By Michelle Pastor
The women of Girls Act Good (GAG) are coming to Yarraville with their newest production The ASSOCIATION.
The group will be taking over Number 64, on Pentland Parade, transforming the venue into the premises of a secret society for women. Not your standard theatre show, The ASSOCIATION is an immersive theatre event, where audience members become a part of the story and are taken on a journey into the lives of the society’s members. It’s The Stepford Wives meets Frankenstein in a Country Women’s Association (CWA) style meeting, where the perfect recipe for jam sponge switches to a recipe for a perfect partner.
Girls Act Good is an all-female ensemble of actors, writers, directors, producers and designers based in Melbourne. The group was started by Jennifer Monk in 2013 to create opportunities for women to extend their creative skills, while working on challenging material that is not afraid to ask the difficult questions. The women of GAG create complex characters that explore all aspects of human nature and give a voice to people and their stories that normally go unheard and unnoticed.
For part of her research into creating The ASSOCIATION, Jennifer Monk attended a CWA meeting in rural Victoria, where she was overwhelmed by the generosity the branch displayed in their dedicated efforts to assist community groups. Jennifer decided to incorporate this angle into the project, inspiring the scriptwriter, Perri Cummings, to reference outreach groups within the piece. The ASSOCIATION shines a light on the McAuley Community Services For Women (MCSW) and GROW. Both groups are integrated into the story, impacting the lives of the fictional characters.
MCSW is based in Footscray and provides much needed services for women and their children who are escaping family violence or facing homelessness. GROW’s mission is to enable people with a mental condition or illness to take a responsible and caring place in the wider community. Their vision is recognised for its unique approach in developing leaders in mental health recovery, through mutual help, friendships and community. GAG has a proud tradition of partnering with local community groups to help raise awareness to the services they provide, their hard work and dedication to their cause. GAG members have attended GROW support meetings in the Footscray branch and have been invited to the Footscray CWA branch to talk about women in the arts. The GAG ensemble will be residing at Number 64 for a four-week residency. After a two-week season of The ASSOCIATION, from 18 to 30 July, the women will be sticking around to turn their theatre show into a film. It’s their biggest and most ambitious project to date.
To support these talented and daring women in their raw and disturbingly domestic new project, your best option is to see the show, as all proceeds from the theatre event go towards making the film.
To book your tickets visit: www.trybooking.com/QGKE