Indeed, the Young sisters had always found opportunities to work with creative professionals. They lived on the Hilo side of the Big Island of Hawaii for 8 years, where Carly took advanced literature & filmmaking courses at the University of Hawaii at Hilo at the age of 12, while Audrey performed in the University’s dance program at age 10 and danced with principal dancers from the American Ballet Theatre and San Francisco Ballet at the Blaisdell Arena in Honolulu. At the same time, Carly was writing novels, screenplays, and stageplays (one placed in the Top 20 of the 2007 Young National Playwrights Competition in New York). “I was encouraged by a lot of great mentors,” Carly recalls, “novelists, the University professors, and a professional screenwriter who taught me the mechanics of screenwriting. And this was while we were living in a rainforest, on an island in the middle of the Pacific Ocean.”
After a series of behind-the-scenes meetings with Hollywood professionals in 2008, the Young sisters were convinced to relocate to Burbank, CA to further their careers. At a dance studio that was used for ‘Dancing with the Stars’, Audrey became a company dancer for a Russian ballet troupe that had its roots in the Ballet Russe de Monte Carlo. Carly helped the artistic director write and choreograph an ensemble sword battle for an original ballet that included spirits and faeries flying on wires and a magic act by a Las Vegas magician. Carly then began developing her own short films – one was edited at the studio of screenwriter Terry Rossio (Pirates of the Caribbean), and another was a music video for Neil Gaiman’s ‘Problem with Saints’. “We got to work with incredible talent,” said Carly. “Our friends were stunt performers featured in TV shows (two friends landed roles as Power Rangers), swordmasters, A-List screenwriters, editors, producers, cinematographers, actors, and a graphic artist at DC Comics. They helped us a lot.”
At the suggestion of Audrey’s agent, Carly and Audrey apprenticed at the Lonny Chapman Group Repertory Theatre. “Audrey wanted to train as an actress, and I wanted to be able to work with actors more extensively,” explains Carly. “When actors are speaking your lines, acting out your characters, and you get the audience reactions – it becomes a living thing.” Audrey performed monologues and stageplay excerpts, Carly directed a stage reading of one of her plays, and both worked together as running crew for a main show. This year in March, the Burbank theatre hosted a stage reading for Carly’s original stageplay ‘Mary Shelley: Frankenstein Unbound’, which will have its world premiere at the Newport Performing Arts Center in August, starring Carly’s sister Audrey in the title role of Mary Shelley.
“In between our projects, we were just trying to survive and maintain our sanity in an anxiety-riddled, urbanized desert,” Carly laments of living in LA. “The cost of living kept getting higher, and at a certain point it wasn’t worth it to stay anymore.” The Young sisters hope that they have finally found a balance on the Oregon Coast. “The environment here is so much better – we have trees and greenery again, and the beach is a short walk from our house,” says Carly. “Now we want to gather up the local performing talent of our new home. Next year we’ll launch Palladine Studios - a fun place where people can meet face-to-face, come together to work on projects, and hone their skills in acting, dancing, stage combat, film, or any other aspect of media production.” After Carly worked as an assistant director on the recent ‘Anton in Showbusiness’ at the PAC under director Marc Maislen, she felt ready to take on the challenge of bringing one of her original scripts to the stage.
‘Mary Shelley: Frankenstein Unbound’ is the real-life story of melancholy teenage writing prodigy Mary, who runs away with her lover, radical poet and science enthusiast Percy Shelley, and Mary's naive aspiring-starlet stepsister Claire tags along, leading them to the retreat of her idol, bad-boy celebrity writer Lord Byron. Together, they form a group of intellectuals who call themselves 'The Elect'. When Byron issues a challenge to write a frightening story, Mary weaves their personalities, and her own tragic experiences, into a literary patchwork. But her creation also foreshadows things to come, for the very people who have given her inspiration will become sources of heartbreak...and tragedy.
“I wanted to write about Mary Shelley not only because the descriptions and images of her made me think of my sister Audrey, but also because I could identify with her on a personal level as well,” says Carly. “She began writing professionally at a young age, and needed to connect with others who were just as creative and forward-thinking. Mary’s mother was England’s first radical feminist, Percy was essentially a free-love hippie, while Byron was a swaggering rockstar obsessed with his public image and dealing with star-struck groupies like Claire. We tend to think of these as fairly modern issues and concepts, but it actually originated during the 1800’s with people like Mary, and those in her circle of friends and family. They influenced her to write what is, arguably, the first science fiction story ever.”
‘Mary Shelley: Frankenstein Unbound’ will be playing for 6 shows across two weekends in the Alice Silverman Theatre beginning August 15. For more information or to purchase tickets, visit www.coastarts.com or call 541-265-2787. Keep up to date about the Young sisters by checking www.palladinestudios.com.