Q44 Theatre Company opens with Dolores

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There’s a new theatre company on the block and it goes by the name of a New York bus route. Q44 is the brainchild of artist Gabriella Rose-Carter – an alumna of The Lee Strasberg Theatre and Film Institute – returned home and “proud to be joining this already thriving community”.

Rose-Carter joins Milk Bar for a chat in a quick break from rehearsing Edward Allan Baker’s Dolores, the play that will launch their first season in May.

“New York is a place that inspired me, gave me confidence, hope and a real hunger for culture,” she says of her ten year stint in the Big Apple. “I was introduced to brilliant playwrights, and it was important for me to bring them home to Melbourne.”

Q44 owes its name to one such playwright – John Patrick Shanley rode that very bus, observing the emotional highs and lows of the human condition. They are the kind of stories Rose-Carter intends to share and, in addition to tackling gritty content, she brings a fresh approach to the stage.

Her ten ensemble members are involved in every role across their productions. It’s a collaboration, she explains, with each of the Q44 possé donning producer, director and performer hats. “Acting is not the only part of telling stories.”

Describing Dolores as the two-hander she “wasn’t quite brave enough” to do in New York, Gabriella hopes that audiences walk away with insight into themselves, and is hell-bent on getting sensations active in the community.

She will perform alongside Nicole Melloy in this turbulent tale of two sisters, drawn together through domestic violence. “It is a woman’s piece, but I think it’s important for men to come and see, to understand the difference between the sexes.”

Lyle Kessler’s Orphans, Theresa Rebeck’s Spike Heels and Colin Teevan’s Kafka’s Monkey round off an emotion-packed season, set to play out in the Richmond-based loft space Q44 now calls home.

Dolores runs from May 1-18, Q44 Theatre Company 550 Swan Street, Burnley
For more information and tickets visit q44.com.au.

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