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  • Published 20140423
  • ISBN: 9781922182258
  • Extent: 264 pp
  • Paperback (234 x 153mm), eBook

HOUSEWIVES, A HUNDRED or more women at each performance, call out to an actor as she wanders mindlessly around her kitchen doing chores. They encourage her to stay positive, correcting her mistakes, answering her soliloquies. Roma is her audience, engaged with them in a rowdy exchange, a chorus of Romas sounding an anthem to stay sane in their suburban isolation, a rally to keep Roma’s head out of the oven.

The year is 1978 and we are in the YMCA Hall in Essendon, Melbourne. The actor, director, writers, technicians, costume designer, producer, front of house staff, and marketing team – four of us – are students at the Victorian College of the Arts Drama School. We have written and rehearsed Roma, a one-woman play about agoraphobia, with a group of five local housewives, meeting together every week for six months. We show our play mid-morning and afternoon when other housewives from the area find it easy to come. We are trialling a recipe for theatre with and for communities.

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