All of Us at the Old Fire Station

All of Us screens at the Old Fire Station at the end of July. Daily Info sat down with them the author behind this play, Rebecca Abrams, to discuss what audiences can expect from it as well as their tips for budding writers.

Daily Info: What's All of Us all about?

Rebecca Abrams: 28-year-old Oliver is about to be released from prison for the murder of his father. The play follows Oliver and his mother and sister over a period of several months as they prepare to make contact for the first time in 15 years.

The play is about all of us! It is based on a true story, but it deals with experiences and emotions that we can all relate to - family estrangement, sibling conflict, emotional pain, and deep anger. It’s also about forgiveness and what it takes for people to heal from even the most painful emotions.

I want people to leave the play feeling compassion for all the characters and thinking differently about how to move on and step free from the vice of destructive feelings and situations.

DI: What can audiences expect from this play?

RA: This is a screening of a film of the play’s stage premiere in New Zealand last year. This is a screening of a film of the play’s stage premiere in New Zealand last year. The screening will be followed by a live Q&A with myself, producer Miranda Warner, and others, where the audience can find out more about the issues raised in the play, as well as the process of writing a play and getting it staged.

DI: The play grapples with domestic violence and incarceration. How did you approach these subject matters?

RA: I was fortunate to be able to talk to people involved in the restorative justice system, both as practitioners and prisoners. I also visited a prison where inmates were taking part in a Sycamore Tree victim awareness programme that teaches the principles of restorative justice. Prisoners on the programme explore the effects of crime on victims, offenders, and the community, and what it means to take personal responsibility for their actions.

DI: You are a prolific writer but this your first play. How did you find the move into this medium and what advice would you give to any budding playwrights?

RA: It was incredibly exciting to be able to play with physical space and time in new ways. Playwritting asks for a very different way of thinking about story-telling and characterisation. And, of course, there's also the imaginative input of the actors, director and designer. It’s an inherently collaborative process, which I loved.

My advice to budding playwrights is to see and read as many plays as you can. There are lots of good courses and workshops online, many of them available for free. I did John Retallack’s Playwriting Course, which was totally brilliant. All Of Us actually came out of a piece I wrote on the course and I’ve written three more plays since.

DI: Can you sum the show up in three words?

RA: Heart-wrenching. Thought-provoking. Hopeful.

All of Us screens at the Old Fire Station on Saturday 27th July and tickets can be purchased here.

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