27 June 2011

The lights came on at the Geoffrey Rush Studio’s first production on May 25, with drama students presenting Manjula Padmanabhan's award-winning play, Harvest.

Directed by Dr Sean Edgecomb, from the School of English, Media Studies and Art History (EMSAH), Harvest showcased UQ's innovative drama program and featured the work of DRAM2310 students.

“The students did an outstanding job," Dr Edgecomb said.

"They collaborated with me to design, produce and perform the entire show," he said.

“This high-quality production uncovers the excellence that our students and teachers are achieving here in Creative Arts at UQ."

Audiences were thrilled by four performances of the dark and seductive production.

“It was an amazing show. It was very gritty and real feel, with the darkness of human greed, mixed with desperation and fear," said audience member Shane Baker.

Harvest is set in the future and is about organ selling in India.

Set in the twisted "futuristic" society of 2010, East and West collide in a battle for identity and agency.

Western fantasy dominates, money is paramount, beauty is power, and wanting it all is the deadly mistake.

Harvest’s story begins with the lead character, Om Prakash, agreeing to sell unspecified organs through InterPlanta Services INC to a wealthy, first-world recipient.

InterPlanta and the recipient are obsessed with maintaining Om's health, and control the lives of Om and his family by keeping a watchful eye on them via videophone.

The play ends with Om's diseased brother, Jeetu, being taken to give organs instead of Om.

“In this futuristic play, distances, identities and realities have all been clouded by virtual reality and nothing is quite what it seems," Dr Edgecomb said.

"As audiences experienced our production, we asked them to immerse themselves and consider the self-reflexive question: where would they sit?” he said.

The Geoffrey Rush Drama Studio was re-named in 2010, in recognition of the graduate who now wears acting's coveted "Triple Crown" of Academy, Emmy and Tony Awards.

Media: Dania Lawrence (d.lawrence@uq.edu.au or 07 3365 9163).