Another stage in Cylie's brilliant career
WRITER, director and producer, Cylie Brown, is a busy woman these days, as she gathers ideas together for her fourth play for the Bonville Theatre Group.
The 31-year-old took on the triple mantle about three years ago, after Bonville Theatre Group stalwart Patricia Greenwood retired.
“I joined the group when I moved to Bonville about six years ago and I think because I was always so keen to help and had lots of energy, I was asked to write something for the following year's production.”
Swanning On The Lake was the result (begun by Patricia and completed by Cylie), followed the next year by Ocker Rocker and last year's production, The Shotgun Solution, a sequel to Ocker Rocker.
Each of Cylie's three plays was set in different periods, but all were within living memory, she said.
“But this year, I've stepped out of my comfort zone with High Heels and Low Lives, because it's set in the 1920s.”
Cylie is a self-taught writer, a mother of three, who said she is still finding her own style.
“I relied heavily on cliches and other gimmicks in my first plays, but this year, as I am maturing as a writer, I'm finding I can draw more on my own unique style.
“The writing process is getting a little easier and now I've put myself out there a few times, I'm gaining confidence in my own characters and ideas.”
She has always written short stories and confesses to having a lot of 'half-finished manuscripts all over the place at home - one day I'll actually finish one'- and has learnt to write a play as she goes.
“I get bombarded with ideas and thoughts, which I write down and all those bits of paper end up around me when I'm writing a script.”
Cylie, who fits in her writing around a full-time telemarketing job at The Advocate, is excited by her latest production.
“High Heels and Low Lives is about two private detectives who are hired by a 'shifty, vixen like blonde jazz singer's wife' to find her missing husband - but she is hoping he won't be found so she can claim the insurance money.
“The two PI's will play off each other in traditional slapstick style - I'm enjoying exploring that relationship in my script,” Cylie said.
She is also enjoying her 'fan base'.
“I can't quite believe that such a thing could happen, but it's absolutely wonderful to know people enjoy my plays enough to return each year and therefore, we know in advance, that tickets will probably sell well.”
High Heels and Low Lives will be staged in the Bonville Community Hall in June next year.
The dinner and show ticket price includes a three-course meal, consisting of an entree, mains and dessert, with proceeds to go to a yet to be chosen charity.
“Last year we raised $7500, with a percentage going to Camp Quality . . . and the ticket price will stay at $25 - as it has for the past 10 years.”
High Heels and Low Lives has a lot of firsts in it for Cylie - two male leads, an era she is unfamiliar with, a huge leap outside her comfort zone, and her reliance on her own skills and talent.
“It's an exciting challenge I've set myself,” the bubbly, talkative writer said.
“It's something very different for me.”