Our Passionate Pathways feature for this month is the awesome Ada Cardona.
‘It’s not just a cute love story’ says Ada about At First Glance.
At First Glance is the piece she has been creating on Wednesday nights over the last four months, with fellow members of WEYA’s Werribee based Wyndham Edge ensemble. After a successful preview showing as part of a World Refugee Day event in June, the Ensemble will be presenting the completed work in Hoppers Crossing on 3 August, and again in Footscray, as part of Due West Festival on 26 August. Click on the dates for details.
Ada, who is in year 10 at Point Cook Senior Secondary College, joined Wyndham Edge last year. She says that she’s ‘always liked the idea of acting, but never considered actually doing it before’. When she came into contact with WEYA’s programs she ‘really liked the ideas and concepts’.
It ‘felt real to me, and vivid, and I wanted to be a part of that’ she says, and explains that she always thought theatre would help her ‘get out of [her] shell and be a little more confident’, concluding that it definitely has!
Wyndham Edge is the newest of WEYA’s open access theatre workshop programs, and in its second year, it is really beginning to find it’s flow. Ada reflects that ‘this year, a lot of us who were in the Wheel of Fate production last year had to leave, so we have a new set of people to work with, but it’s been really interesting and fun, and it’s just nice to be around’.
About At First Glance Ada reflected:
‘The basic idea of the production was that we were thinking about love stories…we were playing around with ideas about culture and how different cultures see love and courting. I’m from the Philippines and our views are very traditional and conservative. The other main character, her ideas on love are based on her [Nigerian] culture, but she’s trying to put love aside to focus on work cos her mum is sick’.
The subjects that Filipino born Ada likes best at school include English – ‘I’m doing advanced English, ‘cos I actually really like English it’s one of my favorite subjects’. She also likes PE when they get to do dance, and is taking a theater unit as part of a special VCE preparatory program. This semester she is also doing a history unit which she says is ‘alright’.
After first saying that she has ‘no-idea’ what she wants to do after high school, she goes on to say that she’s thinking of possibly doing ‘something art related’, perhaps in design or theatre. On the other hand she is attracted to teaching:
‘Working with kids is nice. …I like what teaching does for kids. It impacts on who we become in the future and I think that’s nice’.
Ada has been living in Australia since she was seven months old, and only speaks a little bit of Filipino, but understands it well because her parents and most of the extended family in Australia do, and she’s been back to the Philippines a couple of times.
I asked her what her family think of her involvement in theatre and the Wyndham Edge ensemble. She says that her Mum, Dad and brothers, and sometimes her uncle and aunty, come along to performances, and she says: ‘they think it’s pretty cool – they mostly like the bits where I’ in it though!’
Ada is looking forward to At first Glance and she tells me that:
‘I’m always looking forward to performing, although I also get nervous. I’m looking forward to people seeing our show. It’s not just a cute love story. It touches on issues about discrimination, racism, domestic violence. What I hope for the shows that I perform in, is that people enjoy it, and that they learn something from it.’
Article by Kendra Keller, Western Edge Youth Arts