West Gippsland Arts Centre gets back ‘to normal’ in 2021 by doing something completely new.
Under the guidance of comedian, actor and writer Damian Callinan, West Gippsland Arts Centre are producing a comedy revue that looks to completely reimagine the facts, fiction and fantasy of our shire’s past, present and future.
With funding support gained through the Victorian Association of Performing Arts Centres (VAPAC), we will be hosting a ‘performing artist in residence’ in January and February. The project will not only offer our community a chance to get inside the world of comedy writing, but also to play a part in performing the scripts they come up with.
The lead artist, Damian Callinan is no stranger to community engagement and Baw Baw audiences, having visited WGAC with many of his shows including Swing Man , Road Trip  & Wine Bluffs . His solo show The Merger was recently adapted into a multi-award winning feature film.
The dual AACTA award nominated film, written by and co-produced by Damian, saw him play the lead role of country footy coach Troy Carrington. The film took out Best Film & Best Screenplay at the 2019 OzFlix Independent Film Awards.
Thanks to the support of VAPAC and Creative Victoria, Damian is coming to Baw Baw to offer a new way for our audience to ‘get into’ a show. Participants will be able to work on scripting a comedy review style show that showcases everything that is wonderful, crazy, unique, historical, hysterical and (plain) special about our Shire.
At the end of the process they will get to present the show for family and friends and the wider community, and in doing so, make a huge contribution to helping us all to get back to ‘Normal’.
The result will be “Baw Baw rebooted …2020 problems? Have you tried turning it off and back on again?”
Damien sent this message to the Baw Baw community:
“Did you peak on stage as a donkey in the school nativity? Are your zingers getting labelled ‘dad jokes’ by an unappreciative, captive audience? Are your dance moves failing to get traction on Tiktok? Was your Covid Resolution to do something outside your comfort zone?
Whether you’re typecast as a stable animal, a frustrated joke smith, undervalued choreographer or have found yourself yet to commit to a post lockdown, life change, ‘Baw Baw Rebooted’ might be the answer.
We’re looking for enthusiastic volunteers to help us to reinvigorate our community life with a laugh or two.”
The participants will get to work with Damian who will guide them in creating a multi-faceted stage show featuring live and filmed sketches, stunts, parodies, songs and whatever else emerges from the workshop and rehearsal process.
Damian Callinan will be coming to WGAC on Tuesday 5 January to introduce the project, answer queries and canvas for volunteers. This initial get-together is a free event and there will be no charge to participate in the project workshops.
If this has piqued your curiosity and you’d like to find out more, register your interest above or call 5624 2456.
After non-threatening, preparation free, fun, group ‘auditions’ (9-10 January) Damian will invite participants to attend a workshop weekend (16-17 January) to begin sketching out the main script ideas.
Based on numbers of participants, content, availability etc, rehearsal/development sessions will be scheduled between 19 January - 6 February before the whole group comes together for performances of their very own ‘Baw Baw Rebooted’ on Thursday 11 February (8:00pm) with follow up showings on Friday 12 February (8:00pm) and Saturday 13 February (matinee) - Tickets for the shows will be available to purchase soon!
We look forward to your participation in this unique project and we're sure your friends and family will love seeing what you create as we Reboot Baw Baw!