Antipodes Theatre Company announces Artists and Projects for Winter Development Retreat

AAR Antipodes Theatre Company Winter Development Retreat ArtistsAntipodes Theatre Company have announced the artists who will be participating in their inaugural Winter Development Retreat this June 2020.

A total of eight projects were selected, ranging from one-person shows and clown acts to immersive works and musical theatre. In addition to online meetings and rehearsals for individual projects, artists will be able to participate in a variety of workshops, panel discussions, and presentations as part of the retreat.

“This is our first major initiative involving artists at an early stage in their development process,” said Artistic Director, Brandon Pape. “Our goals with this annual retreat are to support creatives as they finesse and expand on their individual storytelling styles, while also encouraging a community of artists to engage with and support each others’ process.”

“This retreat will take place almost entirely online, so we are able to work with people from around the country (and beyond) in hopes of creating a one-of-a-kind experience that is equal parts communal, collaborative, and creative.”

The retreat will feature public presentations from ATC’s other programming initiatives, including a Ten-Minute Play Festival written and performed by members of the ATC Drama Club (20-21 June) and a reading of Moonshot by Noel Anderson as part of the Ricochet Free Reading Series (22 June).

Artists who were chosen to develop projects as part of the Winter Development Retreat include: Max Brown, Hayley Lawson-Smith, Rachel Lewindon & Willow Sizer, Mama Alto, Brooke Murray, Vonne Patiag, Ciara Thorburn and Chloe Towan & Nathan Fernandez. The full list of projects are listed below!

They will be supported by directors, dramaturgs and actors, including: Marty Alix, Sherri Barber, David Butler, Maude Davey, Melissa David, Jess D’Souza, Mike Finch, Kala Gare, Deborah Leiser-Moore, Shamita Siva, Cameron Steens and Rhys Velasquez. Additional collaborators will be announced at a later date.

Antipodes Theatre Company inaugural Winter Development Retreat will take place 17 – 28 June 2020. For more information, visit: for details.

Image: Winter Development Retreat Participants – courtesy of Antipodes Theatre Company

Antipodes Theatre Company’s 2020 Winter Development Retreat Projects:

By The Grace Of
by Max Brown
A stage play with multimedia components, By The Grace Of tells the story of a Chinese-Singaporean immigrant as she struggles to integrate into Australian society. Max Brown’s acting credits include Torch The Place at Melbourne Theatre Company, the award-winning series Glitch, and his latest role as Oscar Wolfe in the Stan Originals series The Gloaming.

By Hayley Lawson-Smith
In this one-woman performance piece, Lawson-Smith uses photographs, letters, heirlooms, and artworks by relatives to trace her family’s feminine evolution across generations and continents. Hayley Lawson-Smith holds a Masters of Writing for Performance from the Victorian College of the Arts and was the Wheeler Centre and Just Pretending Theatre Group Hot Desk Playwright Fellow in 2019.

By Rachel Lewindon and Willow Sizer
Based on the novel Orlando by Virginia Woolf, this blend of contemporary music, musical theatre and abstract movement unpacks themes of self, time and bucking societal norms. Rachel Lewindon and Willow Sizer are both graduates of the Victorian College of the Arts. Their most recent collaboration, Death of a Demi Diva, was nominated for four 2020 Green Room Awards.

The Ancestress
By Mama Alto
A magical realist journey of epic poetry, The Ancestress is a hybrid cabaret-theatre work exploring ideas of ancestry, lineage, legacy, family trees, bloodlines, history, myth, and heritage for trans women of colour in the performing arts. Mama Alto is a jazz singer, cabaret artiste & gender transcendent diva whose work has been featured at MTC’s Cybec Electric, Melbourne Writers Festival and Melbourne Recital Centre.

The Moon, The Sea, You & Me
By Brooke Murray
Moon Girl is curious about Earth, and Sea Boy is always looking up. When their lives collide and wreak havoc on the world around them, they must unite their communities to save the solar system. Intended for audiences aged nine and up, this piece draws on Transgender stories of strength to inspire audiences with themes of resilience and tolerance. Brooke Murray is a playwright and producer who was recently selected for the First Stage emerging playwright’s program at MTC and works as an inclusion support artist at St. Martins Youth Arts.

The Life Cycle of Blanco
By Vonne Patiag
This solo semi-autobiographical piece explores the exhaustion caused by institutional racism and class privilege, especially within the Arts in Australia. Vonne Patiag is a writer, director, producer and actor working across stage and screen. He was part of the inaugural Sydney Theatre Company x CAAP Director’s Workshop and is currently developing his main stage debut in collaboration with Belvoir Theatre.

The Thesis
By Ciara Thorburn
An exploration of the peculiar endeavours an eccentric navigates while working on their thesis. Driven by physical comedy and mime, The Thesis embraces the mundane and brings it to the forefront of human connection. Accessible and inclusive for Deaf Arts audiences. Ciara Thorburn is a graduate of the National Institute of Circus Arts, a student of Philippe Gaulier and a variety performer based in Melbourne.

Revelation Bar
By Chloe Towan and Nathan Fernandez
The world has ended and a small group of survivors is drawn to the mysterious Revelation Bar for what will be a night to remember. Exploring themes of purpose, trauma, sexuality, faith and forgiveness, Revelation Bar is an immersive musical theatre piece created by actor/writers Chloe Towan (Twelfth Night, Melbourne Shakespeare Company) and Nathan Fernandez (Bright Star, Pursued by Bear). Towan and Fernandez previously collaborated on Scary Goats Tour, slated to premiere later in 2020.