Scott McArdle | Class of 2010

 
Photo by Duncan Wright

Photo by Duncan Wright

 

Scott McArdle’s award-winning coming-of-age play Playthings will return to the stage for Black Swan State Theatre Company’s 2021 season. The 2019 play was a success in its original run at The Blue Room Theatre, winning Members’ Choice the theatre’s annual awards and impressing local critics.  

The story is inspired by real life events from his high school days.

‘Arnold and Lucy are a combination of everyone I grew up with and myself,’ he told Av԰ Spirit. ‘They’re going through what we all went through as teenagers. They yell at their parents (and regret it), they say dumb things to seem cool, they fumble awkwardly around romance, and they freak out about homework. And that’s great! Being a teenager is great – it’s confusing and emotional at the time but it’s also when we grow up, when we become individuals and have our own ideas and thoughts outside our parents.’

Playthings also delves into mental illness, something Scott experienced during adolescence. ‘When I was a teenager, I struggled horribly with depression. Things happened in my life that everyone said “should never happen to a kid”. This play is my reassurance to every kid who’s struggling that it does get better, but only when we help each other.’

Scott’s passion for the Arts took hold while at Av԰ Christi. Drama teacher Mrs Sally Floyd provided early encouragement and showed him that the performing arts was more than just acting, also involving writing and staging, amongst other facets. Scott remembers the sense of community in the College productions Mrs Floyd directed – Fiddler on the Roof and Oliver! – and has since striven to imbue this in his own productions. In Year 12, Scott won the Drama Award and the Arts Leadership Award. 

He went on to attain a Bachelor of Arts (Theatre & Drama) with Honours in English and Creative Arts from Murdoch University, and attended NIDA briefly in 2015 before studying at WAAPA from 2016-2018. He has worked in the independent theatre sector as a writer and director for many years.

Asked by Av԰ Spirit about the benefits of getting involved in Drama productions (either in high school or beyond), Scott advised the following: ‘Even if you don’t want to be a professional artist, there are so many social and physical benefits to taking part in theatre.

Studies show that being in the performing arts (as a hobby or a profession) has massive benefits on your mental health, assists with public speaking and socialising, and increases your overall confidence.

‘The Arts is filled with a huge range of people from all over the world. We gather together to share stories, learn from each other, and grow. It doesn’t get much better than that.’

For more on Playthings, visit

 
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