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What is The Bridge Project?

Many questions erupted when I first heard about the Bridge Project: What is The Bridge Project? How do I audition? What will we do throughout the year? I was enthralled to learn about this program, and the fact that it is run in Townsville?! I didn’t even have to leave home (how good!!!). So immediately I was invested, I watched every single TheatreiNQ show that I could and I was in awe of 'the Bridgees', they were so talented (like did you see DNA?!). So I auditioned late last year and I was offered a position for 2022! So here we are, and now I get to tell you guys about The Bridge (I’ve come full circle ha!).

Hi! My name is Ashleigh Dodson and I’m a first year ‘bridgee’ in TheatreiNQ’s ‘The Bridge Project’. You may have seen me in our recent Brechtian production of ‘The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui’ where I played Gaffles (Investi-gation). You may have also seen me at Tobruk Pool teaching kids to swim or at The Beet Bar making some sweet acai bowls! But if I’m honest, The ClubHouse on Cottell Street is my favourite place to be.

So, what is this blog about? Well, I have written this post about The Bridge Project and my experiences so far this year! So, What is The Bridge Project? I hear you ask, well let me tell you!

We are just over half way through the year and I feel like I have accomplished so much in these past 7 months, it’s crazy looking back on.

The Bridge Project started back in January with masterclasses from the fabulous Terri and Brendan where we learnt the fundamentals and foundations of The Bridge Project. Throughout the year we have received numerous workshops and masterclasses from various alumni and company members that I have learnt so much from, my notebook is just bursting at the seams.

We then got stuck into our front of house secondment for the co-production with Stacks on Theatre - Orphans by Dennis Kelly. We got to be the friendly faces that the audience sees when they arrive and we got our first taste at ushering. And getting to watch Orphans a few times was a great bonus.

Next up, The Resistible Rise of Arturo Ui (ahhhhhh). Our first show. And what an experience it was. Whilst we got to be on stage in this show, we also got the 4-1-1 of everything that goes on behind the scenes. Every Saturday of rehearsals, we came together to work on either props or costumes, I was on the props team myself and I learnt so much about the mechanics that go on behind the scenes to ensure a show is ready.

Now, as we all know, covid is a big thing, and we had to be prepared if something were to happen, so we were all given an understudy role!! These were not only fun to learn but they were also essential in keeping the show going if someone were to come down with covid.

Next up, The PlayGround Festival! This was an awesome experience and such an incredible opportunity for local playwrights. Some fantastic scripts were workshopped and the company ensemble presented them in a public play reading to showcase the scripts. Us Bridgees got to perform a really cool script (that might just be getting performed by a local youth theatre company later this year, keep your eyes out for that!)

We have also been fortunate enough to have been able to attend various different shows including Dance North’s recent production of Wayfinder and Shock Therapy’s touring show of Undertow, which were both INCREDIBLE!!!

Next up! Some of the bridgees were involved in Xmas Krackers which we performed at North Queensland Theatre Residency Week for one night only! This show is a cracker (hehe), and will be coming back this Christmas!!

And as of right now, we are doing some very exciting things (The Tempest ahhhh!!!), but I’m gonna leave that up to Nick to update you all later in the year. So stay tuned for that!

So Ashleigh, how do I apply for The Bridge Project in 2023? Well I am so glad you asked! Audition have been announced for 27th Nov & 3rd Dec, with applications opening in October; so get in quick because you don’t want to miss out on this opportunity. Make sure you're following the TheatreiNQ page on Facebook and Instagram and don’t forget to check the TheatreiNQ website every now and then, because whilst I could sit here and type all about my experience with The Bridge Project audition, I’ll leave that one up to the pros! And most importantly, be confident, do your best and be yourself! I have my fingers crossed for each and every one of you! Chookas!!

Stay safe!

Ashleigh :)

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