Putting the Nation on Stage

Nick Atkins : True West – Boom

January 5, 2020

Can you tell us a little bit about Boom?

I started writing this play because I was interested in legacy and what it meant for people that don’t have kids. Through the process of writing and redrafting it, I discovered my interest is more so around absent parents and what it means to live in a city like Sydney. I wanted to write a story for a character (Tara), that had survived for a long time without a safety net and then finally gets to feel what it means to have someone show up for you no matter what. I also wanted to write a story that offered up a nuanced and complicated relationship between two Gay men who were redefining their relationship in a post Marriage Equality context.

Where do you look for inspiration for your writing?

Research and memory are the two primary sources I draw on for my writing. My research might look like reading essays, articles and book. As for memory, that is generally me using writing exercises and journals to locate and bring to the surface significant memories that have stuck with me. The work is then trying to figure out why these memories have stuck with me and how they might inform the story I’m working.

What is your writing process? 

I don’t have a fixed process. I’m still very much learning. I know I haven’t a structural brain. I like to map out where something is heading and then do what needs to be done to get there. One of the challenges with this approach is that when you map a story out before doing some of the more reflective and organic development work, you can end up forcing a story down a path it doesn’t want to go. Generally, my work is about heading in a direction until I come across a significant wall and then having to figure out whether that wall is something I need to push through or reassess my imagined goal.

What is your relationship with Western Sydney?

I grew up in Emu Plains and am living in Parramatta. Currently I’m the director, new work for Q Theatre, Penrith. I’m moved in and out of Western Sydney over the course of my study and years and as an emerging artist. Ten years ago there were less opportunities for emerging artists in Western Sydney. It’s nice that’s changed.

TRUE WEST

A moved reading, Boom
Saturday 11 January 3.30pm to 4.30 pm
Playwright  Nick Atkins, Director Erin Taylor
BOOK NOW  Free event but bookings recommended

Boom, a fast-paced contemporary drama that draws the audience into a world of suspicion only to discover a series of tender vulnerabilities hiding behind every facade.

Tara has had it with small scams and smaller wins. She has finally found an opportunity that will get her and her brother Max’s heads truly above water. She meets with Fred; he is rich and desperate. Can these two strangers give each other what they need?
This is a story of boom and bust and the individuals constantly trying to find a moral compass while drowning in compromise.

About Nick Atkins

Nick Atkins is a theatre maker. He has worked as a writer, director, producer, is currently the director, new work for Penrith Performing & Visual Arts (Q Theatre) and Chair of Theatre Network NSW. He has worked as Associate Producer and Co-Artistic Director of Crack Theatre Festival. He graduated from UNSW with a BA Media and Communications with 1st Class Honours in practice based research. He was awarded a Creative Development Fellowship from Create NSW 2018/19 and currently serves on Create NSW’s Art form Board for Theatre.

For Q Theatre he has directed DAISY MOON WAS BORN THIS WAY by Emily Sheehan, AWGIE award winning YELLOW YELLOW SOMETIMES BLUE by Noelle Janaczewska and a new work for young people THE UGLIEST DUCKLING, which is currently touring. As a playwright he was awarded ATYP’s Foundation Commission for his play WONDER FLY, which was produced by ATYP in 2017. Other plays include, A BOY & A BEAN (PACT, Q Theatre), awarded Best Performing Arts event at Mardi Gras 2015 and OUT OF THE BARS awarded Gasworks’ Playtime Initiative 2016. He has completed residencies with Urban Theatre Projects, Performance Space, Blacktown Arts Centre, UNSW, Centre D’Art Marnay Sur-Seine (France) and NES Artist Residency (Iceland). He has worked as a teaching artist for Shopfront Youth Arts Co-Op, Casula Powerhouse, PP&VA and Bankstown Arts Centre. He trained with ATYP’s Fresh Ink and PACT’s Ensemble project. Nick previously served on the Board of PACT and as a committee member for the NSW Gay & Lesbian Rights Lobby as well as Create NSW’s Western Sydney Roundtable.

In 2020 Nick is continuing to lead the development and delivery of Q Theatre’s new work program which includes co-productions with Regional and Metropolitan partners as well as two major site specific projects embedded in the communities of St Marys and Kingswood.