s ever changing normalities. Australian drama and theatre have staged these conceptions using fractured fairytales, detective stories entwined with Vaudeville, symbolism as well as performance styles varying from episodic, non ? star? piece and personal experiences. A continuos epidemic which remains existent within Australian civilization is the peculiar disappearance of children. Ruby Moon exempli? es this predicament through its fractured fairytale writing style which exploits morality entangled with iniquity that has begun overruling a modernized community.
The extended metaphor which foreshadows this text is little red riding hood. Although in the childlike adaption it results a happier ending, it? s the ambivalence which reassures the unhappier endings depicting the harsh reality of the missing child cases found in Australian society. A missing child is a universal tragedy with a primal impact therefore the hidden truth to ruby moon also extends away from the illusion of little red riding hood. News features such as the Beaumont children and missing child Eloise Worledge are two of the in? uential Australian headlines that Ruby Moon came about to be.
The loss of children are catastrophic events but the rami? cations on parents and neighboring communities displayed are the ultimate ideals re? ected upon this text. Matt Cameron, reiterates this ideology for Ruby Moon by con? rming his inspiration derived from impact on the wider community by stating “Missing children arouse such potent emotions in the people that it immediately affects, and then beyond that, to communities. ” Parental ? gures will undoubtedly ? ght the biggest battle when coming to terms with the tragic loss of their offspring.
Sylvie, the mother of Ruby had realistically took the absence of her daughter for the worst. From her character, it demonstrated her naivety towards the situation at hand. She is also the symbolic idol for the parents who faced similar situations within Australian societies. Studies have proven that majority of married couples who have faced the loss of a child will result in a relationship built upon distrust and eventually result with divorce. When looking at Sylvie and Ray? s relationship in isolation the audience embark on the distance which exists between the two central characters.
As a result of this detachment the audience are inclined to feel awkward. This has been perceived through Ray consistently asking Sylvie for a kiss. She is reluctant to express her own love for ray which concludes in her changing the topic. It can be seen through their dialogue “Ray: It? s only me, baby. I? m home. Sylvie: Did you say something? Ray: I said, I? m home. Do I get a kiss? ” Sylvie: Sounds like it? s raining down cats and dogs. ” In referral to her stating ? did you say something? it ensures the lack of attentiveness paid to her husband thus reassuring the relationship is built upon ? aws.
Having my own personal experience when workshopping Ruby Moon, I was introduced to the ? rst scene and from an acting perspective you begin understand the pivotal position that the two characters are situated in. I was depicting the character Ray and immediately instigated that Ray was the one with the desire to help Sylvie ? nd her way home; to his heart. As speci? ed before their has been a constant strain on the deteriorating relationship and to emphasis this notion. I underwent an activity which worked on limited movements. Blocking. My partner and I focused on the Sylvie wondering away and Ray following.
There were crucial scenes where Ray would scourer the intimate moments by leaning in for a kiss but to portray miscommunication Sylvie would turn away. When it came to staging we ensured the characters never met eye to eye. However, there was one intimate moment where my partner and I directed that Sylvie and Ray would meet face to face. Sylvie spoke “How do we do this again? ” At this point we took a pause to rekindle the lost connection for the audience to understand the underlying connection has been buried by darkness which consumed their tainted lives.
Although to achieve such staging effects on the Australian experience by individuals an inspiration can be drawn through the traumatic experience Beaumont children. After all, Matt Cameron mounted his ideas on society in? uence and to divorces are a staged metaphor. Ray and Sylvie are the metaphor which exists. There characters are the symbolism. The parents of the three beaumont children ended their relationship from the hardships, strains and occurring predicaments. It? s not always necessarily the obvious answer that has been staged but the existing symbolism that relates to Australian emotion.
The ability to empathize with a miserable relationship. Another example isn? t just drawn from Sylvie and Ray but the relationship that progressed between Veronica and Ray where innuendoes are referred to such as “lover boy” which further recti? es the quest to ? nd love and rekindle a relationship even though it? s in the wrong doing. In relation to characters begin staged from symbolism, a prime example of this theory would be the role of Sid. Sid is a character that is distant from society in context of his suspicions but understandably it?
s his profession of a clown that stages the conception of Media. Media is a broad term that highlights signi? cant events which occur on a day to day basis within the human civilization. At ? rst, the media had been compacted by ? softer? stories in which brought happier endorphins to individuals but now due to sensationalism headlines are darker stories to evoke heavier emotions to sell. Sid is the consumption of this clandestine behavior. Examples shown are when he states “Nobody likes clowns anymore. ” Clowns are the epitome of happiness and bring joy but Sid?
s character is disturbed and distraught by events which eliminates the stereotypical view of clowns in joyous terms. This is how Australian theatre cleverly stages Media through the forms of a character. The different facets of Sid when he portrays his minor show gives reference to the media by the actions he uses. In a particular line he was blinded by paparazzi then continues on to act as if he is the paparazzi and falsely takes photos of Sylvie saying “One more Mrs. Moon. ” The media as an entirety has a duty to release traumatic events for awareness but it? s not plagued as ?death of the media?
and even with designers this can be proven with Sid clothing being covered in blood. The choice of blood not only leaves him suspicious but if Sid is the representation of the media, could this possibly mean that the prime suspect of Ruby? s disappearance and children missing within our society were victims of media. The family were also victimized by media therefore word of mouth or showcasing is the death to Ruby could be a suspect within it? s self. Taking on the designer perspective, I have once more workshopped my own personal setting involving the aspects of stage positioning.
I had collaboratively worked amongst other students who took literal approaches to their set design however, to create the convention of absurdism, I took a lateral approach by developing the set that was emblematic. For instance, Ruby moon was built upon a detective story that emits clues and endless, uncertain possibilities. Therefore each character was a puzzle piece and to dictate their stories, I designed the ? oor to be shaped in various puzzle pieces. Predominant themes accounted for is the invasion of devilry which subdues the character? s soul. It is this implementation of gloom which controls individual australian experiences.
Each person has faced a time period where they believed they were lost in an abyss of darkness, to create an audience-character relationship by playing on emotions I decided the backdrop would consist of a tree reaching into the stage to cast the a blanket of terror. Another common feature presented in Ruby Moon was the chair Sylvie resides on. To elevate this convention, I designed this chair to be structured as a hand with the print of Ruby? s red and white polkadot dress. This reassures that despite being encaged by fear, her presence is existent and that all Australian members hoard onto a speci?
c object which ampli? es memories of a distant past for security reasons. Stage: Apart of the human condition is the need to belong. Australians, as well as all cultures of the world instinctively seek each other out to procure comfort for their sometimes, uncontrollable emotions. This is why the script writing being established on Flaming Tree Grove guarantees the alliance built up between neighbors either for better or worse. As in the case of Missing child Eloise Worledge who disappeared in her own bedroom. The mother Patsey relied on neighbors and communal spirit to sustain her own grief.
The street portrays metaphorical community which extends not only to your literal neighbors but to the Australian environment which surrounds us. One of the most salient factors within Australian history that reverberated society immensely was the Stolen Generation. A time period where the Indigenous people, the custodians of the land were forced to assimilate into Australian society. The overarching motif that exists is children and the Stolen Generation pin points the time where children were directly effected by forcefully being removed from their family roots and integrated into a ?
white? home. The play Stolen focuses on these catastrophic event by retelling the story of ? ve different Aboriginal children Anne, Ruby, Jimmy, Shirley and Sandy. The play as a whole is episodic ergo each scene has invites the audience to peer into a new character? s life gaining their perspective on current and past events. Using the dramatic convention of episodic scenes in enables the audience to empathize on a personal level with each character. Not only does the technique of episodic format build a bond between audience and performer but it also enables ? time travel.?
This referring to the ? ashbacks of past incidences that build the story in scenes that showcase the future. For example the second scene known as ? Adult Flashes? demonstrates the birth of Shirley in a matured personal environment but this too contrasts with the third scene called Hiding Sandy. Here we visit the re? ective past of Sandy who relives the moment in time where he was taken by the welfare in addition to the story telling recreated by the aunt, cousin and uncle to recount how his absence left the family distressed. “When my cousin came to stay, he was crying all the time…
My mum tried to make him feel better. She said they? d see him soon, when it was safe- maybe six months- but he cried even more. ” The play write setting out the script in this form helps stage the hardships by retelling from multiple perspectives. It? s the power of raw human emotion that establishes a connection within an audience member to an actor as they represent an affair that creates a close to home experience. The ever changing circumstances enable the audience to spectate these critical events by furthering our interdependence. Characters
in isolation for instance Ruby showcase a new side to the individual australian experience in the sector of domestic violence. Violence majority of the time is unspoken due to brute force or embarrassment of the event. Having a voice to approach these concerning matters can be limited especially if the child is of aboriginal descent where in the time of context they weren? t recognized for their humanity but treated as slaves. To stage this epidemic there are three scenes titled “Unspoken abuse 1, Unspoken abuse 2 and Unspoken abuse 3” where Ruby gradually gains courage to consolidate with her experiences amongst her new white family.
The time line sequencing can be accounted to our lives as Australians for domestic issues may bother us but usually takes a longer time to come out of the shell. To authenticate the play another technique explored would be the non ? star? piece approach where the actors weren? t of celebrity status and when composing the play it gave it that realistic approach. The Koori community gave their own detailing of previous events and to have them portrayed gave an element of cohesiveness throughout the entire plot and for the actors worked bene? cially.
Not only had the aboriginal perspective been exploited throughout the play but using symbolism for such items designed in the scene as a ? ling cabinet explores the negative connotations which exist through the aboriginal eyes. The ? ling cabinet interprets to the Australian Government which has stored away documents, references of the Aboriginal people and polices. The ? ling cabinet interprets to the indigenous people being ? stored? away or in speci? c terms institutionalized; where the children were taken into detention facilities for correctional teachings. It?
s presence on stage instigates the reoccurring theme of ? identity.? To furthermore amplify the distinctiveness of ones self the ? ling cabinet brings about a loss to who you are and records you to what they believe the perfect Australian society should be. Another common iconic image represented through the text is the idea of carrying a suitcase. A suitcase epitomizes baggage which individuals take throughout the course of their lives. At times we believe the suitcase is empty, other times it? s just as heavy as we not only carry ourselves but the hardships driven from other people.
The suitcase in context to Stolen creates the one connection left that leaves the children with their past. They try to carry on who they were, where they came from and the family they loved by being forced into a harshened environment. Sometimes we need to unload our baggage just as Kevin Rudd continued on doing by apologizing on behalf of the nation to the Indigenous. Staging this object commonly throughout the play helps the audience ensure their has been metaphoric baggage within their migrating lives and as one time or another we can relate for Australia is built on immigrants and we?
ve all taken a journey here at one point of our lives. When producing these scenes with my colleagues we took a directive stance working on how to portray the children as a whole whilst keeping their individuality predominant. By working on movement and staging we could ensure the characters were parallel with each other. This is why when workshopping the ? rst scene “Arriving” It was directed that each character enter separately but wonder around collectively in search for who they are. Also to stage the individuals we separated them into ? ve corners where each would switch scenes while other characters would remain stationary.
This was to display the separate lines and reenforce their individuality as to stage their experience. Designing also came into consideration when building the characters. They wore predominately black to keep themselves true to their heritage. The black also signi? ed that they were still related by blood and culture and although they? ve come to experience different from each other they still represent the greater community of aboriginal children lost by the welfare. Ruby Moon and Stolen are two important texts that outline the severity of stolen/lost children in a modern context.
There are always in? uences which boarder the Australians that exhibit their own uniqueness. Every story is different and due to the audience having suf? cient experience from their own lives can easily build a bond with somebody from either texts. We may not have the exact same story but it? s our interpretation of various objects, scenes and characters that allow us to see a broader view of the spectrum. These ? lms do stage a range of individualism in our multicultural community and overtime they will appropriate for generations to come.