Mediated Reflection On Theatre Performance Windmill Baby

2048 words - 8 pages

EDUF3034: Australian theatre, film and learningMediated reflection on theatre performanceWINDMILL BABYThis mediated reflection on theatre performance will be about the play Windmill Baby, written by David Milroy and directed by Kylie Farmer.Windmill Baby is play about an Indigenous Australian woman, returning to an old pastoral station where she used to work, recreating scenes of the past. The play was performed by Roxanne McDonald, at the Belvoir theatre, located at Surry Hills. When I first walked into the venue, there was an overwhelming feeling that made me feel as if my small group of friends who were attending Windmill Baby and myself, did not seem to fit in with the demographic which we suddenly found ourselves surrounded in. The venue itself reeked of prestige and Caucasian wealth, where the patrons waiting for both the showing of Windmill Baby at the downstairs theatre and the other play upstairs, were all dressed in clothing that seemed expensive and eclectic. It is a common conception that those who attend theatrical productions are generally those with enough affluence to do so, where the mostly older patrons did not seem to veer from this notion. I believed that the architecture of the venue largely conveyed a formal audience experience that aimed to give the impression of informality. As a result of these observations, my own expectation of the play was that it would be a formal, distanced-from-audience type of performance. I would later be proven wrong.The set of any theatrical performance has significance, and would have had much thought poured into its creation, where I believe Windmill Baby's set was no different. As mentioned by Shit On Your Play (2011), the designer of the Windmill Baby set ensured that the essence of the great Australian Outback was captured through the differing elements. The actual area of the downstairs theatre where the performance occurred was rather small; allowing for up to 80 audience members to be seated. Due to the small nature of the stage and therefore seating areas - this meant that even before the performance started, that there was an intense feeling of intimacy. There was also one characteristic which was shared between all of the members of the audience due to the set design - this was that now, each and everyone's shoes were covered in bright red dust. I believe that the red dust was a symbolic element, signaling that the audience had been transported to the Great Australian Outback whose rightful owners are the Indigenous Australians. The dust also helped to inform the audience that the performance scenes would be outdoors - while the other set details, such as a bed, signified an indoor setting.Windmill Baby was a one-woman play, where McDonald used transformational acting to portray 11 different characters - the main storyteller being Maymay. As mentioned earlier, Maymay returns to her camp, and reminisces about the past, loosely telling her own story as well as her other characters'...

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