Words by: Megan Lack
The Theatre Diary is a new, unique, modern theatre company capturing the voices and opinions of the people of Perth.
Gregory Ryan is a 22 year old completing a Bachelor of Education majoring in Drama and minoring in English at ECU and is also the owner and artistic director of The Theatre Diary. Originally The Theatre Diary was a theatre critic blog – but deep down Gregory knew that his passion was to perform and write.
Understanding that the theatre world in Perth is extremely competitive he knew the only way to succeed was to create his own innovative theatre company.
“If you can’t beat them, create your own,” he said. And that’s exactly what he did.
Founded in 2014, The Theatre Diary is all about honest, authentic, and intimate theatre and is like nothing Perth has seen before. What makes The Theatre Diary stand out is how the scripts are created; Gregory’s writing is based on real life research that he gathers from conducting interviews and surveys on current issues.
“We gather information and I then choose what we want and form that into a narrative structure and create close, intimate theatre,” he said.
“The script writes itself.”
On his website Gregory explains that he turns the outpouring of emotion and the authentic stories, similar to those one would find in a diary, into theatre.
The Theatre Diary’s first production Australia, It’s Time To Clean Your Room is already underway and is set to be performed for the first time at the Perth Fringe Festival. The production focuses on capturing Perth’s views and attitudes on the issue of marriage equality and will portray this through a montage of tales. Gregory explained that he conducted confrontational interviews with people ranging from local MP’s to the girl next door.
“I’ve captured a whole spectrum of views, not just two sides,” he said.
“It’s real life voices and opinions which will be used throughout the production.”
Gregory had a small scare early on in the year when his Facebook page was liked and followed by anti-marriage equality supporters who were promoting some pretty violent attitudes towards same sex marriage on their Facebook pages. Gregory was not fazed and after preaching some wise worlds from Nelson Mandela on The Theatre Diary Facebook page he continued on with his research and writing.
“No hatred will stand here at all,” he said.
“This is about free speech.”
“Yes we will challenge, question, and create works that are controversial: but this is art.”
Gregory’s work has been taken seriously and his role as a student representative at DramaWest has given him the opportunity to host a practical lecture at the DramaWest conference at the end of the year at ECU Mount Lawley. His website also includes recommendations from Local MP’s and OUTinPerth. These recommendations are a testament to just how professional and serious The Theatre Diary is.
Gregory has big plans for the future and wants to expand his team of creative minds in order to ensure his company keeps getting bigger and better.
“I want to make it clear that this is who we are, this is what we are about.”
There is no doubt a strenuous amount of time and effort has been put into this exciting new idea and big things are certain to happen for Gregory and his team at The Theatre Diary.