QUIRKY local characters from days gone by have inspired Maryborough's Rhiannon Patten and her drama students at Star Dust Drama Academy to bring a new story to life at this year's Mary Poppins festival.
The performance is called The Surprising Uprising of Arnold Stick and is based on a man named Arny Twig who used to go around lighting the lamps many years ago in Maryborough.
Star Dust Drama Academy owner Rhiannon Patten said she had recently moved to Maryborough and just fell in love with some of the local tales.
"I really like the idea of some of these really quirky characters that helped set up the town,” Rhiannon said.
"Over the years when visiting Maryborough I've kept them in mind.
"I've kind of turned it into a love story slash melodrama.
"The show showcases Maryborough, so it's great to get it into the Mary Poppins Festival.”
Rhiannon has been in drama and theatre since the age of eight and studied scriptwriting and mass communication at university.
"I realised I could write all my own scripts and not be restricted by what franchising tell me to do so I started Star Dust Drama Academy,” she said.
"I realised I wasn't going to make it as an actor, I much preferred the directing and writing side of it all.
"Writing has just always been something I've loved, I've always been drawn to it.”
Everyone has been hard at work for the past six weeks with rehearsals and they're starting to notice everything coming together.
"Some of the kids have never worked with scripts before,” Rhiannon said.”
"We also have some who are wanting a career in theatre when they finish school.
"It's going to be a big surprise to them on the day when the state lights come on and there's a big crowd in front of them.
"They'll either get really excited or they might end up like a deer in headlights, we'll wait and see.
"Either way it'll be a lot of fun and a good story to tell their friends when they go back to school.”
The free performance is part of the Mary Poppins Festival and will happen
in the Maryborough City Hall auditorium on Wednesday, June 28, starting at 5.30pm.