The Honeytrap is an all-female theatre production company that have dabbled “YouTube videos, trillion-dollar feature films and cake”. Their words. Currently, they are rehearsing for their “most creatively ambitious project to date”: The Mistakes Madeline Made. Written by New Girl writer Elizabeth Meriwether, the plot follows Edna after the death of her war-correspondent brother.
Where did the idea for the Honeytrap spring from?
We are all actors primarily. Four out of five of us live together, so our house was already a bit of a rehearsal room – our living room doubling as a prop store for the small shows we were separately self-producing. But it took a very observant friend to suggest we go ahead and start a proper company. Which we did, and so far we’re loving it. Making The Honeytrap into a formal partnership really changed the level of commitment that we each have for what we do and the five of us are even closer friends than we were before. Some things remain unchanged…currently the living room is housing garbage bags of shredded paper, fluorescent rope and a bathtub.
What makes the Honeytrap unique, and different from other production companies?
The Honeytrap is a company with five female actors equally at the helm. That’s pretty unique I think. The projects we take on are then naturally, heavily skewed towards great writing for actors with at least one really strong female protagonist. That said, we’re not so focused on being unique or different, we just to tell stories we are passionate about and hold ourselves to the highest standard we possibly can.
What do you look for in a production when you are deciding to take it on?
We look for great writing with great roles for us to play. We’re mostly interested in work that is fresh for our audience, be it something local or an international import. We all have pretty similar aesthetic tastes, so when it comes to planning a season, it’s not about negotiating if the type of work is suitable, but more about quality control and making sure we all, sooner or later, have the chance to do great acting. We take turns at being The Diva… And we are all equal to the task.
How do you decide between all of you who will take on the different roles in productions?
Casting is usually the initial step when we have chosen a production, and then we work from there. There is amazingly not much cross/over between the five of us in terms of ‘types’ or suitable acting roles, so projects tend to cast themselves. For other creative and production roles, we initially identified our different strengths and found we can cover most jobs between the five of us. We’re also lucky to have other amazing creatives working closely with us for some of the more specialised jobs.
Is every Honeytrap production a completely collaborative effort, or do you each tend towards having your own pet projects?
Our projects start off as pets initially, and end up as full-blown collaborations. That’s the way it has worked so far, but that’s doesn’t rule out autonomy for future projects.
The Honeytrap’s latest production is described on your website as your “most creatively ambitious project to date”. What can audiences expect from it?
The Mistakes Madeline Made is a bit of a departure from our two previous productions. It is still great writing and actor focused, but for this production we have unprecedented conceptual input from our design team. The collaboration has expanded even further for this project, in order to solve some of the trickier challenges of the text, which unlike Scarborough or Savage in Limbo is constantly switching time and locations, both real and imagined.
What was it about The Mistakes Madeline Made that made it the right fit for The Honeytrap?
The play has this off-beat playful dialogue, really clear and clearly odd characters, and surprising emotional intelligence. It explores confronting subject matter in an entertaining way without compromising the truth of the situation. The writer, Elizabeth Meriwether has a non-traditional and youthful approach to theatrical text that we really relate to and these qualities reflect our identity as a collective.
The Honeytrap is producing The Mistakes Madeline Made as their next project.
- Loren de Jong, James Deeth, Josh Futcher, Celeste Markwell and Liam O’Kane
- Directed by Debbie Zukerman
- Dramaturgy by Joanne Redfearn
- Produced by Samantha Potts with The Honeytrap
- Set and Costume Design by Casey-Scott Corless
- Lighting and Sound Design by Jarrod Factor
- Written by Elizabeth Meriwether
- August 23 – September 8, 2013
- Tuesday – Sunday, 8pm
- Abbotsford Convent – The Industrial School,
- 1 St Heliers St, Abbotsford
- Tickets: Full $27, Conc $19, Groups (of six) $19