Black Swan launches Unsung Heroes – A Digital Festival of Western Australian Stories

BSSTC-Mararo-Wangai-photo-by-Philip-GostelowIn response to COVID19 and the social distancing restrictions on mass gatherings, Black Swan State Theatre Company is launching its new digital platform, Black Swan Home Theatre – a company first initiative that will allow them to connect with their audience in new and exciting ways.

Distributed across the company’s suite of digital channels, Black Swan Home Theatre audiences will find video messages from their actors, behind the scenes interviews with their artists and creatives, backstage tours of their workshops and the production of Unsung Heroes: A Digital Festival of Western Australian Stories.

Black Swan has always been about bringing people together and creating connection through live story telling. When COVID-19 hit they made the decision to postpone their 2020 season until Oklahoma! this November for the safety of their audience members and artistic community.

Whilst social distancing restrictions are being eased and life is returning back to ‘normal’, it will be some time before we are all back in the theatre. Black Swan Home Theatre presents an exciting opportunity to continue to foster human connection and build a sense of community online, through the love of theatre.

Initially scheduled as part of the 2020 Season, Unsung Heroes is a collection of tour-de-force solo performances that celebrate everyday Western Australians who have done extraordinary things in a world premiere season directed by Emily McLean and Joe Paradise Lui.

The performances tell stories of courage, life’s music, adventure, new beginnings and dignity. The production is a timely reminder of our shared humanity and of our uniquely Western Australian identity. The works have been written by local playwrights Gita Bezard, Barbara Hostalek, Chris Isaacs, Hellie Turner and Mararo Wangai.

“Black Swan is proud to be able to continue working with our creative teams in order to help support our sector, keep theatre professionals employed, and keep creativity alive,” said Artistic Director Clare Watson. “We feel incredibly fortunate that as a company during this time, we’ve been working with actors almost everyday of lock-down amounting to over 160 weeks of fulltime employment.”

“In April, we completed a four week creative development of The Cherry Orchard over four states via ZOOM and last month we live streamed the much loved Summer of the Seventeenth Doll with over 1,000 audience members registering for the event. We are thrilled to continue to share our work with new audiences via Black Swan Home Theatre in presenting the digital festival of Unsung Heroes.”

Each Unsung Heroes monologue was filmed on stage. The pre-recorded performances will be live streamed for free to registered users from Tuesday 21 July 2020. A live Q&A facilitated by Resident Artist Ian Michael will follow each live stream. All performances will also be made available on demand. To watch the performances live streamed or on demand, registrations are essential. For more information, visit: www.bsstc.com.au for details.

Image: Mararo Wangai – photo by Philip Gostelow


Unsung Heroes: A Digital Festival of Western Australian Stories

OPENING NIGHT – Tuesday 21 July (7.30pmWST):
Song in the Key of Trust by Mararo Wangai – Actor Mararo Wangai A renowned musician follows his passion for song to a country far from the land of his birth.

Wednesday 22 July (7.30pmWST):
The Unremarkable and Ordinary Life of Carmela Caterina Tassone (Nee Panaia) by Chris Isaacs –
Actor Chris Isaacs. Carmela Caterina Tassone is a woman that places aren’t named after. Her name never made newspaper headlines. You will never have heard of her. This is the story of her nondescript existence.

Thursday 23 July (7.30pmWST):
The Perfect Boy
by Gita Bezard – Actor Caitlin Beresford-Ord. From the stages of Subiaco to international acclaim, Effie Fellows wowed audiences around the world with her male impersonation act.

Wednesday 29 July (7.30pmWST):
Lesson in the Art of Butterfly
by Hellie Turner – Actor Alison van Reeken. A courageous doctor risks all to shine a light on the right to choose to die with dignity.

Thursday 30 July (7.30pmWST):
Own Way by Barbara Hostalek – Actor Jo Morris. She’s strong. She’s smart. She has a wicked sense of humour. Her story of survival has changed domestic violence laws across Australia.

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