Sam Cosentino describes his new play, Shades Of Light, as “a combination of naturalistic and humanistic theatre and film.”
“I scripted it as a short story probably about three years ago, and then I wanted it to grow organically and flesh it out through actors,” he explains.
The writer/director draws from a well of eclectic film inspiration, from 1950s and 1960s neo-realism to Japanese humanism to bleak, harsh naturalism; and also expressionism in German theatre.
His play is minimalistic in presentation but complex and rich in terms of meaning and emotional depth. It revolves around four very different people who find themselves thrown together by circumstance in an undisclosed location.
“We not only believe that all the characters have a message to deliver, but we hope that the combination of the four characters, when they cross paths, creates this sort of provoking question: Where are they? Why are they here? Why do they belong in this…sort of a war-torn environment?” says Cosentino.
The characters – and actors – come from different ethnic backgrounds, and variously during the play there are four different languages spoken. Sometimes the words are translated, sometimes not. Cosentino has deliberately kept the language obscure around one of the characters as a way of depicting alienation.
The four actors have real-life stories that help inform their characters and their performance. In some cases, they’ve had to persevere in very difficult circumstances. This play represents a new experience in many ways.
“I’m incredibly honoured and proud that I have two actors who have never spoken English on stage before,” explains Cosentino.
Each performance will be followed by a Q&A.
Jan 10-12. The Hellenic Art Theatre, Addison Road Community Centre, 142 Addison Rd, Marrickville. $20-$30+b.f. Tickets & Info: www.trybooking.com
By Rita Bratovich