In the last week in November, Social Inclusion Week 2023, Mirboo North was treated to a performance of ‘Wild Woods’ at the Mirboo North Shire Hall.
Wild Woods was performed by (it’s no) Drama, South Gippsland’s all abilities physical theatre ensemble. The audience of fifty community members, including students from the Mirboo North Primary School and residents of Mirboo North Calvary Aged Care, were enthralled by this fabulous multi-sensory and interactive production.
A Symbolic Journey Through Wild Woods
Wild Woods took the audience on a symbolic journey through the woods, transitioning from darkness to light. Guided by Artistic Director, Samara Cunningham, the (it’s no) Drama performers each contributed to the creation of the series of vignettes making up Wild Woods which reflected life’s challenges, navigating the highs and lows and collective resilience.
The ensemble also worked with local artists and designers to make this production a multi-media experience: stage managed by Mark Harrison, with atmospheric music played live by Michael Sherrifs and striking video projection created by Kate Russell. The sum is more than the parts and beautifully conveyed the turbulence of contemporary life.
Local Mirboo North resident, David Baker, has been a member of the it’s no (drama) ensemble for many years but it was his first opportunity to perform to an audience in Mirboo North.
“The Community Foundation was very happy to support it’s no (drama) by way of a community grant,” says Ruth Rogan, Executive Officer, “and we congratulate them on a moving performance. It was wonderful to see the audience participating also, perhaps because opportunities to participate or see performances like this are rare enough in regional areas.”
A Collaborative Multi-Media Experience
After the performance, which took place in Social Inclusion Week, the audience were invited to have a Q&A with the ensemble. The school students took up this opportunity with enthusiasm, finding out who had set up the ensemble (Emily Ardley), how often they rehearse (weekly in Leongatha) and perform (a few times a year), and what they enjoyed most (dancing was a stand-out – though many performers enjoy art practices in other media too).