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Features

Only the lonely

25 January 2018

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We all feel alone at times, but when you’re experiencing loneliness it can feel like you’re the only one. 52 Hertz, by young artist collective Beyond the Yard, seeks to reassure the ‘lonely whales’ amongst us that we are not alone, says the show’s writer, director and co-producer, Terence Smith. Seesaw caught up with Smith for a Fringe Session to find out more.

Terence Smith

Seesaw: When did you first know that you wanted to be an artist?
Terence Smith: I don’t think it’s a choice I made. I think I’ve always wanted to be an artist and more specifically a director. From a young age I was always the kid who would tell his friends what to say and how to act when playing in the playground. I have definitely been shaped towards being an artist by being raised in Denmark, WA, as it is such an artistic town that encourages and celebrates the arts.

S: Did you complete formal training?
TS: Yes – I have completed my BA (Performance Studies) and have just completed my Bachelor of Arts (Honours) at Curtin University where my thesis looked into the role of a director and theatre maker and how one can create empathy from an audience through performance, the result being an early draft of the show 52 Hertz.

S: Tell us about Beyond the Yard…
TS: Beyond The Yard currently comprises of a group of young artists currently residing in Perth, Western Australia. Together we aim to create new Australian works focused on bringing light to under-represented social issues through innovative and refreshing mediums. We are artists; we play, we dream, we share, we create. We are Beyond the Yard.

S: Beyond the Yard’s career highlight so far?
TS: In November we had the opportunity to take 52 Hertz to my home town of Denmark for the Brave New Works Festival – it was an incredible weekend full of love and support from my home community and felt so good to in a way give back to the community that first nurtured my artistic hopes and dreams. It also gave us all the chance to collectively work outside the university environment in a new environment as a united and independent team.

S: And funniest moment so far?
TS: Every moment in our rehearsal room is full of laughs and good times – a ‘funny moment’ for all the wrong reasons involved dropping a glass fish bowl at the start of our tech day down in Denmark, that was a great start to that day… But you should definitely come see the show to see what this fish bowl is all about.

S: Tell us about that show!
TS: 52 Hertz is about disconnection in the modern world – it’s a show that follows the story of five different characters who could easily connect with one another if they allowed themselves to. More than anything it’s about how everyone at one time or another can feel like a lonesome whale calling out waiting for a reply that they feel is never going to come. I hope people who do feel that way can come and see this show and know they aren’t alone and there’s always help if it’s needed.

S: Aside from your show, what are you looking forward to seeing/doing at Fringe?
TS: I’m excited to see our home-grown WA artists show Perth what we’re made of and I’m also keen to hang out at the Budgie Smuggler for some cheap beer and boogie at the silent disco.

S: What do you love most about what you do?
TS: I love that by creating theatre I have the chance to give audiences and people in general the ability to feel something and gain insight into different ways of living. I thrive off the hope that my work can reach out and show someone that they aren’t alone.

S: What is your favourite playground equipment?
TS: Who could beat a killer slide.

’52 Hertz’ plays The Blue Room Theatre, February 13-17.

Pictured top: ’52 Hertz’. Photo: Nic Duncan.

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