     KATE VIGO, JOE DAVIS, RUDI KATTERL

Choreography                      PENNY CLEARY

Costumes                               MORGAN PINDER-SCOTT

Publicity                                SHOSHANNA GRIFFIN, ROD HALSTED

Program Design                   LAURA UNIACKE

Bench and Stand                 ALBURY MANUAL ACTIVITY CENTRE

Sound Design                       MIGUEL DE OLIVEIRA

Lighting Design                    ALICIA MARSHALL, ADAM ELLIOTT

Set Design, Poster                ALICIA MARSHALL

Props                                      NATASHA QUINN, NICOLE O’FARRELL, CAST

Scaffold                                  SCAFFOLD SPECIALIST

Stock                                      BUNNINGS WAREHOUSE – ALBURY

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