Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre has announced its 2017 Season featuring two world premieres by local female playwrights, developed through the Red Stitch INK program, four Australian premieres of internationally acclaimed works, one Victorian premiere, and one special event to round out the year.
The two world premieres are a testament to the Red Stitch Ensemble’s continuing engagement with Australian writers, ensuring new works can be developed and brought to a fully realised production alongside the best in the world, where they belong.
“It feels like 2017 is set to be a big year globally – and it’s definitely a big year for us,” says Artistic Director, Ella Caldwell. “We have overcome some major challenges during 2016, and now launch into the new year more resilient, more ambitious, and more inspired.”
“We’re excited to bring Melbourne audiences the premieres of remarkable, top shelf new Australian and international writing for you to ponder and revel in. As ever, we want to bring you plays that make you think and question, laugh and reflect.”
Opening the season in January, another Australian playwright, Aidan Fennessy, makes a long-awaited return to Red Stitch with the Victorian premiere of his own play The Way Things Work, a highly topical, sharp-paced work about the relationship between power and masculinity.
Throughout the year, Red Stitch maintains its commitment to bringing exceptional new plays from around the world to local audiences, with four Australian premieres announced so far.
In March, in partnership with the Melbourne International Comedy Festival, Red Stitch introduces Windham-Campbell Literature Prize winner and young British playwright Sam Holcroft’s Rules for Living, a hilarious and intelligent romp about the coping strategies we adopt in life, directed by Kim Farrant in her Red Stitch debut.
Next is Pulitzer prize winning Will Eno’s The Realistic Joneses, a darkly humorous play about neighbours and the larger mysteries of life. Recipient of the prestigious Playwrights of New York (PoNY) Fellowship, The Realistic Joneses sees the welcome return of director Julian Meyrick (Dead Centre/Sea Wall).
Red Stitch has discovered a new and unique voice in Jen Silverman, presenting her play The Moors in June. The Moors is a brilliantly wild story about love, obsession and what it is to be seen. Director Stephen Nicolazzo of Little Ones Theatre makes his Red Stitch debut.
In July, Ensemble members Brett Cousins and Ella Caldwell will work together to direct Olivier Award nominated UK playwright Nick Payne’s Incognito – a stunning play exploring what it means to be human and the importance of memory.
The year will end with Red Stitch’s much-anticipated special event, PLAYlist, an extraordinary site-specific feast of theatre, which will take place across two nights. Showcasing 10 writers and 10 songs, each writer selects a song to inspire their play. Each play is only as long as the song. PLAYlist is an intimate, adventurous celebration of new writing and music.
From the INK program comes The Way Out, the first full length play by Josephine Collins, directed by Penny Harpham. Set in a darkly imagined Australian future, The Way Out examines family loyalty and the mercurial nature of the moral stance.
Later in the year with Desert, 6:29pm, Morgan Rose uses her extraordinary attention to detail and quirky humour to explore the political through the deeply personal in this touching story of a family who have stopped really talking to each other.
Red Stitch welcomes Bridget Balodis back to direct (following her previous work for the company with Jurassica). Thanks to the Malcolm Robertson Foundation, Red Stitch has been able to accept a record number of new works for development in 2016-2017.
Red Stitch is thrilled to announce that Caroline Lee and Joe Petruzzi have accepted positions in the Ensemble, following Kevin Hofbauer and Rory Kelly who joined mid-year in 2016.
Tickets are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.redstitch.net for details.
Image: Red Stitch Actors’ Theatre presents Rules for Living (supplied)