Separating The Dust
Separating The Dust
Drama for 'unsuitable' play.
Separating The Dust cast, Stephen Mitchell, Ingrid Gang and Aston Elliot.
Newspaper: The Guardian
Dated: Friday, 23 July 2010
Written by: Angela Crawford
Headline: Drama for 'unsuitable' play
A Kyneton playwright is disgruntled with the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival sub-committee after his play was deemed 'unsuitable' for this year's One Act Play Festival.
He believes the decision reeks of nepotism and censorship. "The rejection letter from the Kyneton Daffodil and Arts Festival (KDAF) sub-committee states the play (Separating The Dust) was thought to be unsuitable ... for the mixed experience audience the festival was likely to attract," playwright Darren Brealey said. "It concerns me nepotism and censorship is alive and well among some of the committee members of the KDAF sub-committee, as previous one-act plays allowed to perform at previous Kyneton One Act Play Festivals deem to be more racy than Separating The Dust."
Past plays presented at the festival have depicted a woman committing suicide and another in which one character stabs another character to death on stage. Separating The Dust presents some violence, sexual and incestuous references and dark themes.
A spokesperson (Alan Stone) for the One Act Play Festival sub-committee said the committee has the right to reject any entry it deems inappropriate. "Six people read it and six people said 'no, it's not suitable'. We do have the right to reject it, it is in the entry form, and we're not the only festival to knock it back," the spokesperson said. "We're the ones doing these plays and we know our audience, in 10 years' time perhaps that will change."
But Mr Brealey said that he is perplexed by the censorship his one-act play has received as there is no paedophilia nor stabbing on stage, not an F-word in sight.
"Separating The Dust discusses the issues arising from the two brothers fighting over their mother's Final Will and Testament after their mother's funeral service. According to the Kyneton Daffodil Arts Festival One Act Play sub-committee my play is deemed too racy for the Kyneton demographic. I suggest the sub-committee re-look at the Kyneton demographic and engage in a feasibility study of their demographic. I believe the people of Kyneton to be more intelligent and outgoing than the sub-committee allows," Mr Brealey said.
Separating The Dust will be performed at other one-act play festivals in Victoria country towns, including Ararat, Anglesea, Ballarat, Macedon and Foster.
The play was awarded Best Play last Sunday at the Dandenong Ranges One Act Play Festival. It was performed at The Mount Players One Act Play Festival in Macedon last Saturday at the Mountview Theatre. Mr Brealey said he did not believe Kyneton audiences were any different to those in Macedon.
"Separating The Dust holds three very strong, articulate and brilliant talented actors and I'm very proud of the work they have done in the previous months to bring my new one-act play to life," Mr Brealey said.
"Aston Elliot, Stephen Mitchell and Ingrid Gang are equal and strong in their talents and breathe life into a very challenging and confronting story of family tragedy, unravelling of a dysfunctional family and the breaking up of two brothers. I am saddened and disappointed by the Kyneton Daffodil Arts Festival sub-committee decision as they are taking away a gritty, interesting and entertaining play from a town with a strong following of theatre; from the townspeople who embrace and foster the arts."