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"A Tribute To Black" 2002

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The Canberra Times, 1.2.2002
By Frank McKone
"...Mokhtari's play explores a philosophical idea: that black, being the absence of colour, represents the space in the universe which is open to infinite possibilities. Underlying this is that love is the energy that can play upon the negatives, our usual experience of the black in our lives, and help us find positives.
She writes in her program notes of 'the beautiful blackness that surrounds each of their lives [the characters'] and lives and brings matters to terms at their own pace'.
The work combines an excellent live band, Crevona, with video, recorded soundscape, separated spotlighting of action in the audience space as well as on stage, and a mix of performance styles. These are largely presentational but with some direct adress, some more expressionist, snippets of apparant naturalism, and even a very funny cabaret dance routine.
There are also drama workshop nightmare figures with UV-lighted white masks a la Philippe Genty.
This couldbe a fragmented mess, but gradually things defrag in a quite moving way.A worthwhile project indeed.

"Short Shivers and Slivers" 2001

The Canberra Times, July 9th 2001
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The Canberra Times 9.7.2001
By Peter Wilkins
"...The original writing is fresh and cleverly structured with an ingenious sense of the dramatic twist and the theatrical surprise.
Tara Mokhtari is a writer to watch for in the future. On the bare stage of the intimate Tuggeranong centre theatre, the players create memorable moments that place the actor at the heart of the drama, and each sketch shines, with some gems sparkeling slightly more than others.
From the fine comic performances of Soren Jensen in Mokhtari's 'Buggers', Naomi Smith and Hana Tow in Geraldyn Horton's 'The Thingajimmy' and Christian Doran's dilapidated playwright in Laura Cunningham's 'Flop Cop', to the finely etched detail of Justin Greenaway's characters or the dramatic pathos of Tara Mokhtari's victim of fate in her own work, 'The Closing', the evening is orchestrated ith professional ease, holding the audiences attention, with only some interludes slightly long between the short scenes..."

                                 Media                                  
 
 
A Tribute To Black

January 31, 2002 - The Canberra Times
'Fore' Front Of Drama
By Phillip O'Brien
 
In the late 1990s, a group of year 12 students at Canberra College were rehearsing their class play. Whenever their drama teacher became too stressed he would retire to the back of the room and practice his golf swing.
 
Several years on, that same group has left school and is still producing theatre. Searching around for a name, they remembered their teacher and decided to call themselves Nineteenth Hole Productions. And this week, their latest production opens.
 
Following on their production of Short Shivers and Slivers last year, they've chosen a mix once again of drama, multi-media and live music but this time they have extended themselves to a full-length play, A Tribute To Black.
 
As the title suggests, it's not light and frothy theatre but neither is it unrelieved gloom. Written by Tara Mokhtari, a member of the company, it's about four interlinking characters and their different perspectives on reality. A darkness surrounds each of their lives, she says, "But there are also moments of humour and hope, sadness and surrealism", she says.
 
"We challenge the audience with language but entrance them with music - from the accoustic group Crevona - and entertain with multimedia technology."
 
Nineteenth Hole is a Co-operative company. Its thirteen members are responsible for the entire production, with all profits ploughed back into future productions.
 
 
February 8th, 2002 - Canberra City Search
Editorial: A Tribute To Black
See a youg theatre group on the rise
By Dominic Buchanan
 
Canberra's impressive reputation as a nesting ground for innovative young theatre troupes looks set to continue with 19th Hole Productions' first full length work.
 
A small company of young performers they enjoyed success at the same venue with a season of 10 short plays, entitled 'Short Shivers and Slivers' in July last year. Like Elbow Theatre, The Acting Company, and Culturally Innovative Arts (CIA) before them the company place emphasis on originality and innovation not just onstage but behind the scenes as well, with all members making contributions in both areas.
 
Written by Tara Mokhtari, who penned three of last years workd, the piece is an examination of the nature of experience and reality seen through four separate disparate characters. It also seeks to function as an atmospheric artwork, with director Soren Jensen blending various media, such as live music and video to support the narrative and engage the audience.
 
 
January 29th, 2002 - The Chronical
Youth Stage A Dark Return
 
Youth theatre company, The Nineteenth Hole, will open its second production at the Tuggeranong Arts Centre on Wednesday January 30.
A Tribute To Black is the company's first three-act play, following the great success of Short Shivers and Slivers - a season of one act plays held last July.
The plot explores an old man's battle with alcohol as he loses his grip on reality, while a young man begins to see the world through his father's demented eyes.
The characters face the challenge of having to discover their true selves in the blackness that surrounds their lives.
Writer and co-director Tara Mokhtari said the company provided an appropriate platform for Canmberra's positive youth to express themselves.
A Tribute To Black is an interactive production interspersed with media presentations, music and dance. It will run from Wednesday, January 30 to Saturday, Februray 2; and Wednesday, February 6 to Saturday February 9. The performance will begin at 7.30pm each night.
Tickets are $15 adults, $10 concession and $35 family.
 
November/December/January - What's On Quarterly
A Tribute To Black
 
Written By Tara Mokhtari. A dark play interspersed with comedy, featuring live music and media presentations. This play looks at a young man who loses his grip on reality, and the subsequent journey he takes his family, friends, and strangers on.
 
Publicity Release - Writers Notes
By Tara Mokhtari
 
Extract III:2: "Blackness is the purest enigmatic canvass of existent active potential..."
...And this play celebrates its beauty. Blackness creates the scene for this play and performs a major role throughout each act. Set against the rising and the setting of the sun, A Tribute To black explores the beauty of life's darker elements. Within this conventional spatial reality we call home lies the the constant but rarely noticed doubt - that is, the concept of infinite possibilities. Infinite possibilities that skirt the bounds of the univers, lace the abstract continuum we call time, construct the Earth and its formations and redirect the paths of the human mind.
 
The plot: An old drunk who loses his grip on reality. A young man who sees the world through his father's demented eyyes temporarily and never comes to know it. A woman whose life is a void since the loss of her husband. A young lady who learns something about herself and about 'reality'. And the beautiful blackness that surrounds each of their lives and brings matters to terms at their own pace.
 
As humans, we have learnt to define the positive against the negative. In the book, Candide, Voltaire cynically satirised the concept that every event that occurs in this world is the ideal: that fate always chooses the best possible of all consequences. But perhaps success in each of our lives can be measured by results. And while circumstance often indicates dim and neutral results, every trial is stilla a unique experience, and experience is what drives us.
 
A Tribute To Black is an anthem of humanism: mourning, hope, sadness, confusion, faith, trust, hatred, identity, and madness; and it personifies an existential concept of Love.
 
 
 
'Your Guide To What's On At CANBERRA  THEATRE CENTRE' Quarterly
 
REVERIE WRECKAGE
By Tara Mokhtari
Directed by Carol Woodrow
25 - 27 September: The Courtyard Studio
 
Reverie Wreckage, a brand new play by Tara Mokhtari,
explores a scape of dark humanity within the intense intimate,
world of two young men and one young woman.
 
A crash in the middle of the bush leaves three youths
in a manipulative situation driven by one man's
desparate loneliness and desire for something greater
in his isolated life for inspiration. How does truth reveal
itself from under a blindfold of fear and scattered memory?
 
 

Canberra Times 24.10.2003
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