Here at The Studio, we’re proud to be able to support actors and artists to put on their own work during the Melbourne Fringe Festival through our Fine at Fringe program. This week, we’re chatting to the second of our 2019 Fine at Fringe recipients, Here and Now Collective. Here and Now member, co-director of their upcoming Melbourne Fringe play and current HFAS Full Time student Amalia Krueger answered a few questions about Share House…

Q. Hi Amalia. Can you tell us a bit about Here and Now Collective’s upcoming show Share House?

Amalia: Share House is an original stage play about three housemates dealing with the shock death of their friend and partner. The show looks at friendships, loyalty, grief, manipulation and the breakdown of relationships.

Q. Tell us about Here and Now Collective. How did you form? Who is involved and what sort of work can we expect to see from you in the future?

Share House Play

Amalia: A big topic of conversation this year was about creating your own work. There are so many stories out there that either aren’t being told or don’t have anyone to tell them, so I wanted to create a place where these stories can have a voice. I’ve been lucky enough to meet and work with so many likeminded and talented people this year that I thought it was the right time and the perfect excuse to get everyone together and create something. At the moment the Here and Now team is myself (Amalia) and our producer Holly. I definitely roped her into it! You can expect to see more original content and content that focuses on contemporary issues. We hope that Here and Now will offer opportunities for up and coming actors, writers and directors to work collaboratively. Our aim is definitely to spark discussion, to inspire the next generation of artists and connect young performance makers who have a passion for storytelling. I think at the end of the day that’s what brings us all together.

Q. Here and Now focuses on making work about current topics in today's society. What inspired Share House?

Amalia: Share House was originally inspired by something that many young people can relate to - living in a share house. Adeodatus, the writer of Share House, had an experience of moving into a place that was originally wonderful, but as time went on the relationships slowly wore away and broke down. Share House deals with similar themes. In this story, these friendships start out strong but eventually you see them starting to break, and in this case it results in a death. 

It’s not a secret that in recent years the number of (in this specific case, female) rapes and murders has started to gain media attention. It’s definitely something people need to take seriously, so the idea around Share House was inspired by events taking place in the media. Unfortunately it’s not always ‘wrong place, wrong time’. Often it’s someone we know. 

Q. Share House deals with some pretty heavy themes. Why do you think it's important to portray these themes on stage?

Amalia: These tragic events don’t happen because of what someone is wearing, they happen often out of jealously, hatred and greed. These are all human emotions everyone is capable of having. The difference is the decency to know right from wrong. The stage is intimate, and everything feels real because it’s happening live and right in front of you. These events aren’t something that only happen on TV. These stories are real and they do happen. The conversation can’t end once the news segment is over. We’re also looking at the experience of grief and how that is often over-looked or glossed over in media. It is unknowable how people will react to any life-changing event. How one deals with grief is personal. In Share House we see how each character deals with grief differently and it’s something that, when performed on stage, is intimate and vulnerable.

Q. There are a few HFAS students involved in the cast and team. What do you like about working with fellow HFAS students?

Amalia: This is the first theatre show that any of us have independently put on so it’s a relief in a way to be able to work with actors who all have the same approach to a script and who all have the same work ethic. We’re able to continue exploring what we learn in class and use it in rehearsals. It’s really rewarding being able to bring what we’ve learnt to a professional working environment.

Q. Has the HFAS training come in handy during the rehearsal process?

Amalia: It absolutely has come in handy! As I mentioned before we all have the same approach when given a script so already we’re already on the same page. We can all tell when something in rehearsal isn’t quite working and we know straight away what we can do to fix it.

Thanks for taking the time to chat to us Amalia! Share House is on at the MC Showroom from September 17 - 21. Find out more and get tickets here: https://melbournefringe.com.au/event/share-house/