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Yankalilla Youth Theatre want to turn Normanville into the wild west

After a successful film last year, Yankalilla Youth Theatre is taking on a big new project with plans to take over the Normanville main street for their new western film “Tumbleweed”.

Apr 03, 2024, updated Apr 04, 2024
Yankalilla Youth Theatre participants have shot movies and put on plays since being established in 2022. Photo: supplied

Yankalilla Youth Theatre participants have shot movies and put on plays since being established in 2022. Photo: supplied

The Yankalilla Youth Theatre was established in 2020 by Evette Wolf and has become a place for the local youth to express themselves, embrace creativity, create community and even find work opportunities.

Wolf grew up in the Riverland and was inspired by her own experiences with Riverland Youth Theatre. When Covid-19 hit, she saw this as her opportunity to create the space she’d dreamed of.

“I couldn’t do the normal work I was doing because of Covid so I decided I’d start the youth theatre which is something I’d always wanted to do,” Wolf said.

“I’d worked for other schools and youth theatres, but this was an opportunity to do it my way.” The theatre, which operates out of the Main Hall at Yankalilla Showgrounds, has become an important part of the community.

“We’re doing a western film this year, so we’re still trying really hard to get this big idea off the ground because we want to block off the main street of Normanville,” Wolf said.

“We want to film in the morning and get the whole town to dress up and come and play extras in the film.”

Wolf first wanted to use the town thoroughfare for a day during the Heritage Fleurieu Coast Festival in May.

“We were hoping we could block off the road and film on that day but it hasn’t worked out yet so we’ve postponed it till September,” she said.

“Everyone is so excited but of course there’s a lot of planning you need permits… you need money.

“We’re applying for grants and trying to get this one up and going but we’re doing really well so far with the script and the characters. The kids have come up with some great ideas for that one.”

The theatre will still be a part of the festival with an opportunity for the entire community to get involved with “Tumbleweed” at Normanville Village Green on Tuesday 14 May between 10am and 12pm.

“Anyone who wants to come down dressed up… we’ve got a green screen so we can take photos of them and then we can put them in the film as if they’re on a horse or whatever they want,” Wolf said.

“All ages, no cost. Just dress up and wear your cowboy hat and have a bit of fun.”

Wolf believes the festival will be an excellent opportunity to spread awareness of the project.

Last year the Yankalilla Youth Theatre used the local library for their film “MURDER! in the Library”.

Wolf said the community really enjoyed being a part of last year’s production with kids recruiting town locals for the film.

“The kids loved working with… well, they call them the old people, but they picked out different shop owners, the postman, the post lady and anyone they had noticed around town and invited them to play a role,” she said.

This year’s film is set to continue the trend of involving the whole community with the mayor of the District Council of Yankalilla, Darryl Houston, set to play a part in the film.

The theatre also undertakes many other projects including theatre workshops for the community’s youth, a quarterly magazine named Mini Mag and free Family Workshop Sundays.

More information on the free Sunday sessions, theatre workshops and Mini Mag workshops can be found on Yankalilla Youth Theatre’s Instagram.

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