Footscray born and bred, Piper is a member of local theatre organisation Western Edge Youth Arts, which operates out of the Phoenix Youth Centre. We chat with Piper about her busy life in theatre and the arts.
What have you worked on with Western Edge?
Recently I have been part of Playback West, where we did improvisation theatre – asking the audience for real stories, which we acted out on stage. We did gigs at community events, Big West Festival, the Abbotsford Convent and in-house shows at the Phoenix Youth Centre. In 2010 I worked on Chronicles: Searching for Songlines, a project about connecting youth with elders. We interviewed elders and brought their stories to life through theatre. We took the project to Indigenous communities in Broome and the Kimberley. It was an amazing experience.
How did you get involved with Western Edge?
When I was 15 I went to see their 2009 show, Frolic, and really loved it. It was a play about being at a party, and being out of your comfort zone. It was upbeat and dynamic. I knew I wanted to be involved in their next thing so I emailed them.
Who should get involved with Western Edge?
Anyone between the ages of 12 and 25 and interested in theatre and drama. There are lots of after school projects so it’s convenient for teens. There are no auditions. If you want to be involved, you’re gonna be involved. Whatever talent you have, just tell us and we’ll utilise it.
What else do you get up to?
I am in a mentorship program with the St Martins Youth Arts Centre in South Yarra. (This contemporary theatre company has impressive alumni, including Jane Turner, Frank Woodley, Madeleine West and Noah Taylor). As part of the program I assist teaching artists and they mentor me to become a better artist in theatre practice. Last year I performed in an education film for Victoria Legal Aid, helped out on two short films, and curated my own photographic exhibition at the Phoenix Splash gallery. I also coordinate the student union at Braybrook College and study a Bachelor of Performing Arts at Monash University.
What do you like about living in Footscray?
It’s a multicultural hub of arts, which is why I love it so much. It’s a great place to hang, to meet people. I feel like Footscray has alot to offer and not many people know it. Especially my friends from the East side who have never trekked over here. I guess growing up in Footscray you’re gonna fall in love with Footscray. I could never live anywhere else.
Get in touch with Piper:
Want to know more about Western Edge Youth Arts?
Currently meeting Wednesdays at Phoenix Youth Centre, 72 Buckley Street. For everyone aged 12-25. No experience necessary.