Not-for-profit seeks funds for development of Millicent Armstrong play, Fire

Music Theatre Projects is running a funding campaign to support its ongoing work on the legacy of Millicent Armstrong, Gunning ,playwright and farmer.

The company has transcribed and edited some of Armstrong’s plays, given public readings, and taken them to audiences in a number of regional towns, receiving very positive feedback.

It now wants to bring a special focus to Armstrong’s unperformed four-act drama, Fire.

Fire, written in 1923, was given its first public reading by Music Theatre Projects in October 2023 as part of Gunning Arts Festival.

Set within a catastrophic bushfire event post-WW1, themes explored include social justice, protection of animals, classism in rural Australia, the soldier settler story, anti-war sentiment, the role of women in society, and all set within the rapidly transitioning 1920s.

Music Theatre Projects is seeking donors to help with the help of members of interested donors is sought next stages of the project, including:

  • A one-week writer’s room on Armstrong’s 4 act play, Fire at The Street Theatre, 8 to 13 April 2024. MTP has gathered a diversely skilled team of creatives to assist in this work and will emerge at the end of that week with a script ready for contemporary production. The company has the support of The Street Theatre, in housing them for the week, but need to raise $9000 to pay artist fees and projects costs.
  • Presentation of the second reading of Fire on the property at Clear Hills, Gurrundah near Gunning. The venue is the shearing shed on Millicent Armstrong’s former property and the performance will be as part of an event hosted by the present day owners, Michael Katz and Frederique Katz-Hochuli. The company will video this reading for use in future project work, and for archival purposes, and needs to raise $10,500 to cover artist fees and other costs,

If any additional funds are donated, Music Theatre Projects will allocate them to seed funding a tour of Armstrong’s four short plays in a production entitled Drought and Other Plays to 12 locations in rural NSW over two weeks during the cooler months of 2024.

In the future, the company aims like to see their production edits of these plays published in a collected works.

Contact Dianna Nixon for more information:

Top picture: The cast for the private reading at Gunning Courthouse in Oct 2023, as part of Gunning Arts Festival.  L to R – Zsuzsi Soboslay, Craig Alexander, Christopher Samuel Carroll, Caroline Simone O’Brien. Image credit:  Shelly Higgs.