Griffith University acting students will make their public debut this month in the world premiere of An Exact Point in Time, a new work from acclaimed Brisbane playwright Claire Christian.

Queensland Conservatorium has thrown its support behind Brisbane’s emerging playwrights, commissioning a new work from a local writer each year as part of the Bachelor of Acting program.

Supporting new talent

Senior acting lecturer Jacqui Somerville

British actor, director, writer and educator Jacqui Somerville heads up the Con’s acting program, which launched in 2018. She said it was vital to nurture the next generation of actors and support the creation of new work by local writers.

“After they graduate, our acting students will be workshopping new plays and creating their own work,” she said.

“It’s great training working with a different writer each year, and learning how to be a useful part of the process.”

Curtains up for acting students

Ms Somerville said the students were eagerly awaiting their public debut.

“This first cohort are pioneers, so it’s been a learning curve for all of us,” she said.

“I’m excited for Brisbane theatre audiences to see how hard these young students are working and I’m so impressed by their dedication and hunger for the work.”

Working with industry professionals

Acting student Sarah McNally

Bachelor of Acting student Sarah McNally said a degree highlight was the opportunity to work with industry professionals.

“We’re making something that feels like a shared work – it’s been an amazing opportunity to work with a living writer, who is in the room, helping us develop the piece,” she said.

“We’ve had a chance to contribute right from the start, and it’s been exciting to create a work that really resonates with us.”

‘I love working with young artists’

Playwright Claire Christian

Claire Christian is a writer, podcaster, youth artsfacilitator and theatre maker. Her debut novel won the 2016 Text Prize, YWCA Queensland calls her one of Queensland’s 125 Leading Women and she has written and directed several plays for La Boite Theatre.

“I love working with young artists — they’re hungry, they want tolearn and they give it everything they’ve got,” she said.

“This work speaks to the belief that Griffith has in them as young artists, and I think Griffith is also making a statement of support for the industry.”

An Exact Point in Time runs from 24-26 October at the Queensland Conservatorium, Burke Street Studios.