Alexis West, who officially commences her role as Resident Writer/Director this week, joins Anthony Nicola, who started as Resident Director in March. Sasha Zahra comes on board as the Company’s new Artistic Counsel.
They join a new assembly of fresh voices at State Theatre Company South Australia, including Helpmann Academy Emerging Director Fellow Clara Solly-Slade and commissioned writers Caleb Lewis, Samuel Adamson, Elena Carapetis and Emily Steel.
Artistic Director Mitchell Butel says it’s particularly special to be welcoming an extended team of artists to the Company at this time. “I’m so proud that in the midst of this crisis, our Company is continuing its commitment to having resident artists on staff and to increasing that number,” he said.
“Anthony and Alexis will join our Helpmann Academy Emerging Director Fellow, Clara Solly-Slade, to help shepherd in a host of new works and to connect the Company to our audiences and wider performing arts sector in rich and multiple ways. I’m so grateful that Sasha Zahra, one of the most connected theatre practitioners in South Australia, will lend her wise and lateral counsel to us on our journey forward.
“I’m also thrilled that we have four uber-talented South Australian writers under commission for us in Elena, Samuel, Emily and Caleb, who are all playing with such diverse genres and stories that I know will eventually explode in dazzling fashion onto our stages,” said Mr Butel.
Alexis, who last worked with the Company on Sista Girl in 2017, will be working on a new play during her residency. “I’m looking forward to the creative conversations and connections that will be had with Artistic Director Mitchell Butel at the helm and other glorious artists in the room – or in Zoom,” she says.
“I look forward to yarning about other First Nations writers/creatives and how we can collaborate to support their work to provide platforms and partnerships for their stories. It’s an incredible privilege and honour to have the opportunity to work and write closely with the Company. I am anxiously excited,” said Ms West.
A Flinders University Drama Centre graduate who last worked with the Company as Assistant Director on Jasper Jones, Anthony Nicola will lead a range of educational workshops, dramaturg and direct developments of our commissions and join Clara (who is developing other new works) in facilitating the upcoming Flinders University Young Playwrights Awards.
“This opportunity is so exciting! I’m thrilled to work alongside artists I’ve been inspired by for many years, and the chance to collaborate is a dream come true,” said Mr Nicola. “We have some awesome projects in the works and I can’t wait to share these breathtaking theatrical experiences with audiences once we can all gather again.”
Currently Creative Producer – Performance and Events for Tandanya, Sasha Zahra will be providing curatorial advice to the Company and helping it connect further with other South Australian theatre-makers. For more information, visit: www.statetheatrecompany.com.au for details.
Image: Alexis West, Sasha Zahra and Anthony Nicola (supplied)