What Are You? – A New Musical
Set in contemporary Australian society, the show explores the typical stereotypes that a…re placed on individuals and the self-fulfilling prophecies that take place with the existence of such stereotypes. Kieran and Mary’s relationship is endangered when external factors take hold and force them to question themselves and the validity of their relationship. Similarly as the night progresses the members of the bridal party are revealed as far more than the stereotype they pander to, and discover themselves in a new light. The tendency of Australian culture to place social expectation onto individuals is also called into question with the purpose of marriage being examined as both a tool to encourage conformity and a ceremony between two loving individuals. Desire, fear, lust, love, secrets and confusion take hold, and what is left is the simple question, “What Are You?”
“What Are You,” is a show centred around the individual, showing the importance of honesty and truth. The mask which all individuals use to protect their own psyche from ever an changing hostile world, is disintegrated, eventually leaving the characters totally vulnerable. Vulnerability being a key element to the show means for the inclusion of numerous captivating theatrical, yet totally truthful sequences, wherein the characters are revealed in numerous and at times salacious lights.
“Western culture has become so detached from the idea of community and increasingly focused on the importance of the individual. Thus it is not only beneficial but necessary that we have a theatre piece reflecting this ideology, otherwise we become ultimately detached from our audience and are unable to portray any message at all. Vulnerability is essential to this project [What Are You?] as it deals with the truth of each individual, balanced with the extroverted, glamorous, stereotypical side of each character.” says co-writer and director of “What Are You,” Braiden Dunn.
The stereotypes evident within the production itself, evidence the notion that whilst these stereotypes exist, this does not necessarily mean that humanity and the individual must pander to them. Funnily enough, whilst they are not necessary, stereotypes exist for a reason and whether this be through a from of self-fulfilling prophecy or the fact that they are for the most part apt, this project displays the absurdity of such social categorisation.
Combining all elements performance, “What Are You,” provides its audience with spectacle to remember. Original compositions showcase delicate harmonies and an intricate melodic structure, whilst the movement [expertly choreographed by Janine Ayres] works succinctly to tell a complex tale about the relationships we hold with one and other, and the relationship with the self.
“Personally I think it is necessary to combine all elements of performance so that we gain a holistic view of, not only the characters, but the narrative, the environment and the human relationships prevalent. This will ensure that the essential messages within the show are not confined to the context of the performance and can make their way into the wider society. “What Are You,” provides an exciting new opportunity for both the actors and the audience to rethink their own relationships and generalisations regarding all groups of people,” says co-writer and director of “What Are You,” Lucy Matthews.
“What Are You,” calls us to take a moment of introspection, to understand each thought, emotion and action to which each individual is subjected.
*Bookings: (02) 6247 3150
DNA Studio’s, Gorman House Arts Centre,
BRADDON, ACT 2612
3rd, 4th, 5th and 10th, 11th, 12th of December.
*Please note, tickets will also be available for purchase 30 minutes before each performance.