Courtney Rose Brown

The First Time

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'The First Time' is told from the point of view of five women in their early twenties experiencing things for the first time. The script experiments with a monologue structure and to highlight key moments of communication, dialogue is threaded throughout. It focuses on voices that are often overlooked and not thoroughly explored. The script won 'Highly Commended' from Playmarket's Playwrights B425 Competition this year and is making its debut at BATS Theatre in March 2017.

We are crowdfunding to cover the costs of hiring Toi Poneke as our rehearsal and development space, publicity; poster design by Aimee Smith, as well as the printing and distribution of the posters, and the design elements of our show to create Poppy Serrano's vision.

About the play:

Sisters, Te-Rina and Mereana grew up in Lower Hutt with conservative values; Te-Rina has stayed in that world whereas her sister has moved beyond it. Te-Rina has just started a hairdressing course and is excited about reinventing herself and for the first time, excited about the future. However, a new social circle brings her back into old habits as she struggles to find confidence in herself.

Mereana finds herself in an unexpected romance and for the first time has to confront her assumed heterosexuality. She's attempting to find a purpose in life while learning how to live with her mental illness and unemployment alongside her new relationship.

Elle has a temper and feels like the world is against her. She attends the same course as Te-Rina and is trying to come to terms with her personal shame about her mental health through her regular visits to her councillor.

Jessica has no understanding of mental health which clashes with her relationship. She is an outspoken feminist and the most ambitious and confident of the characters which leads her into good and bad situations.

Alana has fallen in love for the first time. Overwhelmed by the feeling, her story revolves around her romance as she forgets to focus on other aspects in her life.

'The First Time' provides a platform for better representation of Queer characters, Māori characters, mental illness and sexual assault to be shared in order to develop conversation and remove stigma. These said voices are lesser heard voices, presented through the female gaze, they are not sexualised or stereotypical. The characters are complicated, flawed and loveable; bringing a new perspective to the stage. Monologues present direct insight into the characters who speak in a candid manner, that women often don't do due to the fear of being interrupted or judged due to their honesty.