Climb on stage: Organisers of the Ladder Frame Theatre Collective Zara Wilson and Chiara Angeli preparing for the first round of workshops. Photo: RUBY STALEY

The creatives cultivating crucial collaborations

October 17, 2020 BY

WITH the aim increasing community engagement in theatre, a group of young creatives have formed Ladder Frame Theatre, a collective passionate about empowering young people.

Theatre lover Chiara Angeli created the group with a common goal of bringing workshops, hang outs, shows and opportunities to creatives in the region.

Ms Angeli said their intention is to build a community in Ballarat that first and foremost empowers young people.

“It’s an initiative that I wanted to start because I think Ballarat lacks a bit of youth theatre atmosphere and environment for young people to get together and create things,” she said.

“We’ll be running workshops directed towards a showcase we will hopefully be able to put on by the end of the summer, which is COVID dependant, starting with activities and then rehearsals.

“Parallel to that, we will be running events and workshops outside of putting on a show so they could be the kinds of things that will just keep going and that anyone can jump in and out.”

In addition Ladder Frame hopes to continue offering its services for free to those who would like to try it out and get involved in theatre and even pay actors who take part in productions.

Coming from an acting and script writing background, Ms Angeli said she understands the importance of paying actors and creatives properly.

“We won’t have that many funds but we really want to put emphasis on if you’re in a show, you absolutely don’t pay to be in a show, if anything you get paid,” she said.

“That’s the thing with community theatre isn’t seen very much because it’s really hard to make money there.

“But if we make it a priority to pay our actors, it shows how important it is.”

Fellow organiser and actor Zara Wilson added, “We know what it’s like to work for free so we’ll make an effort to give something back and value the actors work so that it becomes a community.”

Aside from the collective’s core ventures, Ladder Frame also aims to empower other theatre-adjacent entrepreneurs.

Ms Angeli said they hope to have young people are the core of it and especially young creative entrepreneurs.

“Any show we would put on would aim to highlight young businesses and small businesses, for instance we’ve already had some logos done by Clare Cappello who is a local designer,” she said.

“So much of Ballarat has so much talent and enthusiasm … we should have the opportunities to showcase that right here in town.”

While the pandemic has made it impossible to meet and practice in person, Ladder Frame are hoping to re-ignite the community’s excitement into the arts.

Ms Angeli said if people are still interested in being involved and getting their acting on, that’s all they’re looking for.

“It will take a bit of re-jigging our expectations because we wanted to have a big performance but if that’s not what it is, we want to show in the face of COVID that we can still do it,” she said.

“We’re working towards a showcase at the end of the summer and if that means 10 people in the space then we make sure that all those businesses and creatives are still involved, we will adapt.

“We don’t have any precedent of what we’ve done before that we have to adhere to, this is the start for us so we can do anything from here and it will still be something new and exciting.”