This year, during the Flinders Festival of Creative Arts, the 2023 graduating actors of the Flinders Drama Centre, will be performing a showcase of new works and short plays, titled: be/ginning.
This new generation of South Australian performers have begun their stories, creating original narratives that redefine identity for a new age. We’re lucky to have been able to sit down with two emerging actors from this year’s cohort, Franca Lafosse and Connor Pullinger and explore more about be/ginning, what inspired them to get into the performing arts and any advice they have for aspiring actors.
What degree are you studying? What year are you in?
Franca: I am studying the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Honours), although the course has been restructured and from next year onwards it’ll be known as the Bachelor of Performance (Acting).
Connor: I’m in my Honours year studying the Bachelor of Creative Arts (Drama)
What inspired you to pursue a career in the performing arts?
Franca: I’ve always loved performing, and the way it allowed to connect with my peers, especially in the senior years of high school. I remember having to decide what to study at the end of year 12, and feeling inspired by Flinders Drama Centre Graduates who were creating exciting new theatre in SA. I chose to follow in their footsteps.
Connor: Acting was really the only career I ever wanted to pursue when I was younger. It wasn’t until I got older that I realised there were training programs dedicated to turning those dreams into reality. I was really fortunate to get accepted into Flinders Drama Centre fresh out of high school, and it’s been an absolute thrill.
How has your experience been at the Flinders Drama Centre?
Franca: My experience at Flinders has been extremely rewarding, albeit challenging, in the best way.
Now that I’m coming to the end of four years of training, I can look back to my first year and see how far I’ve come. It’s been a wonderful journey of growth, discovery, and exploration.
Connor: I have fundamentally changed as a person through my time at Acting School. Thanks to the training at the Flinders Drama Centre, I’ve become so much more confident and self-assured – not only as a creative, but also as a person. Flinders provides exceptional services under the guidance of some of Australia’s leading creatives, and learning from them has been a privilege.
What have you enjoyed the most about studying performance at Flinders?
Franca: One of the most enjoyable aspects of studying drama at Flinders has been the lifelong friendships and connections I’ve formed with other actors, directors, playwrights, and designers. I feel very lucky to be part of such a vibrant and welcoming community. Being surrounded by such creative, inspiring and like-minded people has been a gift.
Connor: Studying performance at Flinders has been so beneficial in developing my artistic identity. I’ve become a more versatile actor from working under various practitioners across different mediums. Thanks to the training and opportunities on offer here at Flinders, I have a clearer vision of the kind of stories I want to bring to life.
What is be/ginning?
Franca: Be/ginning is the culmination of our journey at Flinders as the 2023 Graduating Ensemble at Drama Centre. It is a reflection of who we are and hope to be as artists, and of the kind of work we love to make. We’ve all worked incredibly hard on this production, writing and devising pieces ourselves, and we are so excited to finally share them with you!
Connor: Be/ginning is the chance for us to showcase all we’ve learnt throughout our 4 years of training. We’re telling original stories that emerged out of a range of provocations, from new ideas to lifelong journeys. It’s a way for us to introduce ourselves to South Australian audiences with work that is authentically ours.
Why should people come and see be/ginning during the Festival of Creative Arts?
Franca: You should come along to Be/ginning to meet the new generation of Artists that will be entering the industry! It will be a night full of laughs, creativity, and celebration that you won’t want to miss.
Connor: This show marks the beginning of our careers, bringing our personalities to the stage. I think it’s a fitting way to say farewell to our training and hello to the possibilities of the future.
What else will you be seeing at the Flinders Festival of Creative Arts?
Franca: I’m really looking forward to attending the inaugural Robyn Archer Oration after our final showcase performance. A few weeks ago we had the chance to meet Robyn briefly and I found her stories and worldview incredibly inspiring and entertaining.
Connor: I’m really keen to watch the Screen Students’ Film Screening, as well as Robyn Archer’s Oration.
Don’t miss out on your chance to witness this new generation of South Australian Artists make their debut on the Australian Festival Centre stage – with a culmination of their own works, this year at the Flinders Festival of Creative Arts.
- Drama Student Showcase: be/ginning
- Wednesday 15 – Friday 17 November
- Rehearsal Room, Adelaide Festival Centre