Theatre Director Dione Joseph

Kiwi Director prepares Theatrical Extraganza in Melbourne

This article first appeared in the Brimbank Leader on 25th Mar 2011.

THE experiences of four international students as they explore life and love in Melbourne form the basis for the latest play being directed by St Albans resident Dione Joseph.

Ms Joseph described BOObook Theatre’s production of Student Body, written by award-winning Australian playwright Alana Valentine, as “a theatrical extravaganza” with original music, choreography and laughs.

“It’s a very full production with movement and a lot of strong themes from rights to religion to relationships,” she said.

Ms Joseph said the play – which features Keith Brockett from The Librarians, Sheena Reyes from Neighbours and City Homicide, Rachel Fong and Kelly Ryan as students from China, India, Thailand and Malaysia – gave the theatre company a chance to reflect the diversity in the acting world on the stage.

She said that “very often” there just weren’t roles for people with an ethnic background but it was great to be working for a third time with BOObook Theatre.

More than 50 people auditioned for the four roles, Ms Joseph said, adding that it was “fantastic to get such a great turnout”.

She said Student Body did not shy away from the topics such as the assaults on international students in recent times, but while tackling the heavy issues she said they were “not there to preach”.

“We just want people to think,” she said.

It is Ms Joseph’s 11th Melbourne production since she moved here from New Zealand about two years ago.

BOOBook theatre was founded in 2004 and is now based in Williamstown.

Student Body is now showing at the Union Theatre at the University of Melbourne in Parkville today and tomorrow at 1pm and 8pm on both days.

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