State Theatre Company of South Australia is in production for the Tennessee Williams classic, The Glass Menagerie due to open this week. The season will include the first of STCSA’s Red Carpet events for 2012, offering a unique performance experience for theatregoers in their 20s and 30s.
Red Carpet is unlike any other program offered by a theatre company, which began in mid-2010 as a way to encourage younger audiences who perhaps may not have the income they would like to afford full-price theatre tickets, and are looking for a great night out.
The program has grown over the past two years, now regularly selling out events in advance as participants scramble for the opportunity to celebrate their theatre experience with the cast, director and creative teams at an exclusive after-party.
Red Carpet aims to continue to build and develop future audiences for SA’s flagship theatre company and the parties are themed to tie in with each production… last year’s Holding the Man (a production depicting gay relationships in the 1970s) enjoyed a Mardi Gras theme complete with drag queens and lots of disco music.
Sophie Bruhn is one of the Red Carpet’s most enthusiastic supporters having been involved since its inception, just after she left high school. As a Red Carpet Ambassador, Sophie is an “immersed intermediary” between State Theatre Company and young theatre goers, helping everyone realise how much they need, and can help each other.
“The reason Red Carpet works is because most young people are looking for something more to do with their weekends than to just go to a club with the same people and spend too much money on drinks. Sometimes they just need a push to discover there is a whole other world that exists, where something more entertaining and intellectually substantial happens every weekend,” says Sophie.
Sophie loves a good debate in theatre and feels she has converted many of her friends… although she’s probably turned a few away as well.
Seeing a live performance before a social event is a really lovely leveller, because everyone shares the same performance and has something in common they can talk about, whether they agree or not.
“I’m looking forward to The Glass Menagerie because it’s our first big Red Carpet event since October 2011! The event will be very much in keeping with the play… there will be lots to do with cinemas, many blue roses, a really big unicorn, and more cross stitch than a hipsters crafternoon,” hints Sophie.
The Glass Menagerie welcomes back local actors Kate Cheel and Nic English who both delighted State Theatre Company SA audiences in 2011. Cheel and English join Deirdre Rubenstein and Anthony Gooley (Packed to the Rafters, Underbelly 3: The Golden Mile and Home and Away).
“What a beautiful play!” says outgoing Artistic Director, Adam Cook. “And what an honour and a thrill to direct this masterpiece of the American stage. I’m so looking forward to this!”
Set in St. Louis in the 1930’s, The Glass Menagerie is a ‘memory play’ about the Wingfield family and will be performed at the Dunstan Playhouse 4 – 26 May 2012.
The Red Carpet event for people in their 20s and 30s will take place on 11 May. Subscriptions include free access to all Red Carpet events and performance tickets work out to just $25 per person.
Bookings through BASS at www.bass.net.au or phone 131 246.
Visit the State Theatre Company blog at http://statetheatresa.posterous.com
Red Carpet photography courtesy Phil Brown at “Holding the Man” event 2011.