Two Peas explores the hardships of early adulthood in this brand new Australian play
Kit Bennett chats with Tara Clark of Two Peas Productions about their new Australian Play ‘Drift’ for ATYP
In its early days, Drift, was a simple improvisation exercise by a group of recently graduated acting students exploring the idea of a group of people stuck in a boat. Yet, cowriter and director, Tara Clark says the final story, about to hit the ATYP stage, has developed far from its humble beginnings.
With an offer from ATYP for a platform to produce a new work, co-writers Tara Clark and Kieran Foster, along with Two Peas Co-Artistic Director Oleg Pupovac, were on the hunt for a suitable script that would find relevance in the youth theatre spectrum. They came back to the bits of their devised boat improvisation and used it to write a brand new Australian work tackling issues of youth today.
“It’s a story of six young twenty-something friends, who are at that point in their lives where they’ve stepped out into the real world… and then they collectively suffer this tragedy” Says Tara. “What we try to examine is at such a fragile time in your life, when you are just trying to figure out who are and where you fit into anything, how an event like that reshapes your perspective. How some people come out the other side stronger, others struggle a little bit more through an experience like that.”
Although Clark says there are no direct references to boats, literally or metaphorically, perhaps the story now isn’t too far apart from their original improvisation. Life can be a bit of a sink or swim situation in your twenties. You’ve been in the safety of your parent’s boat too long and now it’s time to take the leap and throw yourself in the deep end. You might start to sink a little at first, but you try out a few different stroke, and begin to find the one that works for you. Perhaps you think you’ve found the right stroke right away, only to tire a little down the track and look for a different one. Or maybe you’re happy to simply drift for a while and see where you end up. Whichever you choose, there’ll be strong currents, rips and larger-than-expected waves but you’ve just got to keep your head above water. You’ll eventually find your own boat to climb aboard with a crew of people that have been swimming a similar stroke.
Drift explores one of these tragedies and the grief these twenty-somethings go through and “how the experience changes them in different ways.” Yet Tara explains that the play explores a fundamentally deep issue in a joyful manner and hopes audiences come away “experiencing some of that joy.”
“It deals with a very specific time in adulthood that most people have gone through, whether they go through a tragedy at that point in their lives or not, everybody goes through that process of leaving their families and their institutions and no longer defining themselves by their parents and their schools and their churches… and really starting to surround themselves with people who are like-minded and they see themselves reflected in.” She says.
The characters are asking the questions we’ve all asked ourselves at some point, and perhaps still do even after leaving our twenties behind us: “Have I made the right decisions? Did I do the right university degree? Am I with the person I’m supposed to be with? Am I good enough? Have I done enough?” Clark explores these universal questions with joy and good humour, because in the end, we’ve managed to stay afloat this far, so we’ll continue swimming and at least try to enjoy the experience as we go.
20 – 30 July 2016
Venue: ATYP Theatre
Theatre Company: Two Peas
Director: Tara Clark
Cast: Ayeesha Ash, Challito Browne, Olivia Jubb, Adam Kovarik, Alex Packard, Lauren Pegus
Set Design Ester Karuso-Thurn
Lighting Design Liam O’Keefe
Production Manager Cara Woods
Earlybird $20 (until 6 July)
Transaction fees may apply