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Caligula – but not as you know him

18 June 2012

Cross dressing characters and costumes made of plastic bags may not have been part of Albert Camus’ vision when he wrote Caligula, but UCOL’s acting students will use both of these means to portray the dramatic production this week.


UCOL Diploma in Performing Arts lecturer Jaime Dorner is renowned for challenging his students with contemporary and physically demanding theatre. His directorship of Caligula, a play by one of last century’s foremost literary minds, is no exception.


“It is always difficult to find plays that suit our needs, not only for the required learning outcomes for the students, but which also include enough acting roles and music,” says Jaime. “Caligula is a particularly complex work to produce but I have no doubt this ensemble are up to the challenge.”


As part of their preparation for the production, the Performing Arts students have undertaken intense research on the Author Albert Camus, the Roman Empire in Caligula’s time, Caligula as the history figure and Existentialism.


Jaime says he takes a quote from within the play they are studying at the time to inspire his students. Caligula’s quote is “All I want is the moon, Helicon. I know in advance what will kill me. I have not yet exhausted all that can make me live. That is why I want the moon.”


“Caligula is saying he wants to make the impossible, possible,” says Jaime.


This production of Caligula is not only the first in a series of performances by this year’s class of 19 Performing Arts students, but also the inaugural production in UCOL’s new Queen Street theatre studio.


Jaime is excited by the new space and says it is a vast improvement on the previous King Street Buckman Studio site. “It’s a proper theatre space with very few windows, high ceilings and black walls,” he says. “The students really appreciate being able to rehearse and perform in warm and comfortable surroundings. The space really works well.”


Caligula will feature some musical themes created by The Performing Arts students themselves, along with music by Suzy Hawes.


Previously taught as a six month Certificate programme, the year-long Diploma in Performing Arts is in its second year. Jaime says the extended term allows the students to gain a deeper understanding of the art and the industry.


When: Wednesday 20 June – Saturday 23 June, 7:30 P.M.
Where: UCOL Performing Arts Studio, Block 9, 23 Queen St.


For more information and booking please phone or email Suzy Hawes: 328-7801, 952-7001x 70525; suzy@airstream.net.nz, mailto:s.hawes@ucol.ac.nz. Bookings are essential. Suitable for mature audiences.


Photo: Diploma in Performing Arts students Hannah Rohe (Caligua), Rhian Firmin (Caligula) and Keiren Kleinschmidt (Caligula) perform in UCOL’s latest production Caligula.

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