Independent Theatre – Adapt or Die

In the last few years, before the Covid-19 shutdown, The Wolves were emerging as a fresh, gutsy and viable Theatre Company. Nine months prior to Covid-19 they were doing so well, their writer was able to quit his job as a tram driver and focus solely on creating new contemporary theatre.

The Wolves was formed out of a determination to show that in a society that can be ageist, mature creatives can be original, challenging, pertinent and marketable. Their philosophy was to write and produce plays aimed at the 45 plus demographic.

In the weeks before Covid-19 struck, they had two full length plays on at the same time and several audience members who came to see one play, were so impressed, they booked to see the second play in the same week. Proof that not only was their mission statement resonating and working, but that new, challenging, contemporary plays staring and aimed at mature people were economically viable.  

In their last regional gig, Marooned, their most successful piece, played to full houses and received a standing ovation at every performance. The cast then travelled to Canberra where they performed for the Chief of Army and other VIPs. They were so impressed, The Wolves were about to sign a deal that would see the play toured to Army bases all over the country. A meeting of new theatre and the Armed Forces. 

Simultaneously, their other plays, the comedy for four women called Adrifting, which now has Amanda Muggleton and Tottie Goldsmith attached was receiving rave reviews.

By now their third play, The Magnolia Tree, would have been completing its government-funded regional tour, and a fourth play, When Icebergs Burn, due to commence rehearsals for a tour at the start of 2021. But now, thanks to Covid-19, all of this has been put on hold and who knows for how long.

Just two choices remain for The Wolves, and other independent theatre companies in the same position; adapt or die.

After their writer became a recipient of a Melbourne Arts Grant to adapt Marooned into a film script, the Wolves have decided to risk it all and shoot the feature film version of the play.

This is scary but exhilarating, said a spokesperson for the company.

Stay tuned for updated.

Peter J Snee

Peter is a British born creative, working in the live entertainment industry. He holds an honours degree in Performing Arts and has over 12 years combined work experience in producing, directing and managing artistic programs & events. Peter has traversed the UK, Europe and Australia pursuing his interest in theatre. He is inspired by great stories and passionately driven by pursuing opportunities to tell them.

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