The Shepparton Theatre Arts Group kicks off rehearsals this month for Dookie — The Musical, an adaptation of its 2016 play Dookie.
Director Casey Fogarty said the musical version came about when STAG’s Wade Gregory learned his lines for Dookie.
‘‘When he was learning his lines he starting writing music that popped in his head,’’ Ms Fogarty said.
Ms Fogarty said although the heart of the pieces would be the same, Dookie — The Musical would tell the story in a different way.
‘‘We’ve refined the show and done lots of workshopping,’’ she said.
When STAG’s Helen Rankin and John Head submitted the piece in a competition, they also received industry-level feedback and individual support to refine the script.
‘‘There’s a lot more jokes as well,’’ Ms Fogarty said.
The core story focuses on men who fought in World War I and Ms Fogarty said they had worked closely with the community to source images and pieces of history. Actor Connor McDonald was performing in his first play with STAG, having performing with Initial Stages and in productions at Wanganui Park Secondary College.
After taking a year off, Mr McDonald missed acting and decided to audition for a role.
‘‘I play Steve ‘Willie’ Williams who is a returned solider who suffers from post-traumatic stress disorder,’’ he said.
‘‘He believes he’s responsible for his friend’s death.’’
Mr McDonald said it had been an emotional character to play.
‘‘He’s a joker and puts on bravado, but then you really do get to see those serious moments.’’
Caitlyn Trotter also joins STAG for the first time, previously performing with Initial Stages and while a Notre Dame College student.
‘‘I play Sarah Freedman. She’s a widower who lost her last husband to a quad-bike accident,’’ she said.
Ms Fogarty said they focused heavily on Dookie in the set design.
‘‘There’s not much of Dookie, so you’ll see pretty much the whole town,’’ she said.