Sheedy’s first program since taking up the role in March 2016 celebrates local talent with new work from Ross Mueller, THE RABBLE, Fraught Outfit, Susie Dee and Patricia Cornelius, The Guerilla Museum and Rawcus – all having premiere seasons at Theatre Works.
“Theatre Works has always been an alternative voice in Australian theatre. Our 2017 Season brings together a group of game changers who share our view – that theatre is essential within a society that is more disparate and diverse than ever,” said John Sheedy. “The wordsmith. The provocateur. The visionary. The fearless. The experience. The ensemble.”
“Artists in search of a contemporary theatre language that push the boundaries of formal theatre making – from new Australian writing, visual theatre, live art and digital expression. Our venue will transform into a true hub for performing arts that will feed the entire industry.”
Kicking off the year is Lifetime Guarantee (9 – 26 February), which teams up acclaimed playwright Ross Mueller with director John Sheedy in a rock and roll comedy about interspecies relationships, property development, divorce, sex tapes, new love and a ‘67 Mustang.
Next, theatrical mavericks THE RABBLE explore female power and persecution in Joan (20 – 30 April) – a spectacular portrayal of France’s medieval heroine, Joan of Arc. This is followed by Fraught Outfit’s epic production The Book Of Exodus – the final installment in Aaron Orzech and Adena Jacobs’ Innocence Trilogy. The Book Of Exodus will be presented in two gripping parts in June (Part 1: 30 May – 18 June) and October (Part 2: 18 – 29 October 2017).
A Theatre Works Education production will be presented in July – Frankenstein (20 – 29 July) by Lally Katz, based on the book by Mary Wollstonecraft Shelley and directed by Phil Rouse.
Big Heart (6 – 24 September) is a new work from the formidable duo of writer Patricia Cornelius and director Susie Dee, exploring themes of multiculturalism, racism and love, and is followed by All Of My Friends Were There (5 – 11 October), The Guerilla Museum’s companion piece to their genre-defying work Funeral (2016 Melbourne Festival) that will feature as part of the 2017 Melbourne Festival.
The year finishes with Song For A Weary Throat ( 29 November – 10 December) by Rawcus – an award-winning ensemble of performers with and without disability creating distinct performance works and exceptional arts experiences.
Demonstrating Theatre Works’ quest to actively encourage artists to be creative with no bounds, Sheedy has made a shift towards a co-producing house model in 2017, with Artists In Residence being offered extended creative development, production support and a new level of mentoring from industry professionals.
Artists’ work will be supported for future presentation through new regional and touring frameworks in 2018. For emerging artists, Theatre Works has established a dedicated Artistic Associate Program where artists will be seconded to resident productions and have the opportunity to present their work for future seasons.
Additional activities include Masterclasses (led by Ranters Theatre, OpticNerve Performance Group and Director John Sheedy), the Conversation Series and Director’s Circle to foster connection and collaboration.
2017 also sees the return of Director’s Lab – an eight-day creative laboratory held in collaboration with Melbourne Festival. The program accepts 30 directors from across Australia and the world, to participate in eight days of masterclasses, performance and rigorous debate with leading national and international theatre makers.
Tickets and subscriptions are now on sale. For more information, visit: www.theatreworks.org.au for details.
Image: THE RABBLE presents Joan as part of Theatre Works’ 2017 Season (supplied)