Our complex relationship with animals and the natural world underpins HotHouse Theatre’s packed 2016 season of plays, talks, readings and community engagement announced by Lyn Wallis, launching her first program as the company’s Artistic Director.
Linked by the theme, In this Together, Wallis’ new season of contemporary Australian plays is “a veritable menagerie of canines, mammals, insects and birds.”
“Whether it’s the unconditional love of a devoted pet or the endangered Squirrel Glider in our own regional backyard, our fellow creatures inspire us to embrace hope and fight for what matters. They remind us of our responsibility and powerful impact as human beings and that we are not alone: we are in this together,” says Wallis.
While the environmental message underpinning the new season is a serious one, Ms Wallis said HotHouse Theatre had fun firmly in its sights in 2016 when the company, one of Australia’s great regional survivors as the love-child of the famous Murray River Performing Group, celebrates its 37th birthday. Taking centre stage at the Butter Factory Theatre next year will be:
- After a sell-out season in Sydney and under the direction of Glynn Nicholas, The Dapto Chaser – the contemporary (and very topical!) classic comedy about the murky world of greyhound racing, gambling and the Sinclair family’s dog, A Boy named Sue
- They Saw a Thylacine – Justine Campbell and Sarah Hamilton’s critically acclaimed lyrical tale of the last of the Tasmanian Tigers
- Picasso and his Dog – a season for the whole family from puppet theatre company, Lemony S
- The Orchid and the Crow – a funny, moving, musical play starring Daniel Tobias that comes to HotHouse fresh from tours of Canada and the UK
- At the Hip – HotHouse’s Studio Ensemble of young, handpicked emerging stage talents in a brand new production about what it means to live in a twin town, written by acclaimed documentary theatre-maker Rosalyn Oades.
“The 2016 season acknowledges our 37 year history and reclaims some of the community-engaged territory staked by our founders,” says Wallis. “We remain committed to developing and presenting the very best of Australian theatre, but next year we will also be out and about in the community a whole lot more.”
Each show in the season will be accompanied by interesting talks with great local food and wine, held in some surprising locations. In homage to the larrikin spirit of the MRPG, the infamous Galah Bar will be resurrected as the platform for emerging work, and a new community play reading series will be launched in 2016.
Reflecting on HotHouse Theatre’s place in Australia’s contemporary artistic landscape, Lyn Wallis said that while regional companies may be physically distant from the bustle of the city, in a very real sense, they are right at the heart of cultural life.
“Here”, she said, “that essential relationship between art and audiences is forged in a crucible: if you don’t engage every day with the real people of your community and grow with them, you simply don’t survive. HotHouse is a proven survivor, a testament to the many leaders who have shaped it and a dynamic, connected conversation with its community.”
2016 Subscriptions are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.hothousetheatre.com.au for details.
Image: Lyn Wallis (supplied)