Alaine Beek is the founder of Essence Productions which was born out of the parent company Essence Food Studio – a multi award winning business that combines great food wine, live theatre and music.
Essence Productions was created to focus on the theatrical side of the business and since 2003 the company has brought fascinating historical stories to life through live performance.
The Essence Productions team is made up of eight professional actors and backstage crew.
Alaine writes the material which is rigorously workshopped with the actors. Her two productions ‘What Was That?’ and ‘Down to Earth’ have been performed at Werribee Park each weekend for the past 13 years. These plays combine history, comedy and an element of surprise attracting over 15,000 audience members from all over Australia and overseas.
For more information go to www.essenceproductions.com.au
A note from Alaine Beek - How Point of No Return Came About
I visited Port Arthur in 2007 and was fascinated and drawn to this unique story – not just its darker themes but also the sense of hope as many of the boys did survive and learn a trade. I wrote a very short version of this play on my return and it was workshopped with Grade Six Werribee Primary students. It was resurrected again in 2014 with a talented group of male
students in the Werribee Secondary College’s Drama Club. We further developed the play then I entered it into Playhouse Players National One Act Playwright Competition open section and it won Judges Choice for Best Written Script, People’s Choice for Best Written Script and People’s Choice for Best Performed Play.
I made another trip to Port Arthur and spent time with the Research Department who helped in providing fascinating primary source material which enriched the story. Since then it was developed further and from a rehearsed reading, was selected by the Wyndham Cultural Centre to be part of their 2016 subscription season and was performed there in April 2016 then at the
Courthouse Youth Arts in May 2016.
“If a boy at Point Puer found a middle way between the strictures of authority and the pressure of his peers and managed to learn a trade, he could come out with a better chance of making good than most assigned men. If not the system would simple grind him down.” Robert Hughes, ‘The Fatal Shore’.