THE first year after graduating from WAAPA is said in the industry to be the toughest, but acting graduate Shalom Brune-Franklin is off to a fabulous start.
Not only was Brune-Franklin the recipient of the inaugural Chris Edmund Scholarship in October, made possible by the Jackman Furness Foundation for Performing Arts (JFFPA) and MasterCard, she was chosen as one of eight WAAPA acting graduates for Black Swan State Theatre Company’s The Bridging Company.
The initiative will see Brune-Franklin make her professional debut in one of two new Australian plays presented in the company’s Loaded season for Fringe World Festival 2016 – Girl Shut Your Mouth by Gita Bezard and Tonsils and Tweezers by Will O’Mahony.
Brune-Franklin will star in Girl Shut Your Mouth and described emerging playwright Bezard’s script as “mindblowing”.
“To actually be working straight out of drama school is an incredible opportunity,” Brune-Franklin said.
“I can’t wait to get into rehearsals and see what Jeffrey Jay Fowler (director) is going to do.”
The 21-year-old actor, who plays the character Grace, said the play followed four young women struggling to get an education and punished for wanting one.
“They are desperate to learn and will quite literally do anything to escape the situation they are in,” she said.
“It’s current and delves into a situation many women are dealing with all over the world. I think it’s really exciting Black Swan is putting this show on; it’s daring and ground-breaking and that’s the type of theatre I want to be involved in.”
Brune-Franklin’s enthusiasm for the role not only stems from wanting to do the story justice, but the thrill of working with her former classmates Brittany Morel, Stephanie Panozzo and Jessica Paterson.
“When you have a new cast to work with, you spend the first week or two really exploring your relationships and gaining trust with your fellow actors,” she said.
“To walk in on day one and know it is all there already is wonderful.
“All of the girls are ridiculously talented and I have a feeling it’s going to be a really unforgettable experience.”
What: Loaded: a double bill of new plays
Where: Studio Underground
When: January 14 to February 7