Celebrating its 40th year as an organisation, Theatre Works St Kilda has announced its 2020 season program. Featuring a slew of new Australian work and emerging artist initiatives, the season program also features a new approach to accessible theatre, offering $20 tickets across 20 shows in 2020.
“Theatre Work’s history is steeped in hard work, built by the aspirations of countless artists and passionate creators as they continue to deliver what can only be recognised as powerful, relevant and vital performances,” says Theatre Works General Manager, Dianne Toulson. “In 2020, we celebrate and uphold the values that Theatre Works is built on with an exciting, provoking, playful and proud program.”
Theatre Works’ new 2020 at $20 initiative rises to the challenge of organisational viability by shifting the focus to accessibility. “At Theatre Works, one of our key values is accessibility. We are committed to removing the barriers to participation and high-ticket prices are one of the biggest barriers that prevent audiences from experiencing theatre across the board,” continues Toulson.
“To break down this barrier, and to make Theatre Works’ shows, artists and programs accessible to everyone, we will be offering $20 tickets for each performance of every show across the entire year.”
Planning to build a foundation for the next 40 years of theatre-makers and storytellers, Theatre Works’ 2020 program is extensive and bold. Starting with Midsumma festival in January, Theatre Works presents 5 theatre & cabaret productions including This Bitter Earth, Poorly Drawn Shark, Birdoir, New Balance and Leopard Print Loincloth – alongside 2 artist development programs (including a writing workshop by Lachlan Philpott).
During Melbourne International Comedy Festival, a new Australian work by Debra Thomas, WellBless premieres alongside the first Australian performances of Voldemort and the Teenage Hogwarts – an internationally renowned musical parody from Edinburgh Fringe.
The rest of the season features new writing from award-winning playwright, Kim Ho, as well as world-premieres by Bernadette Trench-Thiedeman and Ellen Grimshaw. 2020 also welcomes independent companies like Citizen Theatre, The Bloomshed, Burning House, Baker’s Dozen Theatre Company and Iron Lung Theatre – who are currently carving a name for themselves in Melbourne as emerging leaders in theatre.
Iron Lung Theatre co-presents When the Rain Stops Falling by Andrew Bovell and starring Francis Greenslade in late July at Theatre Works, while The Bloomshed co-presents Animal Farm in a high-octane mess of punk- protest, political allegory and epic theatre by by one of the most incisive and subversive writers of the twentieth century, George Orwell.
Additionally, Theatre Works continues its recent focus on introducing theatre to younger demographics, Theatre Works presents 3 bold new children’s works – including Singing Swallows – a piece dedicated to Holocaust education through the voice-recordings of survivors.
In 2020, Theatre Works will be supporting a wide variety of associate and resident artists through year-long development programs, including a full year’s worth of development and artistic support for independent company Stage Mom.
8 Associate Artists will be seconded to 2020 Theatre Works productions to engage in the creative process and build networks. 6 emerging, female-identifying writers will receive a year’s worth of development and feedback on a new script, with the possibility of realising their work on the stage in future Theatre Works programming.
20 Student Ambassadors will also join the Theatre Works team, engaging with Theatre Works and its artists throughout the year. These new initiatives are a direct response to the industry and artists demands for access to space and a creative supported environment to flourish.
For more information about Theatre Works’ 2020 Season, visit: www.theatreworks.org.au for details.
Image: Francis Greenslade stars in When the Rain Stops Falling (supplied)