The community wide co-production of the original musical Big River Dreaming is now well underway. A cast of well over one hundred students and quite a few teachers and community members will feature on the stage with many more working behind the scenes to make the production spectacular.
Bingara Central School (BCS) is co-producing the show as part of its 150 year celebrations. The North West Theatre Company is its production partner with collaboration from Warialda High School (WHS) and Bingara Pre School.
Big River Dreaming tells the stories of an Australian riverside community from its pre-history to the present day.
Composer and Director, Rick Hutton said, “Big River Dreaming could be an Australian “Brigadoon”, a mythical place with lots of fascinating stories and characters. It is in fact based on stories from Bingara and Warialda, but it could be about any country town, mythical or real,” he said.
In the musical, the Big River is the only constant character. It flows through the show, stopping at various times to introduce a story or a character. The audience is invited to see itself as being “the river”, watching the passing of time as scenes take place on the stage, which represents its banks.
The story begins in the dreamtime, with the Bingara Pre-schoolers and BCS Kindergarten children as the “dreamtime spirits” helping the Great Rainbow Serpent shape the land. They combine with the “earth elements”, water, soil, plants and animals (played by BCS Year’s 1 and 2 students).
Warialda High School students, Josh Wood (as the Voice); Sara Handsaker (as the Rainbow Serpent) and Laura Lockhart (as the Earth Mother) guide the littlies through their parts on stage to form a gigantic and dynamic dot painting in the opening scenes.