Julie Davies chats with Festival Director Sean Dennehy at the Short+Sweet Directors Workshop at the Walter Reid Centre, Rockhampton. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Julie Davies chats with Festival Director Sean Dennehy at the Short+Sweet Directors Workshop at the Walter Reid Centre, Rockhampton. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK110513sdirecto

Being a control queen leads writer to directing her own play

SHE has written more than 40 short stories, numerous press releases, articles and even erotic fiction, all while working on a feature novel.

But Julie Davies's first venture into script writing has resulted in her stepping up as a director for her own play as well.

"After others from my literary group, The Write Group, told me my dialogues were good and encouraged me to write plays, I decided to do a script-writing workshop," Julie said.

After doing an RADF funded two-day play writing workshop, the Central Queensland-based author converted one of her existing short stories into a ten-minute monologue, following the tradition of British television's Talking Heads.

Titled Dear Diary, Julie's play was one of 11 pieces chosen to be brought to life at the Short+Sweet festival to be held in Rockhampton tomorrow and Saturday.

"Being a bit of a control queen, I decided to direct it myself, so I then did the directors' workshop with Sean Dennehy," Julie said.

Julie Davies director works with actress Therese Keane during rehearsals for her short play for the upcoming Short+Sweet film festival. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin
Julie Davies director works with actress Therese Keane during rehearsals for her short play for the upcoming Short+Sweet film festival. Photo Sharyn O'Neill / The Morning Bulletin Sharyn O'Neill ROK200513sdirecto

 

"I'm now working with amateur actor Therese Keane to bring my character to life and it's an exciting but nerve-racking time for both of us."

Therese had previous acting experience, so Julie said they would coach each other.

"I don't have any experience with amateur dramatics, other than one humiliating experience in a primary school Nativity play 100 years ago, so I'm really nervous about directing it."

A month on and Julie admits the directing process was more complex than she imagined, requiring meetings with Rockhampton Regional Council's cultural development officer Judy Couttie, who was facilitating the process, and other directors.

They also had sessions with the volunteer stage directors and lighting/sound specialists, and have been astonished at their equipment, expertise and dedication.

"I wasn't expecting this level of professionalism and being so green, I've found it a bit daunting, but nothing ventured, nothing gained," Julie said.

One thing Julie learnt in the past month was exactly how little she knew.

"Listening to the other directors and watching them rehearse taught me a lot, and so did my actor, Therese."

A lack of confidence was Julie's main challenge, despite lots of encouragement.

With opening night tomorrow, Julie now just has to wait to see how the audience will greet her work, along with all the other local writers, directors and actors.

"I am anxious, excited, more anxious - and I'm not even the one in the spotlights," she said.

Short+Sweet

Where: Walter Reid Cultural Centre

When: Friday and Saturday at 7.30pm

Tickets: Adult $20, Concession $15 or go to www.seeitlive.com.au