march1705_fertilityrites.jpg

'A lot of talk about sperm...'

Some of the best theatre I've come across recently hasn't been the kind I find featured in the local mags but the kind heard about through a friend who heard from a friend whose close friend's friend wrote/starred in/stage produced/whatever. You've probably been there. Before even getting a plot synopsis, you got a personal history of the actors, and sometimes, that's just as good.

Fertility Rites, opening on March 23rd at the Alumnae Theatre, is one of those cases. This time though, I decided to dig a little deeper. I tracked down the original mass e-mailer, the playwright, Krista Dalby, and decided to ask her about the play directly.

Q: Ok, non-personal questions first. What's this play about?

A: When three modern women wander into the twilight zone of Fairbanx Sperm Bank and Fertility Clinic, they're in for an unforgettable experience. One very pregnant nurse and several million sperm later, the women are forced to examine the rites and rituals playing out in their own lives.

Q: So you're exploring the issues behind artificial insemination? Or?

A: It looks at issues like the social pressure to reproduce, the reasons for and against having kids - especially as a single woman, love, fear, friendship, and, of course, sexuality. It is, however, a COMEDY! There is a lot of talk about SPERM!

Q: Ha. So why deal with the topic in a comedic way instead of battling it out in the ever-dramatic style of independent theatre?

A: I've always found comedy the best way to talk about weighty ideas... besides, I love making people laugh! Seeing an audience laugh at my work is one of my greatest joys in life.

Q: So no dramatic music stringing scenes together?

A: Actually, the play is set to the percussion stylings of drummer Chris Patheiger... there's a lot going on in this 45 minute play!!

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Now that was enough to sell me, but if you want some background I also found out (when i proceeded to the personal q's) that this is not Krista's first production either. She's had several successful runs (both locally and abroad) and is working on a few other theatre projects as well as a short film she just had funded. Not too shabby.

So if you're feeling like there's some room in your schedule for a little theatre, here are the details:

The play runs from March 23rd-26th at the Alumnae Theatre (70 Berkeley St @ Adelaide) as part of the New Ideas Festival 2005. Tickets are $12 and you can get yours at www.alumnaetheatre.com. Curtain is at 8pm with a 2:30pm matinee on the 26th.


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