With the theme, Stories from Here, Black Swan State Theatre Company of WA has revealed their 2020 season, bringing audiences the best artists from Western Australia and around the country to tell stories that will entertain, delight and surprise and be the catalyst for conversation.
Black Swan will deliver three shows in the Heath Ledger Theatre (with one on-stage in the round), three shows in the Studio Underground, and for the first time, will play host to the inaugural Maali Festival – a celebration of First Nations art and culture.
The bumper season includes one musical, two world premieres, three adaptations, two productions presented with Malthouse Theatre and a collaboration with WA Youth Theatre Company.
“Black Swan’s 2020 season looks at power, progress and place,” said Artistic Director Clare Watson. “The places we will visit together hold stories that seep into the people that inhabit them. Those that hold power will try to cling to it, while others seek it and succeed, only to discover that it’s perhaps not the prize they were hoping for.”
The 2020 season will kick off with Tim Winton’s masterpiece, Cloudstreet – presented as part of Perth Festival at the iconic and newly renovated His Majesty’s Theatre. A co-production with Malthouse Theatre, this epic work which brings the Lambs and the Pickles home post-war Perth is directed by Matthew Lutton and is a once-in-a-generational experience from 21 February to 15 March.
Black Swan then travels south to Manjimup from 9 to 31 May, with a heartbreaking and hilarious adaptation by Adriane Daff and Katherine Tonkin of The Cherry Orchard, after Anton Chekhov. Overflowing with charm, a touch of the 1980s and a self-absorbed ensemble of Kath-and-Kim style characters. Directed by Clare Watson, this spirited production looks at those who become victims of their own privilege.
From 4 to 21 June Black Swan presents Unsung Heroes – a collection of six home-grown stories. These tour-de-force performances told by six of our most exciting local writers, celebrate everyday Western Australians who have achieved extraordinary things. This world premiere of alternating programs will be directed by Emily McLean and Joe Paradise Lui.
Black Swan then heads east to York, the oldest inland town in Western Australia, for a ghost story set in a hospital that will delight and terrify in equal measure from 15 August to 6 September. Inspired by 200 years of real accounts, this is a collaboration with WA Youth Theatre Company written by Ian Michael and Chris Isaacs, in a world premiere directed by Clare Watson.
As a prelude to the 2020 US Elections, George Orwell’s Animal Farm is brilliantly adapted by political powerhouse Van Badham. Directed by Emily McLean, Animal Farm features a high-octane three-hander cast of stellar comedians, improvisors and storytellers including Andrea Gibbs and Megan Wilding in September.
The road trip continues with Malthouse Theatre’s stage adaptation of Wake in Fright – inspired by the cult Australian outback thriller film of the same name. Adapted from Kenneth Cook’s novel by Declan Greene with Zahra Newman, the production features Western Australian actor Alexandria Steffensen (Medea) from 15 October to 1 November.
The final destination for the year lands us all together on the Heath Ledger Theatre stage from 28 November for Oklahoma! – a Rodgers and Hammerstein classic as you’ve never seen before. Get ready for a Wild West musical in the round that is intimate, daring and electric and directed by Richard Carroll (Calamity Jane, The Show Goes On).
Black Swan is thrilled to host the inaugural Maali Festival – a First Nations takeover of the State Theatre Centre held during NAIDOC Week on Sunday 12 July and curated by Black Swan’s Resident Artists Chloe Ogilvie (Yamatji Nhanda) and Ian Michael (Nyoongar).
Ticket Packages are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.bsstc.com.au for details.
Image: Andrea Gibbs (photo by Sam Harris); Benjamin Oakes (photo by Sam Harris); Alexandria Steffensen (photo by Ricky Gestro); and George Shevtsov (photo by Sam Harris) feature in Black Swan’s 2020 season