A reinvigorated La Boite will tease out its 2021 season over three acts, with Act 1 featuring a powerful line-up of mainstage productions including two world premieres, a new film project and a slate of HWY events from January to April.
Executive Director Zohar Spatz says while La Boite chalks up 95 years in 2021 to cement its status as Australia’s longest continuously running theatre company, it continues to lead the way in innovation, risk-taking and forward-thinking.
“It was heartbreaking for our artists, audience and staff when COVID-19 forced us to close the doors to the Roundhouse Theatre and cancel the remainder of our 2020 mainstage season,” said Ms Spatz.
“As we began to recover and plot our way forward, we realised what a remarkable opportunity we had to completely revitalise how we program and present work and connect with our community.”
“By staggering our season announcement over three distinctive Acts, we can build flexibility into our programming to keep it current and vital while also tipping our hat to a great tradition of theatre,” said Ms Spatz.
La Boite runs Naked & Screaming into Act 1 with the electrifying new Australian play by multi-award-winning playwright Mark Rogers taking audiences on a heart-stopping psychological thrill ride from 6 – 27 February 2021.
Acclaimed Queensland actors Emily Burton and Jackson McGovern drive a dagger into the heart of family relationships in the world premiere production, directed by La Boite Creative Producer, Sanja Simic.
“Naked & Screaming is a searing look at contemporary relationships and the complexities of new parenthood,” said Ms Simic. “The duel perspectives in this new Australian work examine communication, trust and the patriarchal structures that govern domestic relationships, deftly handled by two exceptional Queensland actors, Emily Burton and Jackson McGovern.”
Naked & Screaming centres on struggling new parents Emily and Simon whose relationship begins to unravel when Simon travels overseas for work and Emily’s left alone with their child. Haunted by his own anxieties and questioning Emily’s actions, Simon makes a dangerous decision, changing the course of their relationship forever.
Steven Oliver returns to La Boite’s mainstage in Bigger & Blacker – a semi-autobiographical comedy cabaret from 8 – 27 March 2021. Bigger & Blacker pairs the comedy and television sensation with Helpmann Award-winning performer Michael Griffiths for a joyous and generous evening of storytelling.
The world premiere production marks Mr Oliver’s return to La Boite following his 2019 season of From Darkness, the critically acclaimed production he wrote. “Bigger & Blacker hits that sweet spot between comedy and contemplation and touches on modern love, modern families and the overwhelming urge to escape the modern trappings of fame,” says Mr Oliver.
La Boite’s HWY initiative will transform in 2021 to become a year-round program of events and experiences, providing a vital and ongoing pipeline for new work and ideas. Act 1 includes three visual art exhibitions curated by Blaklash; and artist Q&As held in conjunction with Naked & Screaming on 12 February and Bigger & Blacker on 13 March.
It also features play readings of Major Arcana by David Burton on 30 January and Arthur by Dead Puppet Society on 20 February and a work-in-development showing of HOME by international artist collective Hot Cousin on 20 March.
Act 1 also hosts the world film premiere of The Welcome – a powerful companion piece to La Boite’s boundary-pushing 2020 theatre work, The Neighbourhood. Screening across digital platforms and in La Boite’s forecourt, The Welcome is an intimate storytelling experience created with Brisbane-based production company Kiosk.
La Boite’s renewed spirit of innovation and connection extends to its audience in 2021 as the theatre company replaces seasonal subscriptions with a new membership model.
Memberships are $55 for adults and $35 for concession and offers free and discounted tickets across all three Acts, invitations to member-only events, exclusive access to behind-the-scenes content and promotional offers from La Boite’s partners.
“While we’re doing things a little differently in 2021, one thing remains unchanged: La Boite’s absolute commitment to becoming Australia’s most diverse theatre company,” said Ms Spatz. “We are fiercely proud of our local roots and the crucial role we play nationally as an incubator and producer of new work and a champion of diversity across voices, stories, forms and experiences.
“Our mission remains the creation of powerful connections between artists and audiences through stories that entertain, move, empower, surprise and transfix,” said Ms Spatz.
La Boite will announce Act 2 and Act 3 programming in 2021. For more information on Act 1 and to purchase memberships and tickets, visit: www.laboite.com.au for details.
Image: Steven Oliver – photo by Dylan Evans